Featured Speakers


Kid Track

9 AM - 12:15 PM

Kids will be assigned to a Group Leader, who will guide them through 8 workshop stations full of interactive, fun activities taught by Detroit-area educators.

Kids will learn practical skills and strategies for dealing with mean behavior before it turns into a bullying situation, and the “do’s and don’ts” of being a friendly classmate and standing up for themselves.

A responsible adult must remain in the building while children participate in the program, and adults are encouraged to attend the Adult Track that is scheduled concurrently.

Register for Kid Track

Download the Informational Flyer

Kids will be broken into groups of 10-12 middle school kids and 3rd-5th graders.

If you are signing up with a group and have a Group Leader who is volunteering, please include their name in the registration.

Each lesson and activity lasts 20 minutes. Station topics include:

  • Self Esteem.
  • Using Your Voice. Kids will learn how their voices should sound when they stand up for themselves.
  • Words. Kids learn words and phrases they can say to shut down an unfriendly situation.
  • Problem solving skills. Kids learn easy-to-remember ways to resolve problems at recess, school or activities.
  • Body Language
  • What is a Friend? Kids learn to identify between classmates, allies and friends, and what to do if a friend engages in unfriendly behavior.
  • Getting Help. Kids learn the difference between situations they can resolve themselves, and those that need immediate adult intervention.
  • Don’t be a target.

Adult Track

9 AM - 12:15 PM

Parents, scout leaders, counselors, coaches and anyone who works with kids will learn the latest research on social rejection, and practical advice on how to recognize and help kids manage mean behavior and bullying in school and extra-curricular activities.

The Adult Track includes:

  • Keynote Presentation: "End Empathy Erosion: Developing a Kind and Inclusive Class Culture" Presented by Jason Hill, M.Ed. and Mark Morawski Ed.S.
  • Your choice of two of these workshops:
    • Social Media’s Impact on Mean Kid Behavior
    • The Social World of ADHDers
    • Empowering Children & Strengthening Family Connectivity with Children’s Books
    • Sibling Conflict and Bullying
    • A Mom’s Guide to Surviving the Social Jungle
    • Building Resilience in Kids and Teens
    • Frenemies, Toxic Friends, and True Friends
    • A Chip Off the Old Block - How Parent Groups and Volunteers Can Positively Impact School Culture
    • Stop the Madness! A Healthy View of Youth Sports

The Adult Track registration fee is just $15 per person.

Register for Adult Track

"End Empathy Erosion: Relentlessly Nurturing Empathy in our Children is the Key to their Future Success"

Presented by Jason Hill, M.Ed. and Mark Morawski Ed.S

Come learn firsthand why research points to empathy as a critical skill to nurture in our children. With Dr. Michelle Borba’s Habits of Empathy in mind, participants will identify practical ways to continue to nurture their children as empathetic individuals setting them up for future success in school, college, business, and life.

Adult Track attendees choose one of the following breakout workshops:

A Mom’s Guide to Surviving the Social Jungle

Presented by Lisa Kaplin, Psy.D., CPC

Gear up, moms (and dads)! Are you exhausted and stressed over trying to figure out your child’s social life?  In this workshop, we’ll take a look at some of the challenges in kid and teen friendships: queen/king bees, exclusivity, and unfriendly behaviors. We’ll also explore our adult friendships, and how we can best model the friendly behavior we want to encourage in our children. We’ll discuss techniques to manage social challenges, so that your child can thrive, not just survive.

Social Media’s Impact on Mean Kid Behavior

Presented by Julie Fisher

Remember when classmates prank called each other to be mean? Today, mean-spirited behavior has moved online. This presentation will explore how student online activity - and social media in particular - has expanded the playing field for mean kid behavior.  Parents will learn about the most popular sites for bullying activity, as well as ways to help students help themselves steer clear of bad behavior online.

The Social World of ADHDers

Presented by Drew Yanke

ADHD is known to effect social connectedness. If you have a kid with ADHD, this workshop will be a meaningful experience in which we will discuss the impact of ADHD on social connections and social understanding and awareness. You will walk away knowing you are not alone in dealing with this situation and several tips to help you help your kid navigate the social world in a better way.

