Public Forum and Featured Presenters

Making BC’s Young Children and Families a Priority: A Call to Action
Thursday, January 28, 2016 | 6:30pm – 8:30pm

This interactive session will provide an overview of the scale and scope of socio-economic realities and how to make young children and families a public policy and investment priority in BC

Lynell Anderson

As an experienced Certified General Accountant, Lynell Anderson analyzes and utilizes financial information to promote public accountability, engage communities and advocate for evidence-informed change. Her research and advocacy activities focus on public policies that advance the rights of children, women and families. Lynell played a leadership role in the development of the Generation Squeeze Campaign while employed by UBC. Now working as an independent consultant, she contributes her financial expertise to that Campaign’s specialized program of inter-generational research.

Adrienne Montani

Adrienne Montani is the Provincial Coordinator for First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition. She has served as the Child and Youth Advocate for the City of Vancouver and as a trustee and Chairperson of the Vancouver School Board. Her work over 35 years, mostly in the non-profit sector, has focused on women’s and children’s rights, cross-cultural awareness and racism and the impacts of social exclusion on children and youth due to poverty and inequality.

Featured Presenters


Dr. Neil W. Boris

Neil W. Boris, MD became chief of the Nemours Children’s Hospital Division of Behavioral Health in January 2013. He came to Nemours from Tulane University Medical Center, New Orleans, where he was professor of psychiatry and served in a variety of clinical settings as a clinician and teacher. An expert in conditions such as attachment disorders, autism spectrum disorders and depression in children, Dr. Boris has consistently been named among the Best Doctors in America and regularly listed in the Guide to America’s Top Psychiatrists. He has authored more than 60 articles, has more than 20 book chapters in print and has presented his expertise and research at hundreds of annual meetings, workshops and symposia around the world. Dr. Boris is certified in child and adolescent psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


 Dr. Dale C. Farran

Appointed in the fall of 1996, Dale Clark Farran is the Antonio and Anita Gotto Chair in Teaching and Learning, and a professor in Psychology and Human Development at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. In 2010, she became Senior Associate Director of the Peabody Research Institute. Prior to Vanderbilt, Dr. Farran spent 10 years with the Abecedarian Project; 3 years in Hawaii at the Kamehameha School; and 9 years at UNC-Greensboro. Her recent research emphasis is on evaluating the effectiveness of alternative preschool curricula for preparing children from low-income families to transition successfully to school.  She has served as the Principal Investigator or Co-PI of several large longitudinal randomized control trials of various approaches to prekindergarten education. Recently she and her colleagues have evaluated possible measures for assessing self regulation in young children as well as a cluster randomized control trial of the Tools of the Mind prekindergarten curriculum. Currently she is following the children, now in 6th grade, who were a part of a pre-k math intervention.  In addition she is involved in the only RCT of a state wide pre-kindergarten program, with recent funding to follow the sample through middle school.


 Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl

Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl is a Professor in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture program in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia and the Interim Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership in the Faculty of Medicine. She received her B.Sc. in Education from Illinois State University, her MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Chicago, her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Iowa, and completed her postdoctoral work as a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Fellow in the Clinical Research Training Program in Adolescence at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University’s Department of Psychiatry.

Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Schonert-Reichl worked as a middle school teacher and then as a teacher at an alternative high school for “at risk” adolescents. The author of more than 100 articles and two books, Dr. Schonert-Reichl studies the social and emotional development of children and adolescents, particularly in relation to identifying the processes and mechanisms that foster positive human qualities such as empathy, compassion, altruism, and resiliency. Her most recent research includes collecting population-level data on children’s social and emotional competence and resiliency, and conducting evaluations of school-based programs that integrate mindfulness practices with social and emotional learning. She is also conducting interdisciplinary research in collaboration with neuroscientists and psychobiologists examining the relation of executive functions and stress physiology to children’s social and emotional well-being.

She is a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute and the Botin Foundation’s Platform for Innovation in Education, and winner of several awards, including the Killam Teaching Prize for excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching, and the Confederation of University Faculty Associations’ (CUFA-BC) Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award for sustained contributions over the course of a career to the non-academic community through research and scholarly activity. Dr. Schonert-Reichl is also an advisor to the BC Ministry of Education’s new educational curriculum that includes a focus on Personal and Social Competency. She is active with several national and international advisory boards, including the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Research Advisory Group, the Hawn Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee, the Organization for Economic and Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) longitudinal study on social and emotional skills in cities, and and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education’s Advisory Group.

In the past few years, Dr. Schonert-Reichl has given over 200 presentations on the topic of children’s social and emotional development and social emotional learning to lay audiences, including parents, community organizations, educators, and policy makers. She has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including CBC’s Early Edition with Rick Cluff, the Bill Good Show on CKNW, Breakfast Television on City TV, and National Public Radio (NPR) in the US. Her research on the Roots of Empathy was profiled on the PBS Newshour special, the American Graduate.

Dr. Schonert-Reichl’s research also has been highlighted in several magazines and newspapers across Canada, the US, and internationally, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American Mind, Neurology Now, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, The Atlantic, The Daily Mail, The Los Angeles Times, US News, The National Post, Canadian Living Magazine, Reader’s Digest – Canada, The Greater Good, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, 24, andToday’s Parents.

For more information, see Kim’s website.


Tamara Taggart

As a veteran broadcaster, a third generation Vancouverite and busy working mother, Tamara comes to the CTV anchor chair with a lot of experience, passion and a deep understanding of what matters to Metro Vancouver residents. In the field, Tamara reports on a range of important issues, from women with HIV to rare diseases affecting children.

Tamara’s commitment to our community goes beyond her work on the air. She’s proud to be the Chair of the BC Women’s Hospital “Hope Starts Here” campaign, helping to raise $17 million dollars for a new Newborn Intensive Care Unit at BC Women’s Hospital. Tamara Chaired the 2014 Inspiration Gala for the BC Cancer Foundation which raised $5 million dollars for the POG Program, and this year she is committed to raising $3 million dollars for Immunotherapy Clinical Trials. Tamara also sits on the boards at The Kettle Friendship Society, the Pacific Parkland Foundation and The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Tamara is a big supporter of the Developmental Disabilities Association and the BC Centre for Ability. Tamara is a founding board member of the Rare Disease Foundation.

Tamara recently gave a TEDx talk called Two Conversations that Changed My Life. She compared the conversation she had with doctors when she was told her son had Down syndrome to the conversation with doctors when they told her she had cancer. Tamara is a strong advocate for her son and others with special needs, believing we are more the same than we are different.

Tamara lives in Vancouver with her husband David, a music producer and lead guitarist with 54-40. Together they are happily raising their three children Beckett, Zoë and Poppy.


 Cristine Urquhart

Cristine Urquhart, MSW, RSW, co-founder of Change Talk Associates, offers training and skills coaching across Canada in evidence-based communication practices to increase engagement and build motivation for health and related change. Passionate about improving the health of women and families, Cristine translates research to practice, integrating women-centred, motivational interviewing and trauma-informed approaches. She has worked with the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health since 2005 on numerous FASD prevention initiatives. Cristine is a member of the international Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, an instructor at the University of British Columbia and a published author.


For the full lineup of presenters and topics, please view the conference brochure.