PostcardDecember 2 “Love Wins” Conference Inspired by the Life of Ana Grace  Márquez-Greene

WEST HARTFORD, CT, Nov. 7, 2013 – The family of six-year-old Ana Grace Márquez-Greene will honor her memory with a conference on Monday, December 2.  “Love Wins – A Conference Promoting Love, Community and Connection for Every Child and Family” will be held at the University of Hartford from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The goal of the conference is to bring together those concerned with mental health and community well-being to help build connections that prevent and promote recovery from trauma.

The conference is the inaugural event of the Ana Grace Project of Klingberg Family Centers.  The Project is a transformative initiative to build connections and community for every child and family.  The Project is based on the belief that love, connection, and community are the antidotes to violence.

The Project is named after Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The ‘Love Wins” conference will bring together both professionals and community members to share knowledge and create loving alternatives to the tragedy that occurred on Dec. 14, 2012.

The Ana Grace Project was established by Ana’s mother, Nelba Márquez-Greene, her husband, Jimmy Greene, and their son Isaiah.  “This conference is just the beginning for the Ana Grace Project,” says Nelba Márquez-Greene.  “It is our family’s effort to create real solutions to the kind of violence that took Ana’s life.  We chose to partner with Klingberg Family Centers to help us invest in creating solutions that will draw people away from violence and replace it with the powerful love and connection that can only be found in a healthy community of caring.”

Klingberg Family Centers, through the Love Wins Conference, will unite the resources of the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., and other invited guests.  Early in the planning, Stanley Black and Decker stepped forward as the major business sponsor of the conference and supported the establishment of the Ana Grace Project.  Siracusa Moving and Storage became involved as a Scholarship Sponsor, enabling Klingberg Family Centers’ program staff and families from Sandy Hook the opportunity to participate.

The morning session of the conference will be devoted to a keynote address by Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D called “Love and Loss, How Relationships Heal.”  Dr. Perry is recognized world-wide for his work on the essential power of love and empathy in healing.  He is a clinician and researcher in children’s mental health and the neurosciences and an internationally-recognized authority on children in crisis. Dr. Perry is the Senior Fellow of The ChildTrauma Academy, a not-for-profit organization based in Houston, TX, and adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.  Dr. Perry has appeared on Oprah, CNN, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and other programs as an expert in the area of neuroscience and has been cited as such in Newsweek, the New York Times, and The New Yorker.  He is the author of The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog and co-author of Born for Love- a book that presents a powerful case that love is essential…and endangered.

Conference participants will be able to choose one of six breakout sessions in the afternoon.  These will include:

 

  • Teaching and Learning with Compassion, led by Deborah McCarthy,O.T.,  MCYF,   Mindfulness Collaborative for Youth and Schools and Adi Flesher, M.Ed., Garrison Institute. Fiona Jensen, Founder and  Executive Director of Calmer Choice.
  •  Community Connections: A Public Health Approach to Treating Adversity, led by Alice Forrester, Ph.D., Clifford Beers Child Guidance Clinic.
  • What’s Zip Code Got To Do with It?  The Human Cost of Unmet Mental Health Needs in Our Cities, led by Isabel Pacheco Logan, L.C.S.W., Office of the Public Defender, Keith Gaston, M.S.W.,  Village for Families and Children;  Geoffry Scales, Hartford Juvenile Probation;  Karl Koistein, L.C.S.W., Department of Children and Families;  Iran Nazarrio, COMPASS Youth Collaborative plus Janis Astor del Valle and Lara Herscovitch.  This session will also include a performance piece about gun violence called “Getting There.”
  • Creating Compassionate Communities, led by Christopher Kukk, Ph.D., Center for Compassion and Community- Western Connecticut State University.
  • Mental Health First Aid: Mobilizing the Public to Respond Effectively to Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness, led by Bryan Gibb, M.B.A., National Council of Behavioral Health.
  • Circle of Security: Parenting to Transform Families and Communities, led by Charlie Slaughter, M.P.H., R.D., DCF.

Music, food and dance will play a significant part in the day’s program because of Ana’s love of these expressions of joy.  Her father, jazz musician Jimmy Greene, has gathered a group of noted musicians to help him add harmony to the day’s celebration of his daughter’s life.  They include Latanya Farrell, Jennifer Allen, Nat Reeves, Jonathan Barber, and Steve Davis.  Also performing will be the Prelude Choir, Connecticut Children’s Chorus, and the Artists Collective Dance Ensemble.

CEUs are available. The cost to attend the conference is $150, which includes lunch and reception.  All proceeds benefit the Ana Grace Project.

Registration is required. Space is limited. Registration deadline is Nov. 22.  No walk-ins.  To register for the “Love Wins” conference, go to:   www.AnaGraceProject.org.

About the Klingberg Family Centers

Founded in 1903, Klingberg Family Centers is a private nonprofit charitable (501 [c] {3}) organization offering an array of treatment programs. Klingberg’s programs are designed to serve children and families whose lives have been affected by trauma in its various forms, family difficulties, and mental health issues. They serve more than 2500 people each year from throughout Connecticut, with the largest concentration from the Greater Hartford area.  Klingberg’s main campus is located on a 40-acre hilltop in a residential section of New Britain. The organization also offers Community Services from offices in the Colt neighborhood of Hartford.

Media contact

Andrea Obston aobston@aomc.com

(860) 243-1447 (office) (860) 803-1155 (cell)

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