Empowering Children & Strengthening Family Connectivity with Children’s Books

Presented by Maria Dismondy

In an era of glorified busyness, where families are spending less time together, it is important to explore realistic ways to influence our children. Children need to be taught important life skills such as problem solving, communication and decision making as they begin their journey in school. These skills, introduced at an early age, can empower our children to handle difficult situations they encounter during their many years of schooling. During this presentation, attendees will hear current research on childhood issues, then be provided with practical activities to engage in with your family, strengthening your relationships and modeling skills to your children. Parents will leave this session energized about making a difference in their child’s life, even in this busy day and age!

Adult Track attendees choose one of the following breakout workshops:

A Mom’s Guide to Surviving the Social Jungle

Presented by Lisa Kaplin, Psy.D., CPC

Gear up, moms (and dads)! Are you exhausted and stressed over trying to figure out your child’s social life?  In this workshop, we’ll take a look at some of the challenges in kid and teen friendships: queen/king bees, exclusivity, and unfriendly behaviors. We’ll also explore our adult friendships, and how we may be inadvertently modeling the same unfriendly behavior that we want to discourage in our youth. We’ll discuss techniques to manage social challenges, so that your child can thrive, not just survive.

Building Resilience 

Presented by Drew Yanke
Resilience is a key factor in the growth of emotional and social intelligence. In this workshop we will explore the three key factors to resilience; I AM, I HAVE and I CAN each of which has influence on resilience, but by themselves cannot accomplish the task. We will discuss strategies that can be applied at home and school and 10 tips to increased resilience and your child, all of which will help your child be able to navigate the social world.

Frenemies, Toxic Friends, and True Friends

Presented by Kimber Bishop-Yanke

Our kids’ world of friendship is filled with hot/cold friendships, transactional friends, and if they are lucky, true friendships.  Learn how to support your children in making friends, being a true friend, handling conflicts in friendship, and when friends are hot/cold and unfriendly.  Learn strategies and the words your child can use for unfriendly situations.   Our children’s friendships set the stage for healthy relationships in their adult life.

A Chip Off the Old Block - How Parent Groups and Volunteers Can Positively Impact School Culture

Parents and guardians regularly volunteer as PTA members, band and athletic boosters, classroom assistants, club and scouting sponsors, chaperones for field trips and dances, and in many other roles in schools across America.  We make a huge impact on school culture, but could we be inadvertently reinforcing a culture that supports mean-spirited behavior and bullying? We will examine how parent volunteers can best model the behavior we expect from students. We will also discuss practical, easy-to-implement tips for membership recruitment, event planning and communications, so that parent groups and volunteers can create a welcoming and inclusive environment for the students and families they serve.

Stop the Madness! A Healthy View of Youth Sports

In the past 20 years, the landscape of youth sports has changed dramatically.  The recreational aspects and higher values learned through team sports are being replaced with a highly competitive sports culture and “win at all costs” approach.  And kids are dropping out of youth sports at an alarming rate.  As a parent, educator and coach it’s so easy to get swept up in the changing tide of youth sports in our culture and miss out on the bigger picture - what’s best for our kids.  Join us in a conversation as we identify the new trends shaping youth sports, weigh out the costs and unintended consequences and discuss strategies to help find the balance for the sake of our kids.


Professional Educator Track

9 AM - 2:30 PM

Teachers, school counselors, administrators and other education professionals will learn the latest research on social rejection, practical advice on how to recognize mean behavior and bullying in school and extracurricular activities, techniques to empower your students, and advice on how to best intervene when needed.

The Professional Educator Track includes:

  • “Creating a Responsive and Respectful School Climate for Diverse Learners” Presented by Dr. Roger Cleveland
  • Your choice of two of these workshops:

Session 1 Workshop Choices

  1. ADHD in a Kid’s Social and Academic World, presented by Drew Yanke M.A., LLP
  2. End Empathy Erosion: Developing a Kind and Inclusive Class Culturem presented by Mark Morawski, Ed.S. and Jason Hill, M.Ed.
  3. K – 2 Grade Empowerment, presented by Dennis Rapal, M.A. and Jennifer Graham, M.Ed.

