AGENDA

**Click here to see breakout sessions and connecting opportunities offered throughout the day.

April 22

Day 1

1:00p

Doors Open

3:00p

Opening Session

4:30p

Breakout sessions

7:00p

Exclusive Movie Viewing

April 23

Day 2

8:30a

Breakout sessions

10:00a

General Session

1:00p

Breakout sessions

2:30p

General Session

4:15p

Breakout sessions

6:30p

Celebration Banquet

April 24

Day 3

8:15a

Worship (Optional)

9:15a

General Session

10:45a

Networking Time

12:45p

Breakout sessions

2:00p*

Closing Session

*Conference ends at 3pm

April 22

Day 1

1:00p

Doors Open

3:00p

Opening Session

4:30p

Breakout Sessions

7:00p

Exclusive Movie Viewing

April 23

Day 2

8:30a

Breakout Sessions

10:00a

General Session

1:00p

Breakout Sessions

2:30p

General Session

4:15p

Breakout Sessions

6:30p

Celebration Banquet

April 24

Day 3

8:15a

Worship (Optional)

9:15a

Breakout Sessions

10:45a

Networking Time

12:45p

Breakout Sessions

2:00p*

Closing Session

*Conference ends at 3pm

Where

Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

1600 Rte 291, Liberty, MO 64068

Night at the Midland!

Caring for the most vulnerable people in our community is a desire we all share. It takes leaders from all sectors working together to make the biggest impact possible. Churches, businesses, non profits, and agencies caring together. And being a leader in this space is hard work. We need each other to strengthen our resolve, celebrate victories, learn best practices, and make connections that matter. Our Celebration Banquet will be a time to do just this by recognizing the 2023 recipients of CarePortal’s Annual Awards.

CarePortal Conference Breakout Sessions

Monday

Breakout Session One

Tuesday

Breakout Session Two

Tuesday

Breakout Session Three

Tuesday

Breakout Session Four

Wednesday

Breakout Session Five

Monday (Breakout Session One)

April 22nd, 2024 | 4:30p-5:30p

Event Planning and CarePortal: Connections, Celebrations, and More!

Speaker: Courtney Ross

Planning events can be daunting, but is often a necessary part of being a CarePortal leader. This breakout session will walk through various aspects of event planning within the CarePortal network, highlighting important supports and best practices. 

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Unlocking Community Champions to Maximize Your Network’s Impact and Effectiveness

Speaker: John Larimer

This session will look at CarePortal through the perspective of a management, sales, marketing, and a ministry lens and combine them to offer an opportunity to explore how CarePortal can maximize impact and effectiveness through being a Community Champion in the network.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Serving the Materially Poor with Dignity

Speaker: Dr. Jyl Hall

This session explores the complex relationship between the Church and their engagement with the poor, framed within the Biblical mandate to help “the least of these.” We will address the importance of assisting those in need, even when it may seem counterintuitive. Furthermore, we will examine how scripture addresses structural causes of poverty and the ways in which we can genuinely impact the lives of the impoverished, all while fostering a compassionate and sustainable approach to charitable work.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Healing Trauma Through the Power of Attachment

Speaker: Staci Thomas

Chosen equips parents to be agents of healing for children involved in foster care. With a focus on healthy connections within the family system, trauma-related behaviors decrease and families stay together. This session will provide an overview of key aspects to healing trauma from maltreatment, why they are essential to help foster, adoptive and reunified parents as well as relative caregivers — and how you can begin to use them in your own work with families impacted by the child welfare system.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Faith, Race, and a Safe Place: How Multidisciplinary Partners Can Impact Racial Equity

Speaker: Dr. Becci Akin, Shanelle Dupree, Abby Fry

Attendees will journey with the Racial Equity Collaborative to clearly define problems and activate communities to change.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Tuesday (Breakout Session Two) 

April 23nd, 2024 | 8:30a-9:45a

How to Build a Robust Volunteer Network to Take Ownership of Local Ecosystems (Community Coordinators)

