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: “The Impact of Adolescent Social Exclusion and Rejection” by C. Nathan DeWall, Ph.D.
  • 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

“The Impact of Adolescent Social Exclusion and Rejection”

Presented by C. Nathan DeWall, Ph.D.

Most people crave social acceptance. Like a sweet snack, social acceptance is pleasant, rewarding, and, in moderate amounts, associated with good health. Social rejection, in contrast, thwarts the fundamental need for positive and lasting relationships, which strikes at the core of well-being.

DeWall will present a program of research on the power of social rejection in shaping cognition, emotion, and behavior. He will explore how social rejection influences a variety of responses, from self-regulation to aggression, and how bullying can leave mental and physical scars that last for decades.

He will explain how responses to social rejection share common overlap with physical pain processes. Finally, he will illustrate how people cope with social rejection.

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 extra-curricular activities, techniques to empower your students, and advice on how to best intervene when needed.

The Professional Educator Track includes:

  • Keynote Presentation: “The Impact of Adolescent Social Exclusion and Rejection” by C. Nathan DeWall, Ph.D.
  • Your choice of two of these workshops:
    • The Bully Mindset Shift
    • End Empathy Erosion: Developing a Class Culture that is Kind and Inclusive Using Empathy, Skills and Processes
    • No Excuses - Inclusive Education for ALL
    • What Do We Do About “That Kid”?
    • Boxed Lunch
    • Exclusive for Educators: Empowerment in a Box training by Kids Empowered founder Kimber Bishop-Yanke
    • Empowerment in a Box kit to take back to your classroom
  • Option of applying for SCECH credits through Oakland Schools (An additional fee to be paid to Oakland Schools by check on the day of the conference).

The Professional Educator Track fee is just $50 per person.

Register for Pro Track

Download the Informational Flyer

“The Impact of Adolescent Social Exclusion and Rejection”

Presented by C. Nathan DeWall, Ph.D.

Most people crave social acceptance. Like a sweet snack, social acceptance is pleasant, rewarding, and, in moderate amounts, associated with good health. Social rejection, in contrast, thwarts the fundamental need for positive and lasting relationships, which strikes at the core of well-being.

DeWall will present a program of research on the power of social rejection in shaping cognition, emotion, and behavior. He will explore how social rejection influences a variety of responses, from self-regulation to aggression, and how bullying can leave mental and physical scars that last for decades.

He will explain how responses to social rejection share common overlap with physical pain processes. Finally, he will illustrate how people cope with social rejection.

Choose one of the following breakout workshops:

The Bully Mindset Shift

Presented by Melody Arabo

Arabo will show teachers and administrators and other adults who work with kids and teens how to bully-proof classrooms and schools by shifting the culture, conversations, and lessons around bullying. This interactive session aims to break the bully stereotype that is created through the media, and instead, identify the “bully” in all of us. Arabo will explain how to empower kids to communicate effectively with problem solving strategies that foster independence. She will explore underlying issues that contribute to bullying in the classroom, and deepen understanding of the power of empathy. Parents and other adults who work with children are also welcome to attend this workshop.

End Empathy Erosion: Developing a Class Culture that is Kind and Inclusive using Empathy, Skills and Processes

Presented by Jason Hill, M.Ed.

In this collaborative seminar, teachers will work with colleagues and Birmingham Public Schools administrators to define the challenges and best practices involved in building programs that successfully support character education. Learn ways to develop a class/community culture that builds empathy in children, teach skills so our children can become upstanders, and put processes in place to minimize the opportunity for social rejection.

Choose one of the following breakout workshops:

Workshop: No Excuses - Inclusive Education for ALL

Presented by Melody Arabo

Are you an administrator that wants to make your school more inclusive for students with disabilities? Are you a teacher that wants more support to meet the needs of your most diverse learners? In this session, we will discuss a special education system that has designed a culture of exclusion and explore research-based techniques that support teachers and foster success for ALL students in inclusive general education settings. These include Universal Design for Learning, co-teaching and push-in models, Peer to Peer programs, and more.

What Do We Do About “That Kid”?

Presented by C. Nathan DeWall, Ph.D.

DeWall will delve further into the science behind bullying, and how it can be used to make a difference in schools. Participants will explore the physical, performance-related and social-personality traits of the bully and a bully’s target, and learn why it can sometimes be hard to identify who is the bully and who is being bullied. Emotional empathy, self-esteem building and learning to take others’ perspective will be explored as methods to address both the bully and the target.

Presented by Kimber Bishop-Yanke, MIM

Participants will learn how to teach kids the skills and strategies needed, words to say, volume and tone of voice, assertive body language and more to manage unfriendly situations with peers. The goal is to shut down unfriendly situations before they turn into bullying. Participants will explore the curriculum used in the Empowerment in a Box kit. This up-to-the-minute curriculum has been used in workshops and classrooms across the world for over 18 years, with praise from students, educators and parents alike. Each participant will also receive an Empowerment in a Box kit to take back to their school.


Event Location

Seaholm High School

2436 West Lincoln
Birmingham, MI 48009
Get Directions