Session 2 Workshop Choices

  1. Anxiety in a Kid’s Social and Academic World, presented by Lisa Kaplin, Psy.D., CPC
  2. Be a Good Sport: Sportsmanship in Athletics, presented by Mike McCormick and Aaron Frank
  3. Developing Culturally Responsive Educators: From Theory to Practice, presented by Dr. Roger Cleveland
  • Boxed Lunch
Afternoon Session Choices
  1. Empowerment in a Box, presented by Kimber Yanke, MIM
    Practical Activities for Inclusion and Equity in the K-12 Classroom, presented by Jay Marks, Ph.D.
  2. Every participant receives an Empowerment in a Box kit to take back to your classroom
  3. Option of applying for SCECH credits through Oakland Schools (An additional $10 fee to be paid to Oakland Schools by check on the day of the conference).
  4. The Professional Educator Track fee is just $50 per person.
Register for Pro Track

Download the Informational Flyer

“Creating a Responsive and Respectful School Climate for Diverse Learners”

Presented by Dr. Roger Cleveland

This keynote address will examine the importance of creating a school culture that is conducive to learning for all children. A critical component in this initiative is the collaboration of families and school staff.  Participants will learn practical ways to create school cultures that promote equity and inclusion, and celebrate diversity.  This will be an interactive presentation that will allow all stakeholders (parents, teachers, staff, kids) to actively think about academic success and emotional wellbeing for each and every student.

Choose one of the following breakout workshops:

ADHD in a Kid’s Social and Academic World

Presented by Drew Yanke, M.A., LLP

What is life like for a child with ADHD? How does it affect their learning, classroom behavior, and friendships? This workshop offers tips on how to identify and prevent bullying and bullying target behaviors in children with ADHD. You’ll learn valuable tips to better manage your classroom, and how to work with parents to help their children succeed socially and academically.

End Empathy Erosion: Developing a Kind and Inclusive Class Culture

Presented by Mark Morawski, Ed.S. and Jason Hill, M.Ed.

Learn ways to develop a class/community culture that builds the habits of empathy in children and teaches skills so students become upstanders by speaking out, stepping in, and helping others.

K – 2 Grade Empowerment

Presented by Dennis Rapal, M.A. and Jennifer Graham, M.Ed.

West Bloomfield’s Roosevelt Elementary has implemented a social and emotional development program for K- 2 using the Kids Empowered curriculum. The activities are designed to teach younger students how to handle sticky situations, manage emotions, problem solve and make empowered decisions. They will share their experiences in teaching kids the “dos and don’ts” of being a friendly classmate.

Workshop Session 2

Choose one of the following breakout workshops:

Anxiety in a Kid’s Social and Academic World

Presented by Lisa Kaplin, Psy.D., CPC

Learn more about anxiety and its role in bullying behaviors, resilience, and happiness. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that twenty five percent of 13- to 18-year-olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Understanding the role anxiety plays in a student’s behavior and their social world is crucial to preventing bullying behaviors and kids becoming the targets of bullying.

Be a Good Sport: Sportsmanship in Athletics

Presented by Mike McCormick and Aaron Frank

In our youth sports-obsessed society, coaches and parents want to develop well-rounded athletes, but we often focus more on athleticism than good sportsmanship. This workshop takes a closer look at the mean-spirited behavior between athletes that takes place on the field, in the locker room and on the playground, and how adults may inadvertently encourage this behavior. We’ll discuss ways that coaches, teachers and parents can foster good sportsmanship to create winners both on and off the field.

Developing Culturally Responsive Educators: From Theory to Practice

Presented by Dr. Roger Cleveland

An organization should become more culturally responsive to provide effective services for their students, families and community. In a global society, a school district cannot be academically, socially or programmatically competent unless it is culturally competent and responsive to the needs of their students. This work session will provide strategies for participants who have been identified to lead professional development trainings for their school level staff.

Training: Empowerment in a Box

Presented by Kimber Bishop-Yanke, MIM

This session has everything you need to begin preventing mean-spirited behavior and bullying right away! We’ll introduce Empowerment in a Box, a unique series of lesson plans and activities to teach kids the social skills and strategies they need to handle sticky social situations with friends, classmates and teammates. Hands-on activities will cover being true to yourself, words to say, volume and tone of voice, assertive body language and more.

Practical Activities for Inclusion and Equity in the K-12 Classroom

Presented by Jay Marks, Ph.D.

This interactive workshop will provide participants (K-12 educators) with practical, hands-on strategies for creating an inclusive and equitable classroom environment. Participants will be introduced to practices and routines that they can implement immediately in their practice as it relates to curriculum, instruction, assessment, and classroom culture and climate.

*All afternoon session participants will receive an Empowerment in a Box kit, including a teacher guide, to take back their schools. Empowerment in a Box has been utilized in workshops and classrooms across the world, with praise from students, educators and parents alike. Educators will receive complete kit and teacher guide to take back to their school.

Event Location

Seaholm High School

2436 West Lincoln
Birmingham, MI 48009
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