Speaker: Chris Campbell, Andrea Hogue, Kristin Langrehr

The role of Community Coordinator is often overlooked or underutilized in the CarePortal ecosystem, but the Implementing Partner in Oklahoma believes it to be the missing link to the healthy development of a local, sustainable ecosystem of care. 111Project has built a robust network of nearly 50 volunteer Coordinators supporting their respective communities alongside the staff of Regional Managers. In this session, 111Project leaders will share some key components to growing and retaining a volunteer base of Community Coordinators. Participants will learn how to implement these components in their cultural context.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

5 Foundations of Great Messaging (and How to Use Them as a CarePortal Community Champion)

Speaker: Mike Farag

Messaging from Community Champions needs to communicate core purpose in a way that touches the hearts and minds of the ideal advocates. Learn how to craft an engaging, mobilizing message that informs and inspires meaningful action.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Best Practices in Helping Families Succeed

Speaker:  Ryan and Kayla North

We live in a fast-paced world and need to find ways to help families retain and apply the information they learn. In this session, we will discuss best practices for spaced learning as well as learning in different modalities. This session will be informative and practical for those responsible for training anyone caring for kids who have experienced trauma.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Fundraising Demystified: Three Simple Skills to Fuel Your Mission and Amplify Your Impact

Speaker: Michael Mitchell

In this session, CAFO’s Michael Mitchell will break down three simple skills that consistently lead to lasting fundraising success.

Network Leaders

Agency Leaders

Best Practices in Community Collaboration: Schools, Churches, and CarePortal

Speaker: Dr. Pamela Shay, Alyssa Dabravalskas (facilitated by Olyvia Frederick)

This session will share the successes and learning opportunities of the collaboration between schools and churches, using CarePortal as a common tool.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Effectively Working with Local Churches and Organizations to Transform Foster Care

Speaker: Jason Weber

Foster care in many communities is often defined by the words “not enough.” But there is a pretty strong hunch that it doesn’t have to be that way. If only churches, organizations, and advocates could find a way to work together, it seems like providing more than enough for children and families would be possible. This session will introduce you to the principles, practices, and people of local foster care transformation through the power of working together.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Tuesday (Breakout Session Three) 

April 23rd, 2024 | 1:00p-2:00p

All Systems Go! Deploying Modern Technology Tools to Clarify Thinking, Organize Efforts, and Serve through CarePortal

Speaker: Edvardo Archer

This breakout will equip and empower CarePortal leaders to become more savvy at utilizing creative, organizational technology solutions to serve more children and families through the CarePortal platform. Certain types of technology are tools meant to make us more productive, but productivity tools are useless if they do not tell us the right things to focus on, and the right things to ignore. This workshop will offer principles to deploy tech solutions that will make our work more focused and precise.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Relaunching a CarePortal Network: Strategies, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned

Speaker: Josue Sanchez, Adam Kemper

This session will share about the CarePortal relaunch of the Arizona network, and the factors that led to it’s turnaround and success.

Network Leaders

Building Strong Relationships with Churches

Speaker: Valerie Crane

This session will ask the question- what does it look like, practically speaking, to partner with churches for the “long haul?” How can we stay encouraged and motivated to partner with churches even when it’s hard for us- and even when it’s hard for them?

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Balancing It All: Coordinating the Balance of Multiple Models to Meet Physical and Relational Needs

Speaker: Andrea Nuckolls, Patrick Neff

This breakout session will look at the implementation of both CarePortal and Promise 686 within a community, using CarePortal to meet physical needs and FAMs to meet relational ones. Highlighted will be how to present both models to churches, how to encourage churches to go deeper with vulnerable children and families, and best practices/lessons learned along the way.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

You Are Known, Loved, and Seen: Launching a Bed Building Ministry

Speaker: Mike Worley

Every child needs a bed- a safe place of comfort and shelter amidst the chaos. This one item is far and above the most requested item in the CarePortal network. In this session, we will give you the vision, plans, strategy, and practice to build beds for children who need them in your community!

