The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Announces Excelerator: A Community in Action

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Virtual Conference To Take Place October 19-November 19, 2020 Featuring Cornel West, Bakari Sellers, Vu Le, Bob Johansen and Other Nationally-Renowned Speakers

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities today announced the opening of registration and the line-up for their upcoming annual National Conference and Fall Experience, taking place October 19-November 19, 2020. Excelerator: A Community in Action will be a completely virtual experience that will provide a multisession learning series and networking spaces for exchanging ideas, collaborating on solutions, and engaging in fun and lively activities with colleagues across the sector.

“For our first-ever virtual Excelerator conference, the Alliance has developed a dynamic online home for learning, collaboration and networking,” noted Alliance president and CEO Susan N. Dreyfus. “We call that online home VeloCity, a reminder that we will need to be intentional in moving forward together to realize the community of the future we envision. Together, we will tackle some of our toughest challenges in equity, sector health and sustainability, education, population health and well-being, and safety and resilience.”

The conference will focus on envisioning communities of the future, strengthening network impact, and strategically shifting the social services sector. Activities will be viewed through the lens of achieving a healthy and equitable society through: 1) Advancing equity; 2) Population health and well-being; 3) Educational success; 4) Economic opportunity; 5) Safety and resilience; and, 6) Sector health and sustainability.

The three-day opening ceremony will feature national speakers focused on the state of equity around the nation, including Cornel West, professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard University and professor emeritus at Princeton University, who will speak on Tuesday, October 20 from 1-2pm ET. On Wednesday, October 21 from 1-2pm ET, Bakari Sellers, a political analyst for CNN and former representative, youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation, will speak. Opening ceremonies will conclude on Thursday, October 22 from 1-2pm ET with remarks from Vu Le, blogger, writer, speaker and former executive director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.

The three-day closing ceremony will focus on thriving in an uncertain future. It will kick-off Tuesday, November 17 from 1-2:30pm ET with a post-election 2021 Town Hall and policy forecast panel discussion featuring Joel Payne, democratic strategist and managing director of communications for Hub Project; Scott Klug, former U.S. representative (R-Wis.) and current director of public affairs, Foley and Lardner LLP; Brian Gallagher, president and CEO, United Way Worldwide; and Tracy Wareing Evans, president and CEO, American Public Human Services Association.

On Wednesday, November 18 from 1-2pm ET, Bob Johansen, distinguished fellow and futurist with the Institute for the Future in Silicon Valley, will share the concept of full-spectrum thinking.

Finally, the event will close on Thursday, November 19 with a timely discussion with Jeffrey L. Bradach, co-founder of The Bridgespan Group, and several leading philanthropists on ending the starvation cycle of community-based organizations from 1-3:15pm ET. That same day, Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance, and Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of the Council on Accreditation, will host a special session from 2:15-3:15 ET on what the future holds for the human services sector and community-based organizations. Moderated by Annette Rodriguez, president and CEO of The Children’s Shelter and vice-president of the Alliance Board, this session will explore the complementary strengths of the Alliance and COA as well as the many opportunities the chief executives see for us in the future.

The Excelerator’s presenting sponsor is FEI Workforce Resilience, which has a 40-year history in enhancing workforce resiliency by offering a full spectrum of solutions, from EAP and organizational development to workplace violence prevention and crisis management. “As a social enterprise wholly owned by the Alliance and aligned with its mission and vision, we have contributed over $43 million to the Alliance, their members and the communities they serve. We are delighted to reaffirm our commitment to the Alliance and their members, and to support this exciting new experience,” stated Ted Uczen, president and CEO of FEI.

Sponsors for the 2020 Excelerator include: Casey Family Programs, Boys Town, Mutual of America Financial Group, Brown & Brown of Lehigh Valley, Aramark, Auberle, Beech Acres Parenting Center, Children’s Home Society of Florida, Children’s Institute, KVC Health Systems, Pressley Ridge, United Healthcare, and 43 other organizations and companies.

For more information, to access the full agenda of events, or to register for the Excelerator go to link. Interested parties are encouraged to register early as group rates go up October 9, 2020.

Media Notes: The opening and closing ceremonies are open to the media. Media interested in any other sessions should contact Jennifer Devlin at 703-966-3241 or

About the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is a strategic action network of thousands of committed social sector leaders who through their excellence, distinction, and influence are working to achieve a healthy and equitable society. We aggregate the very best sector knowledge and serve as an incubator for learning and innovation to generate new solutions to the toughest problems. We accelerate change through dynamic leadership development and collective actions to ensure policies and systems provide equal access and opportunity for all people in our nation to reach their fullest potential through improvements in health and well-being, educational success, economic opportunity, and safety and resilience. Go to for more information.

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