October 14 marked the fifth year of the 90by30 Annual Conference, a chance for community members to come together and rededicate themselves to the goal of reducing child abuse in Lane County 90 percent by 2030. This year, we were honored to have Mary Gordon, founder and director of Roots of Empathy, as the keynote speaker. Gordon's evidence-based program increases empathy in elementary school children by bringing an infant and caregiver, along with a Roots of Empathy faciliator, into the classroom for multiple visits over the course of a year. Lane County has been chosen as one of only a handful of sites in the U.S. to implement the program, and 90by30 will be helping to bring it to both rural and urban schools in 2018.
In addition to the keynote presentation, conference-goers heard status updates from each of the Regional Leadership Teams. All the rural teams have finished prevention planning and are ready to begin implementation of the prevention plans they worked so long and hard on. Eugene and Springfield will leap into asset mapping this fall, and use that information about the community to write their own prevention plans. Workshops on equity and diversity - important topics as we strive to fairly and equitably implement prevention strategies - rounded out the day. Immigrant populations, rural areas, and poverty were given special attention in workshops led by UO faculty, community members, and 90by30 staff.
The day ended with a glimpse at the "Play Your Part" media campaign that 90by30 will roll out next year as a countywide prevention strategy to change social norms around child abuse. Cast members from the Rose Children's Theater's production of "The Lion King Jr." sang us out.
A special thanks is due to our sponsors: Lane Community College, the UO College of Education and Student Diversity Affairs Committee, the Eugene Masonic Lodge #11, United Way, Lane County Public Health, and Friends of 90by30.