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Meaningful Connections Change Everything: An Evidence-Based Case Study on CarePortal as a Tool in Reducing the Number of Children Entering the System of Care

Speaker: Courtney Ross

A deep dive into CarePortal’s published, evidence-based Case Study on three counties in Florida showing the impact of the CarePortal platform on the number of children entering the system of care, as well as recidivism within the prevention space.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Tuesday (Breakout Session Four) 

April 23rd, 2024 | 4:15p-5:30p

Utilizing Partnership to Maximize Organization Growth and Impact

Speaker: Sandra Flach, Kevin Enders, Casey Getzin (facilitated by Danielle Wright)

This session will examine opportunities and best practices of utilizing CarePortal as one tool within many at an organization (being a CarePortal Implementing Partner), and balancing implementing CarePortal while sustaining and growing a healthy organization as a whole.

Network Leaders

Developing a Deeper CarePortal Culture Within Your Church

Speaker: Dennis Graham Parker

CarePortal can be “just another program” to add to any church’s array of services to the community, but for many churches, it can open up a gateway to serving the poor and marginalized through not only meeting requests, but growing relationships. In this session, CarePortal Church of the Year 2022 Pastor Dennis Graham Parker will counsel attendees on growing CarePortal to become more than just an activity in the church, but a deeper part of a church’s culture entirely.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Made to Connect: Creating Safe Spaces for Vulnerable Families

Speaker: Ryan and Kayla North

Are you looking to make a real impact on your community? Do you want to connect with children and their families? Then you won’t want to miss this session. During Made to Connect: Creating Safe Spaces for Vulnerable Families, you’ll learn how to create a safe, welcoming, and loving environment for struggling children and families in your community. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of trauma and practical tools for working with kids who have experienced it.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

The Art and Science of Effective Church Engagement

Speaker: Jason Johnson

This breakout will provide practical principles to help approach potential church partners with clarity and confidence, as well as discuss insights for cultivating long-term, trust-based relationships with churches. Jason will share tools for resourcing, equipping, and activating churches to see their role fully realized in the vital work we do. (There will also be round table discussions and idea sharing.)

Network Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Wednesday (Breakout Session Five)

April 24th, 2024 | 12:45p-1:45p

Developing a Culture of Generosity through Setting Goals and Consistent Workflows

Speaker: Stephanie D Moore

This breakout session will examine how to develop a giving workflow within an organization that allows for consistency, diversity, and accuracy to reach targeted goals.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Community Gatherings Change Everything

Speaker: Adam Kemper, Andrea Hogue

We know there is power to be found in community! It is a gift to the community for someone to be facilitating the connection between all who are working to advocate and care for children and families in their local area, creating space for collaboration, connection, and community to help make the efforts of care more effective and efficient. This session will look at the CarePortal rhythm of Active Community Gatherings, and the impact they have on the CarePortal network and requests met.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Building Community Unity through CarePortal: One Neighborhood at a Time

Speaker: Renae Denbow

There are many strategies to implementing CarePortal! This session will look at implementation through a “neighborhood by neighborhood” approach, and highlight the outcomes and best practices including community building, church unity, and overall impact and outreach.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

What’s Next: Navigating Relationships After Meeting a CarePortal Request

Speaker: Claudia Fletcher

Participants will develop a clear understanding of how to navigate the complexities of relationships with families in crisis after the initial CarePortal request is met.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

CarePortal Statewide: The Florida Story

Speaker: Danielle Wright, Erik Dellenback

CarePortal partners uniquely with the state of Florida, and the state as a whole is “all in” on serving children and families from hard places. This session will explore the partnership between the state and CarePortal, implemented largely through smaller organizations throughout the state, and what it looks like when faith-based institutions, localized nonprofits, state and community based agencies, and business all work together towards the common goal of child and family well-being.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Simple Soul Care for Busy Ministry Leaders

Speaker: Michael Mitchell, Janelle Shelton

This session will provide leaders with practical tools and guidance for caring for their souls through spiritual practices like meditation, prayer, and quiet reflection. There will be times of silence, scripture meditation, and quiet prayer/reflection as well as some framing and explanations around the why and how of these spiritual discipline practices.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Made to Connect: Creating Safe Spaces for Vulnerable Families

Speaker: Ryan and Kayla North

Are you looking to make a real impact on your community? Do you want to connect with children and their families? Then you won’t want to miss this session. During Made to Connect: Creating Safe Spaces for Vulnerable Families, you’ll learn how to create a safe, welcoming, and loving environment for struggling children and families in your community. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of trauma and practical tools for working with kids who have experienced it.

