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June 15, 2022

The Ally: So Many Ways to Work Together for Our Children


There are so many ways to work together for our children, and we are delighted to share several of them with you in this week's edition of the Ally. We are incredibly excited to inform you that our first in-person leadership training in over two years is on June 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hinds Behavioral Health in Jackson. This training is an excellent opportunity for parents, caregivers, and others who want to become more involved in policy.

Likewise, for parents and caregivers interested in policy, especially regarding very young children, we encourage you to learn more about Mississippi Thrive's Advisory Board. Read more about it here.

This week we share some thoughts with you about Juneteenth. We hope that will be informative to your family and help all of us think more about the connections between Juneteenth and mental health.

We wish all dads, granddads, and men who act as dads a lovely Father's Day. We know your involvement in our children's lives makes a difference. Also, we offer a special shout-out to the dads on the Families as Allies Board. We appreciate George Stewart, our board president, sharing his thoughts and reminding us that no dad is ever alone.

Our Virtual: Bring Your IEP and Other School Questions is on June 16 at noon CDT. Any family with school questions is welcome. We encourage families to attend the Special Education Advisory Panel Meeting on June 22 at 10:00 a.m. CDT. Our Leadership Coaching and Policy Discussion is on June 22 from noon to 1:00 p.m. CDT, and our Parent Peer Support Conversation for Anyone working with Parent Peer Supporters is on June 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. CDT. Please check out our events page for more opportunities to be involved.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash]

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I want to start by saying Happy Father’s Day to all fathers! Being a father on the board of Families as Allies means a lot.
We observe Juneteenth this coming Monday, its second year as an officially recognized federal holiday. From “Juneteenth (short for ‘June Nineteenth’) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865.
Our Leadership Training is for parents, caregivers and anyone interested in learning to serve on groups and committees.
The grant funding for MS Thrive! is ending, and our goal is to sustain the project through its advisory board committees.


Presenters, sponsors, and exhibitors will share information and innovations at Mississippi’s largest cross-disability conference.
The Mississippi State Board of Education meeting will be held on June 19th. Participants may attend live or view the meeting via live stream.
This hour is open for any family member to drop in for all or some of the time to ask questions or get feedback about IEP issues.
The BIDD has launched an awareness campaign recognizing March as Intellectual and Developmental Disability Awareness Month.
WRAP® is a wellness and recovery approach that helps people decrease and prevent intrusive or troubling feelings and behaviors.
The MAAC’s mission is “to study, make recommendations and develop a strategic plan on how best to educate and train students with ASD.
The Special Education Advisory Panel will meet on June 22, at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom. You may access the meeting either online or by phone.
This group will focus on opportunities for leadership training graduates to serve on decision-making groups, provide coaching guidance.
This webinar will explore the promises and pitfalls of various digitally-based and hybrid care services for families.
This conversation is for anyone working with parents providing peer support to other parents in any system.
This training is for anyone who is interested in learning to serve on decision-making groups and committees.
Families as Allies is about ALL of us and we want to hear your ideas and feedback on how we can move forward together.


Legally blind and alone, Katrina Byrd of Jackson, Mississippi, was reeling from her partner’s death from ALS when the pandemic sent her into isolation, cutting her off from the services and help she needed.
With greater access to resources, more LGBT youth are coming out (sharing their gay or transgender identity with friends, family, and other adults) during adolescence. So family members, teachers, and providers need accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity to help provide support for LGBT adolescents.