September news & updates

September 9, 2022 | Issue 21

Outcomes Team Meetings

High School Graduation – Tuesday, September 13, 2022

PECAN – Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Convener Meeting

  Convener Meeting – Friday, October 14, 2022 (in-person)

Resources for Educators

Message from the Director

Dear Friends,

Here we are again, at the end of a season and aligning ourselves for the start of a new one - and there’s work ahead for everyone!

For children and students, it is a time of aligning actions in anticipation of a new beginning, a new school year! A time of looking forward to the challenge of learning new things, of seeing old friends and making new ones, and engaging in activities that shape their identities and build character. For parents, it is yet another year in our most prolific role to shape and develop the lives we’ve been entrusted with.  


Welcome our New Board Chair

Welcome Dr. Lorna Washington

ROC the Future is pleased to announce that Dr. Lorna Washington has been selected as Chair of the Convener Board.

Dr. Washington is the Senior Program Officer with the William & Sheila Konar Foundation, focusing on PreK-12 Education and Civic & Cultural initiatives. She was formerly the East EPO - Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Planning responsible for monitoring the implementation of the school turnaround model for East High School in partnership with the University of Rochester. 


10th Annual State of Our Children Address


Your support as a sponsor will help ensure that our collective efforts remain strong as we celebrate 11 years of collective impact. We welcome your support by signing on to sponsor the 10th annual State of Our Children Address happening Thursday, November 17, 2022.

For a 3rd year in a row, this important community event will be offered at no cost to attendees, and all dollars raised will help us continue to align efforts, mobilize resources, and increase our impact.

Sponsor Now


Each year, the State of Our Children Address provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our partners who are at the forefront leading our work.

Our 3 awards are the Jacque Cady Award, the Parent Leader Award, and the Organizational Partner Award. Click the link below to access the nomination form, read through each award description, and nominate a person or organization connected to the ROC the Future Alliance whose work most aligns with our collective impact approach and lifts up this year's theme: Aligning for Change.

Nominate Now
Network News

High School Graduation Outcomes Team Reboot

We are excited to announce that the High School Graduation Outcome Team (HSGOT) is under new leadership! The new co-chairs of HSGOT are Shawanda Evans of MCC and Nicolle Haynes of Rochester City School District, and includes almost a dozen new members. On Friday, August 19, the HSGOT came together for a half-day retreat experience at MCC. The goals of this retreat were: building relationships; centering racial equity; grounding our work in literature and data; and to begin drafting a High School Graduation strategy for the fall. The HSGOT co-chairs and ROC the Future Alliance's Backbone Team collaborated to design and facilitate the retreat. The day was full of thoughtful engagement. The HSGOT team meets again on September 13 from 6-7:30pm via Zoom.

Whole Child Initiative 

ROC the Future’s Whole Child Initiative (WCI) is a coordinated, cross-sector, community-wide commitment that centers children from prenatal through school age transitions as well as their families. This holistic approach recognizes the developmental continuum across childhood in all developmental domains: identity, spirituality, social-emotional, cognitive, physical, mental health, language(s), and learning.

The WCI recognizes that children grow and develop within caregiving relationships and environments while acknowledging the lasting effects of racism and inequities, violence, poverty, and lack of access.


The WCI is off to a great start with progress being made in the development of a Core Team as well as Subgroups in the following areas: participatory evaluation, parent/family partners, distributed leadership, systems mapping, future search, and WCOT implementation.

We’ve also included parent leadership at all levels (Core Team and Subgroups) and are in the process of filling several vacancies, including the Whole Child Initiative Director, Administrative Assistant, and Family and Community Engagement Specialist.

Parent Power

The Parent Engagement Collaborative Action Network (PECAN) is excited for the upcoming school year. We want to thank all parents who worked with us this summer to inform the work of the Whole Child Initiative. In addition to that, we are diligently working to ensure the growth and development of three strategic workgroups that will center the following parent priorities:

  1. Increasing the number of fathers participating in PECAN
  2. Parent leadership development
  3. Strategic planning to address teacher/student discipline in the RCSD.   


As we prepare for 2023, we will:

  • Elect two new parent co-chairs  
  • Create a PECAN operations guidebook designed by parents


We are excited for the work ahead and invite you to attend our public meeting on Thursday, September 27th via Zoom

Now Accepting Nominations: Youth Leadership Coalition

The Youth Leadership Coalition (YLC) is now accepting nominations for new participants. The YLC is a ROC the Future Alliance, youth-led, collective impact initiative that works in partnership with various community agencies serving youth. We are dedicated to empowering scholars in Rochester’s youth leadership and youth development programs. 

Leveraging a network of community conveners, justice fighters and system changers, this group of teens use their voices to inform policies and practices. Participants learn important leadership and advocacy skills and then become trainers to prepare new participants to become youth leaders.

To apply for our next cohort, youth must:

  1. Be enrolled in a youth development partnership program or attending an Alliance partnership school.  
  2. Accept the responsibility to enroll, participate as a full YLC Ambassador, and complete 8 leadership development trainings. 
  3. Be recommended by a youth program director, PECAN parent/family partner or YLC trainer.

After the first year, Ambassadors may elect to facilitate trainings under the “Train the Trainer” curriculum track.

Nominate Now

Families Together: Foundations for Leadership Reflection

By: Tina Carney, Parent Leader

Thanks to ROC the Future Alliance, last month, I was grateful to attend Families Together: Foundations for Leadership—a parent/ caregiver workshop series in Albany, NY. I was joined by two other Rochester parent leaders and met a few other NYS parents. We listened to several presentations about a variety of topics including: positive language for parents, the importance of supporting youth self-advocacy, self-care, etc. We created vision posters, planted flowerpots, colored postcards and had several informal conversations throughout the weekend while enjoying each other's company. 


Women of Color Summit 2022

On August 4th, Kilolo Moyo-White, Family and Community Engagement Specialist, was invited to be a panelist at the 4th Annual Women of Color Summit, sponsored by Eleversity.  

This event was comprised of three virtual conference experiences celebrating the narratives of Women of Color in the workplace. The theme was Authenticity in Action; Restoration in Practice.

Some of Our Favorite Back-to-School Photos

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