Network Leaders

Church Leaders

Champion Leaders

Agency Leaders

Ariel Moore Headshot Blue

Ariel Moore

Senior Director for the Center for Social Innovation at Oklahoma State University

Ariel Moore is the Senior Director for the Center for Social Innovation at Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City where she gets to help lead people coming out of backgrounds of criminal justice involvement, poverty, trauma, substance abuse, and many other barriers into enriching lives full of purpose and hope through individualized opportunities for education, training, and support.

Her personal journey has been one filled with brokenness, homelessness, addiction, incarceration and finally, redemption. After experiencing the pain of losing her own child into the foster care system when he was 6 months old, she was able to use that experience as the catalyst towards her own personal and spiritual transformation.

“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own
glory.” Isaiah 61:3

Darrell Missey

Director of Children’s Division

Darrell Missey is the Director of Children’s Division.  He graduated from Truman State University, in Kirksville, MO in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.  He then attended St. Louis University School of Law, graduating in 1992.  After law school, Darrell Missey practiced law at the Wegmann Law Firm in Hillsboro, MO, where he engaged in general civil practice, which included a large number of juvenile delinquency and dependency cases.  He was elected associate circuit judge in 2002 and was assigned the juvenile docket at that time.  He was elected Circuit Judge in 2014 and served as Presiding Judge of Jefferson County from 2016 – 2020, during which time he also served as Administrative Judge of the Family Court.  During his time as judge, he served on Missouri’s Family Court Committee, the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Replication Team, the Detention Standards Review Committee and the Children’s Services Commission.  He left the bench to assume the duties of Director of Children’s Division in January 2022.

            Darrell has been married to his wife, Andrea, for 34 years, and they have three adult daughters.

Ryan North

Founder of One Big Happy Home

Ryan North is the co-founder of One Big Happy Home and creator of The Empowered Parent Podcast, a popular resource for practical strategies on raising children with trauma and attachment issues. He is a recognized expert on childhood trauma, a certified TBRI Practitioner, and develops training materials for parents, schools, churches, and child-placing agencies. Ryan is a sought-after speaker known for his engaging and practical approach to adoption and foster care. He and his wife, Kayla have six children, four of which were adopted from foster care.

Mark Atkinson

Neighborhoods Director for LEAD.NYC

Mark simply describes himself as a man who, “Loves God and Loves People”.  After struggling, with suicidal thoughts, depression, and a lack of purpose in life, Mark came to know God at the age of 15. Since that day he has been on a journey to get to know God in a genuine way, and point other people to the only one who can give true purpose and fulfillment to our lives. 

Mark was called to preaching shortly after beginning his walk with God when he preached his first message during a youth-led service at his home church, the Church of God of East New York, in Brooklyn, New York under the leadership of Rev. Clifton McDowell, Sr. Shortly after his message he knew this was part of  what God had called him to do.

Mark pursued his bachelor’s in Rhetorical Studies and Sociology at Hofstra University. During his time there, Mark had the privilege of holding various leadership positions, including, President of Hofstra’s chapter of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Discovery Leader, Hofstra University’s Stand-Out Student, Student Government Senator, Chair of the Student Government Appropriations Committee, and Hofstra University Student Government President. 

Afterwards, he soon accepted a position as a Teacher in Residence at Achievement First Brownsville Middle School and worked to be promoted to Lead 8th Grade History Teacher within half a year. During his time at AFBRMS, he has served as Grade Level Chair, Resident Advisor, Mentor Teacher, and Dean of History Curriculum and Instruction. During his tenure as a teacher, Mark’s students showed both the highest growth and absolute achievement results of all students across the Achievement First Network in 8th Grade U.S. History. During his last year, he received the title of Distinguished and Exemplary Teacher and Leader from the Achievement First Network. 

After transitioning out of the education sector, Mark served as the Neighborhoods Director for LEAD.NYC where he managed the 10 Zip Codes Project which sought to make systemic change in the 10 most struggling communities in the New York Metro Area.

