Public Policy & Advocacy

Subject to the views of its members, this subcommittee would take action steps to:

  • Research and identify areas of advocacy
  • Be responsible for gathering and sharing information that highlights the need for government
  • action, support and change of policy;
  • Communicate with legislators in support of the needs of SEL;
  • Develop economic arguments as to why SEL is needed;
  • Seek other state and city governmental agencies to partner with to effect policy change;
  • Educate the general population by all available means to the benefits of SEL through workshop
  • presentation, public relations and other methods of communication;
  • Work with Parent-Teacher organizations in schools;
  • Develop media relations to promote SEL examples;
  • Promote interfaith organizations to work on SEL’s behalf in communities.

Break-out Session at Conference:

The breakout session in Public Policy and Advocacy divided this area into four subjects: (1) Awareness Education; (2) Expand Capacity; (3) Build Coalitions; (4) Work with Policy Makers. The way in which SEL is marketed is critical in gaining acceptance among education, community and business leaders. In general terms, it was suggested that when advocating on behalf of SEL: (1) build on SEL competencies that teachers are already teaching, i.e., SEL is enhancing not adding-on to teachers’ duties; (2) include the voices of our children as to why SEL is needed; (3) weave the many societal issues that SEL addresses into the advocacy; (4) educate how SEL addresses what people need; (5) include cultural competency to appeal to all peoples; (6) sustain the movement by spreading the word wherever and to whomever we can.

Members currently signed up to this committee are:

  • Lauren Mullen, Kindegarten teacher, Hudson
  • Supreme Richardson, TFCC, Community Outreach, NAACP, Boston
  • Ayele Shakur, BUILD – Greater Boston, Education Chair of NAACP
  • Margaret Kiwanuka,  SEL Consultant, Boston 
  • Mitch Lyons, Director,, Newton
  • Melissa Pearrow, Assistant Professor, UMASS Boston
  • Noelle Roop, Counselor, Boston Public School, Boston
  • Kenra Hoyt, Director, Just Circles, Dorchester
  • Anne Eisner, Mass Advocates for Children, Boston
  • Danielle Carrigo, Assistant to Superintendent, New Bedford Public Schools, New Bedford
  • Kathleen Meagher, SEL Consultant, Shore Collaborative and Lynn Community Health Care
  • Frank Stevenson, Behavior Specialist, Byfield
  • Claudia Rinaldi, Assistant Director of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative, Education Development Center, Waltham
  • Clayton T. Ryan, Behavior Specialist/Guidance Counselor, Southborough Public Schools, Southborough
  • Andrea Doremus-Cuetara , History and Civics Teacher, Boston Public Schools, Boston
  • Samantha Rabinowicz, 7th grade math teacher, Framingham Public Schools and Professional Development Coordinator for B.U.’s Center for Character and Social Responsibility, Boston University
  • Karen T. Craddock, Ph.D., Faculty Lead Scholar of Relational-Cultural Theory and Social Action, JBMTI Wellesley College
  • Nova Biro, Co-Director, Open-Circle, Wellesley College, Wellesley
  • Jim Strousse, Trainer, Open-Circle, Wellesley College, Wellesley
  • Evelyn Frankford, Consultant, Boston
  • Gayle Vonasek, Retired Principal/Teacher, Hudson Schools
  • Eve Sullivan, Parenting Educator (volunteer and organizer), Parents Forum, Cambridge
  • Danielle Betancourt, Classroom Teacher, Newton Public Schools, Newton
  • Michelle Cromwell, Founding President  and Professor of Justice studies, Multicultural Village, Natick
  • Emily Gaudette, Project Associate, Federation for Children with Special Needs, Boston
  • Molly Alvin, Mindfulness Trainer, Calmer Choice, Cotuit
  • Christine Lowe, Student, Pine Manor College, Brookline, MA
  • Carla Hawkins, School Guidance Counselor, Belmont Public Schools, Belmont
  • Trina Camarao, Principal, Plymouth Public Schools, Plymouth
  • Maureen DeMilla, Director of Child Advocacy, Archdiocese of Boston, Boston
  • Anna Cross, Director of Student Support, Framingham Public Schools, Framingham
  • Sarah Tannenbaum, Doctoral Student, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
  • Kristy Dyer, Special Education Teacher, Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative, West Springfield
  • Sara Bartolino, Program Manager, Mass2020, Boston