Baratunde Thurston

Keynote Speaker

Best-selling author, activist, and comedian

Baratunde Thurston is an Emmy-nominated host who has worked for The Onion, produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black.

Read his full bio here.

Jamilah Lemieux


Activist, communications consultant, podcast host and award-winning writer

Jamilah works across multiple platforms with a focus on race, gender, and social issues.

Read her full bio here.

Dawnielle Jeffrey


Children’s Home & Aid’s Vice President, Early Childhood Services

Dawnielle conducts the administration of all early childhood programming: inspiring, implementing, and leading our programs.

Read her full bio here.

Jen Agosti


Founder and President of JRA Consulting, Ltd.

Jen provides services focused on the transformation of organizational cultures in child and family service organizations.

Read her full bio here.

The two-part event will help us explore and better understand:

  • How will we ensure one’s ability to thrive is not predicated on their race, cultural background, economic status, or zip code?
  • What will it take to create a system that centers on families and relies on innovative solutions — transforming foster care into a system of last resort?
  • How will we help heal families and communities harmed by racial and social inequity?

Download Our Breaking Barriers Event One-Pager Here.


Schedule of Events

10:00am – 11:30am Welcome & Keynote Session
1:00pm – 2:30pm Conversations hosted by the agency’s Ahlquist Center for Policy, Practice & Innovation
2:30pm – 3:00pm Closing Session


Attendance is complimentary for the first 500 registrants.
+ Register

Become a Sponsoring Partner

View our sponsorship opportunities:
+ Opportunities

Register as a sponsor:
+ Sponsor


To give a gift in lieu of attending:
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To learn more about Breaking Barriers. Centering Families. Transforming Systems. please contact Laura Cordero at or 309.834.5294.