Mark currently serves as the NYC Area Director for CarePortal which is a connecting platform that drives action for kids and families in crisis in order to reverse the foster care crisis nationally. He also loves serving as an Associate Minister at the Church of God of East New York under the leadership of our Presiding Elder. Mark also serves on the Advisory Board for the National Fellowship for Black and Latino Male Educators (NFBLME) and also serves on the Board of Directors for the nonprofits “New Life of NYC” and “We Rise 365.”

His three goals in life are to preach, teach, and influence government legislation to see individuals, families, and cities be completely whole and filled with Upstream Kingdom Justice. “I just want to be known as a small man with a Huge God.”

Bishop Aaron Blake Sr.

Orphan Care Ambassadors

In 2004, Bishop Aaron Blake Sr., a foster dad of six engrafted sons, stood before his church congregation at the Greater Faith Community Church of Brownwood, Texas and challenged them to “stand up” to care for children. Over the next decade, this faithful church of less than 200 members became family to scores of children previously residing in the foster care system. Due to this effort, Brown County Texas became the first county in that state to have more families waiting for kids than kids waiting for families.  

As the movement grew stronger, agency and state leaders took note. This was the birth of Stand Sunday. The second Sunday in November became known as Stand Sunday. Stand Sunday and Orphan Sunday have become the foster and adoption promotional message reaching across the nation and around the world.

Bishop W.C. and Donna Martin

Orphan Care Ambassadors

For more than 20 years, Bishop W. C. Martin has served the community of Possum Trot, Texas as pastor of Bennett Chapel. In this tiny Texas town, Bishop W.C. and Donna Martin adopted four children who were in foster care. Their sacrifice triggered an avalanche of love that touched more than 70 children in need of an adoptive family. This miraculous adventure has become one of the premier adoption stories in America. Bishop Martin and Donna have appeared on such programs as “Oprah,” “Dateline NBC,” and “Good Morning America” to tell this miraculous story. Martin’s vision for the church in America is to encourage Christians to care for orphans so that no child will be left without a loving home.

Ryan and Kayla North

Founders, One Big Happy Home

Ryan and Kayla North are a dynamic husband-and-wife duo who have dedicated their lives to strengthening families and equipping parents with the tools they need to create loving and thriving homes. Through their impactful work with One Big Happy Home and The Empowered Parent Podcast, Ryan and Kayla have become trusted voices in the realm of foster and adoptive parenting, as well as nurturing healthy family dynamics.

Their unwavering commitment to empowering parents and strengthening families has earned them a well-deserved reputation as leaders in the field of parenting and child development. Through conferences, workshops, online courses, articles, and personalized coaching their transformative work continues to inspire and guide countless parents on their journey towards creating harmonious and thriving households. Their passion for adoption and foster care is deeply personal. They have six children, four of whom joined their family through adoption from the foster care system. 

Ryan and Kayla founded One Big Happy Home as a platform to provide parents with valuable resources, guidance, and support as they navigate the journey of raising children. Through their articles, videos, and online community,  they offer practical strategies and emotional support that empower parents to address trauma, behavior challenges, and attachment issues. Their approach is rooted in empathy, understanding, and evidence-based techniques, creating a space where parents can learn and grow together.

The Empowered Parent Podcast is a powerful extension of their mission to empower parents and caregivers. Each episode delves into relevant parenting topics, offering insights, expert interviews, and practical advice to help listeners navigate the challenges of parenting. Their warm and relatable on-air presence makes their podcast a go-to resource for parents seeking encouragement, wisdom, and actionable strategies.

Dr. Oneya Fennell Okuwobi

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Cincinnati

Dr. Oneya Fennell Okuwobi is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Cincinnati. Her research interrogates how diverse organizations affect racial inequality. Together with her husband, Dele, she planted 21st Century Church in Cincinnati, where she also serves as a teaching pastor. Oneya is the co-author of Multiethnic Conversations: An Eight-Week Journey toward Unity in Your Church and Multiethnic Conversations for Kids.

