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Upcoming Events and Trainings  

Our Special 20th Anniversary Celebration --will be held the last week in May at the Silver Spring Civic Center--check our website for updates and watch your email for an invitation.  Special sponsorship opportunities available too!

Excel Beyond the Bell Collaborative Presents:
What's Inside Your Toolbox? Core Competencies for Youth Development Practitioners
Join us in learning how to support staff and serve as role models around professional development plans, building healthy relationships with colleagues and families, providing developmentally appropriate practices, and connecting with and using effective resources.

Speakers include Brodrick Clarke, Field Consultant, The Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, and Lynn Sobolov, Excel Beyond the Bell Manager, Collaboration Council!

To register for the webinar, click on image below!

Check out the new Core Competencies Tool Kit available here!

Many Voices for Smart Choices: Parent Academy
WHAT: Teen Substance Abuse: What Parents Need to Know 
WHEN: Monday, March 16, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
WHERE: Northwood High School, 919 University Blvd., West, Silver Spring 20901 
WHY: Teen substance use does not discriminate by race, socioeconomic status, or talent. Every child is at risk! Studies show that children who learn about the risks from parents are 50% less likely to use
(The Partnership for Drug Free Kids).

Leadership Montgomery is inviting youth to attend their Youth Leadership Montgomery Information Session on Thursday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the County Council Office Building in Rockville. For more information and to RSVP, please click here


Let's Get it Started, Sat., March 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Sponsored by LAYC, Montgomery County Recreation Department and Montgomery County Department of Economic Development.

Youth Summit 
WHEN: April 8th,
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Bohrer Park Activity Center,
506 S Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg, MD
The Youth Summit will involve a dialogue on youth advocacy, community policing, strategies for curbing violence, and building trust within our community.
For More Information Contact:
Moorosi Mokuena
Epworth United Methodist
(240) 899-3407

SAVE THE DATE! The Montgomery County Early Care and Education Congress presents:

The Road to Success: Engaging Families to Promote Social and Emotional Readiness for School

Keynote Speaker: Neal M. Horen, Ph.D., Director Early Childhood Division, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

8:15 a.m. to 12 noon

Johns Hopkins University

Rockville, MD

A $10 fee will cover resource materials and light refreshments. Click here for more information.

March 11, 2015

DMC Reduction Committee Explores Implicit Bias and its Impact on Youth 


Our Disproportionate Minority Contact Reduction Committee is actively exploring implicit bias and its impact on youth and their involvement with the juvenile justice system.  Recently, Dushaw Hockett, Executive Director of SPACEs, was invited to give a training for the DMC Reduction Committee and it was quite eye opening.  Mr. Hockett led the group through a series of exercises addressing how our subconscious brain guides our decisions and behaviors when interacting with others , resulting in a lot of "aha" moments.

"Last year, The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity published its first issue of the State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review to help raise awareness of 30 years of findings from neurology and social and cognitive psychology showing that hidden biases operating largely under the scope of human consciousness influence the way that we see and treat others, even when we are determined to be fair and objective. This important body of research has enormous potential for helping to reduce unwanted disparities in every realm of human life." ( 3/10/15)    


Mr. Hockett's work with SPACEs has been inspired by two things:  1) the rapid demographic changes taking place in the region (and the nation as a whole); and, 2) the observation that, increasingly, diverse communities are transacting with one another versus truly interacting; the need to create opportunities for people who do not look alike, talk alike, think alike and have not lived alike to see their story and experience in that of another person, or a person that they may perceive to be "the other."

When asked about the impact of his work, he says, "The biggest impact has been a shift in awareness.  More people now understand racial bias as being both intentional and/or implicit.  They see the relationship between racial bias at the individual level and institutional level and how the two interact.  And, even more important, people are beginning to understand that the hard work of de-biasing is about practicing new behaviors."


SPACEs works with individual leaders and organizations to achieve the following:

  • Bridge the gap between vision and impact. They use community organizing, facilitation, service delivery, coaching/training and dialogue to bridge the gap between what leaders and communities envision and what they actually achieve.
  • Take care of people who take care of people. They  use monthly retreats (also called "circles" or "spaces") to engage local leaders in the important work of reflection, relationship cultivation and rejuvenation. Monthly retreats allow leaders to engage work to transform inequitable systems and structures in deeper (and more healthy) ways. ( 3/10/15)
The Collaboration Council is looking forward to continuing this important conversation with the DMC Reduction Committee and throughout Montgomery County.

Check out your implicit biases here by testing yourself at Project Implicit:

Understanding Sexuality and Gender to Promote Social-Emotional Wellness Workshop  



The Collaboration Council hosted a new workshop, for youth development professionals, on President's Day called, "Into the Rainbow: Understanding Sexuality and Gender to Promote Social-Emotional Wellness."  The workshop was presented by Timothy Elliot, MSW, LCSW, from the Rainbow Youth Alliance.

Here's what the group had to say after the training:
  • Great questions and discussions. Worthwhile, please continue to offer this workshop.
  • I learned about resources I can use with the families and young people we work with - Timothy was a fantastic presenter - he made everyone feel respected and validated everyone's point of view.
  • Thanks for all the information, it is extremely helpful. Please more training on this topic.
  • Timothy was an excellent presenter. He provided much needed information that allowed participants to check our own views and get clarification on LGBTQ. Loved the terminology packet.
For more information and resources on this topic, please check out "Tips for Professionals Who Work with LGBT Youth" below and visit as well as
A special thank you to Lynn Sobolov, our Excel Beyond the Bell Manager, who helped bring this workshop to our community!

The Rainbow Youth Alliance (RYA) supports the community of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning teens and their allies - known as rainbow teens. RYA envisions a future in which rainbow teens have access to safe, nurturing environments where they are respected, listened to, and given information and skills. 

Check Out Our Many Voices for Smart Choices  

Fact Sheet on Prescription Opioids and Heroin  

Fact Sheet Update: On February 24, 2015, Governor Larry Hogan joined with Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford to announce the establishment of both the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force and a separate Inter-Agency Coordinating Council. Both groups will work and support efforts to address Maryland's growing heroin and opioid crisis.

"For far too long, state and local agencies have worked in silos with little communication and less coordination," said Governor Hogan. "The purpose of the inter-agency council and task force is to connect the dots of prevention, treatment, and recovery and maximize our resources and expertise to come up with real solutions to save and restore lives." Click here for full Maryland Governor Press Release