January 20, 2022

Registration Open for UnConference: Creating a Safe Place with Trauma-Informed Care

Registration is now open for Trying Together’s “UnConference: Creating a Safe Place with Trauma-Informed Care,” which will be held February 8 to February 18, 2022.

Between February 8-18, expert-led virtual workshops will share content related to trauma-informed care. We begin the UnConference with keynote speaker Dr. Veirdre Jackson and dive into how we can create an environment of healing through equity and trust. Following the keynote, workshop sessions include how to identify family stressors, how to provide responsive care-giving for children experiencing trauma, and an overview of the recently launched Rapid Response Team from Trying Together.

Registration is now open and specific workshop dates and times will be added. For a flat fee of $25, you may attend as many sessions (keynote or workshops) as you like. Sessions will also be recorded for viewing after the UnConference has completed. You must register for the UnConference in order to access session recordings.

PNC Grow Up Great is the series sponsor.

Featured Sessions

Keynote: Co-Creating A Healing Community of Equity & Trust

Tuesday, February 8, 2022 | 6:30 – 8 p.m. 
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Veirdre Jackson, Living Strong Consulting

Communities, however defined, are made up of people who bring a range of experiences and histories. Remaining open, curious, and culturally humble is essential to understanding a community’s resilience, strength, and wisdom. Claudia Woody says, “Inclusion means not ‘just we’re allowed to be there,’ but we are valued there.” Participants will explore the 5 Blocks of Building Restorative Relationships that allow caregivers to create holistic and supportive spaces that are responsive to historical trauma and equity literacy which holds us accountable to doing the work of learning together, seeking understanding, and creating a safe, valued, and heard community.

Rapid Response Team: Reducing Expulsions and Suspensions in Early Childhood Education

Thursday, February 10, 2022 |  6:30 – 8 p.m.
Presented by: Alicia Sebastian, Trying Together

This session will discuss the ongoing and growing issue surrounding expulsion and suspension in early childhood education that have been linked to staff implicit bias, challenging behaviors, and staffing issues. The presentation will guide parents, caregivers, directors and staff working with children ages 0-5 on how to prevent expulsion and suspension in early childhood education. The session will discuss ways to implement evidence-based strategies to promote positive behavior support, self-regulation, and positive mental health. We will share community resources and programs for children and families in Allegheny County.

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish, It’s Necessary: Practical Tools for Early Childhood Educators to Reduce Stress and Avoid Burn-Out

Monday, February 14, 2022  |  12:30 – 2 p.m.
Presented by: Tracy Larson, Director, Early Childhood Partnerships, Office of Child Development

In this session, participants will learn why self-care is necessary, how to recognize when they need to be more intentional about self-care, and research informed strategies and activities to reduce stress and avoid burn-out. At the end of the session, participants will create a personalized self-care plan.

Talking to Listen: Exploring Family Stressors and Creating Positive Relationships to Support Families

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 | 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Presented by: 
Patrick M. McKelvey, MS, NCC, National Youth Advocate Program Inc.

Children react differently to stress and trauma, which can sometimes exhibit itself as challenging behaviors in the classroom. This workshop helps educators understand the impact that family stressors (such as a death, food insecurity, changes in placement, community violence, etc.) can have on both children and their caregivers. Participants will learn how to notice these family stressors; how to communicate with caregivers to build relationships that provide a supportive environment for young children; and self-regulation strategies to manage strong emotions when having difficult conversations with caregivers.

Teaching Children Through a Trauma Lens

Thursday February 17, 2022 | 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Presenters:  Amanda Harrison, MA, LPC, NCC, Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant with the PA Keys

Research continues to show the detrimental effects that complex trauma has on the developing brain with our most vulnerable population. Over time, these young children are at risk for developmental delays, limited positive relationships, and a host of other difficulties. Our early education classrooms can create safe, responsive, and equitable environments to assist in reducing these harmful effects. This presentation will identify different types of trauma, how young children with trauma may present in the classroom, and supportive strategies teachers can implement to foster environments that encourage healing.


Registration for the UnConference: Creating a Safe Place with Trauma-Informed Care can be found on our UnConference page.

For a flat fee of $25, you may attend as many sessions (keynote or workshops) as you like. Sessions will also be recorded for viewing after the UnConference has completed. You must register for the UnConference in order to access session recordings.

Participants will receive PQAS and/or Act 48 hours.

More Information

For questions about the UnConference, contact Yu-Ling Cheng at For additional information, including FAQs, visit our UnConference page.


October 10, 2018

Statewide Conversations About Men in ECE Begin

Trying Together is partnering with First Up and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to conduct statewide conversations on how to better recruit, support, and retain qualified men into the field of early childhood education.

The topic of male representation in early childhood education (ECE) professions has been a popular discussion for years. In the 2017 Labor Force Statistics Survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that men make up only 2.3% of pre-k and kindergartener teachers in the United States of America. Because of this low percentage, organizations and districts are looking deeper into potential causes and solutions to this gap in representation.

For individuals interested in contributing to the conversation, contact the representatives below for more information:

Rachelle Duffy
412-421-3889, ext. 113


Tyrone Scott
215-893-0130, ext. 242

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August 14, 2018

P.R.I.D.E. Speaker Series – Reimagining Early Childhood: Being Intentional About Race and Young Children

This event is currently sold out.

Join Trying Together for an evening of engaging dialogue on Thursday, September 27 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at The Frick Art and Historical Center.

The P.R.I.D.E. Program Speaker Series will welcome Dr. Erin N. Winkler, professor of African & African Diaspora Studies and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, to discuss how adults can be intentional in discussing race with young children.

P.R.I.D.E. Speaker Series Event Schedule:

  • 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Networking and Registration
  • 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Keynote by Dr. Erin Winkler, followed by Q&A

Please contact UnConference Director Yu-Ling Cheng at or call 412-421-3889.

About Dr. Erin Winkler

Erin N. Winkler is associate professor of African & African Diaspora Studies and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She earned her Ph.D. in African American Studies at the University of California-Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow in African American Studies at Northwestern University. She is author of the book, Learning Race, Learning Place: Shaping Racial Identities and Ideas in African American Childhoods. She has recently consulted for the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, working to train museum staff to have productive conversations about race and racism with visitors of all ages and backgrounds (2016), and serving as an instructor in the Museum’s week-long workshop for K-12 teachers, “Let’s Talk: Teaching Race in the Classroom” (2017).

About P.R.I.D.E.

The P.R.I.D.E. Program is part of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development within the School of Education. At P.R.I.D.E. our focus is on helping young Black children, aged 3 to 8, develop a positive racial identity. Studies have shown that when children are socialized to embrace their race, ethnicity, and heritage, it can lead to numerous positive outcomes. This event is part of the P.R.I.D.E. Speaker Series, which invites parents, caregivers, educators, and the community at-large to learn about and engage in discussions about race, education, and young children. P.R.I.D.E is part of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development within the School of Education.

Thank you to our Sponsors and Partners

A huge thank you to our: co-hosts, P.R.I.D.E., Trying Together and Frick Art and Historical Center, UnConference series sponsor PNC Grow Up Great and sponsors Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)*, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Hillman Family Foundation!

*Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of OCDEL; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practice or organization imply endorsement by the Commonwealth.

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