Adrien Lewis

Founder and President, CarePortal

Adrien spent the first 10 years of his career serving as a business development professional in healthcare, technology, and education companies. In 2007, God turned Adrien’s life “right side up” on a mission trip to Haiti with his wife Cynthia, which began three years of volunteering with The Global Orphan Project. In 2010, God asked Adrien to leave the business world and advocate full time for orphaned and abandoned children within the ministry. This call ultimately led to him becoming a foster and adoptive parent and developing CarePortal as a connecting technology to drive action for local children and families in crisis.

Andy Crouch

Author & Entrepreneur

Andy is a Partner for Theology & Culture at Praxis, a venture-building ecosystem advancing redemptive entrepreneurship, where he serves as a teacher, mentor, and framework builder for his team, fellows, and community. He is also the author of The Life We’re Looking For (2022), The Tech-Wise Family (2017), Strong and Weak (2016), Playing God (2013) and Culture Making (2008). Andy was executive editor of Christianity Today from 2012 to 2016. His work and writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Time—and, most importantly, he received a shout-out in Lecrae’s 2014 single “Non-Fiction.” Andy studied classics at Cornell University and received an M.Div. summa cum laude from Boston University School of Theology. He lives in Swarthmore, PA with his wife and two children.

Scott Platter

Vice President of Platform Implementation, CarePortal

Scott has served on The Global Orphan Project team since 2016. Scott’s current role provides him the opportunity to build relationships with a wide range of ministry partners across the U.S. and Canada, while helping them expand their work through the use of the CarePortal platform. Scott’s passion and skills for managing relationships and improving operations were honed in two prior chapters of his career, spent leading organizations in telecom and financial services. Both of these marketplace experiences can now be seen as divine preparation for his current ministry work, where he is called to navigate the intersection of church, state and business. Scott also enjoys the privilege of serving his local church by leading local and global missions activities. 

 

Scott and his wife, Lynn, have been married for over 25 years and have two teenage sons through the grace of adoption. They have also become mom and dad to two international students — young men from China and Malawi — who have been engrafted into their family for the high school years and into their hearts forever.

Joe Knittig

CEO, The Global Orphan Project

A trial lawyer by background, Joe co-founded a national litigation firm. In 2005, Joe joined the board of directors of C3 Missions International, a small ministry started by Mike and Beth Fox to empower local churches to lead community-based care of children and families in crisis.  In January of 2007, Joe became the CEO of C3 Missions serving as a volunteer, eventually exiting his business to lead the ministry’s expansion as The Global Orphan Project, Inc. (“GO Project”). 


Currently, Joe oversees the whole of the organization and its international and domestic work in ministry and marketplace, including CarePortal, the flagship Care-Sharing platform to reverse the foster care crisis in the United States, and GOEX Apparel.

Heather Rice-Minus

President and CEO of Prison Fellowship

Heather Rice-Minus is the President and CEO of Prison Fellowship.

Heather first joined Prison Fellowship in 2013. During her tenure at the ministry, she has led teams that build partnerships with churches, help strengthen relationships between incarcerated parents and their children, foster partnerships with donors at every level, and advocate for a restorative approach to justice. She has played a leading role in the passage of landmark criminal justice legislation, including of the FIRST STEP Act and the reinstatement of Pell grants for incarcerated students.

A sought-after public speaker on the intersection of faith, justice, and incarceration, Heather has addressed audiences at national conferences and events including Wilberforce Weekend, Q Ideas Conference, and more. She has also contributed to Christianity Today, Slate, CBN News, The Marshall Project, PBS’ Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, and many other media outlets.

Previously, Heather managed prison reform advocacy efforts at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and taught English in East Africa.

She graduated cum laude from Colorado State University with a degree in liberal arts and social work. After earning her J.D. from George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, she became a member of the Virginia State Bar, a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network and Faith & Public Life Ideas Council, and a Colson Fellow.

She resides in Southeast Washington, D.C., with her husband and two daughters.

Secretary - Shevaun Harris

Florida DCF

Shevaun Harris has served as Secretary for the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) since February 2021. She brought with her an innovative vision and a commitment to improving Florida’s approach in supporting vulnerable children and families. Her leadership is marked by a belief in empowering Floridians to thrive independently and harnessing the power of partnership to support strong and resilient families.

Secretary Harris began her career as a social worker, which led to her true passion – policy and administration in the field of health and human services. She spent nearly two decades at the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), where she excelled and served in key roles, including Acting Secretary. The majority of her tenure at AHCA was focused on the administration of the multi-billion dollar Florida Medicaid program, impacting millions of Floridians through implementation of sound policy and quality improvement efforts. 

Her pursuit of excellence continued at DCF. She immediately began seeking opportunities for improvement, asking hard questions, and challenging the status quo, with a specific focus on programmatic and cross-agency integration. The result has been significant people-focused changes that have elevated DCF’s work and improved outcomes for Florida’s children and families.

Under her leadership, DCF has sought to capitalize on each encounter to ensure that families’ needs are addressed holistically and to create pathways for success rooted in prevention and integrating systems. Crowning achievements include the launch of Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, spearheaded by First Lady Casey DeSantis, which supports individuals in becoming economically self-sufficient; the launch of Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE), a vital tool in Florida’s fight against the opioid epidemic; and the establishment of the child welfare accountability system, created to drive performance improvement.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social work from the Florida State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Quinnipiac University. She has two daughters, and her experience as a mom serves as a guidepost in her role as DCF Secretary.

Deb Shropshire, MD

Director, Oklahoma Human Services

Deb Shropshire, MD, serves as the Director of Oklahoma Human Services and the Cabinet Secretary for the Human Services agencies.  She is a pediatrician who, during medical school, fell in love with the professionals who serve children in foster care.  In addition to focusing her medical practice on children and youth involved with the child welfare system, she worked alongside and eventually within Oklahoma Human Services.  Dr. Shropshire’s dad was a pastor, so engaging the local church was a natural opportunity that she was comfortable stepping into, and in 2015, while serving on the Child Welfare leadership team, she helped the state launched CarePortal in a pilot county before partnering with 111Project to implement across the state.

Shevaun Harris

Secretary, Florida DCF

Shevaun Harris has served as Secretary for the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) since February 2021. She brought with her an innovative vision and a commitment to improving Florida’s approach in supporting vulnerable children and families. Her leadership is marked by a belief in empowering Floridians to thrive independently and harnessing the power of partnership to support strong and resilient families.

Secretary Harris began her career as a social worker, which led to her true passion – policy and administration in the field of health and human services. She spent nearly two decades at the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), where she excelled and served in key roles, including Acting Secretary. The majority of her tenure at AHCA was focused on the administration of the multi-billion dollar Florida Medicaid program, impacting millions of Floridians through implementation of sound policy and quality improvement efforts. 

Her pursuit of excellence continued at DCF. She immediately began seeking opportunities for improvement, asking hard questions, and challenging the status quo, with a specific focus on programmatic and cross-agency integration. The result has been significant people-focused changes that have elevated DCF’s work and improved outcomes for Florida’s children and families.

Under her leadership, DCF has sought to capitalize on each encounter to ensure that families’ needs are addressed holistically and to create pathways for success rooted in prevention and integrating systems. Crowning achievements include the launch of Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, spearheaded by First Lady Casey DeSantis, which supports individuals in becoming economically self-sufficient; the launch of Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE), a vital tool in Florida’s fight against the opioid epidemic; and the establishment of the child welfare accountability system, created to drive performance improvement.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social work from the Florida State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Quinnipiac University. She has two daughters, and her experience as a mom serves as a guidepost in her role as DCF Secretary.

Evan Feinberg

Executive Director of Stand Together Foundation

Evan Feinberg is senior vice president of Stand Together and the executive director of Stand Together Foundation, where he leads Stand Together’s efforts to transform communities and empower every person to live a life of meaning and purpose. In his role, Evan collaborates with nonprofit leaders across the U.S. on how to apply empowerment approaches to non-profit leadership and social change efforts.

Prior to joining Stand Together, Evan became one of the first millennials to run for the U.S. Congress after serving as a senior policy aide in the U.S. Senate. His wife, Sarah, is a Marine Corps veteran and accomplished finance professional. Evan and Sarah live in northern Virginia with their three boys: Luke, Zack, and Jake.