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Tuesday, November 9 – Friday, November 12, 2021  |  9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Family Centered, NC Symposium

Thanks for attending the Family Centered, NC Symposium.

Virtual Team Meeting

Meet The Presenters

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Dr. James H. Johnson Jr. is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of strategy and entrepreneurship and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Dr. Johnson and Dr. John D. Kasarda coauthored “The Economic Impact of the African American Population on the State of North Carolina" and a study on the economic impact of North Carolina’s Hispanic population. Dr. Johnson examines the causes and consequences of growing inequality in American society, particularly as it affects socially and economically disadvantaged youth; entrepreneurial approaches to poverty alleviation, job creation, and community development; interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies; and business demography and workforce diversity issues. His latest book is "Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angeles."

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Dr. Ticola Ross resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband and 6-year-old boy/girl twins. Currently, she's Clinical Assistant Professor and Field Education Director in the School of Social Work at UNC Charlotte and also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Cano Family Services. She graduated from NC State University with a B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in Applied and Community Psychology and a M.S.W. in Social Work from UNC Charlotte. Clinical areas of specialty include identity development, life transitions, self-care, anxiety, depression, and grief and loss. Ticola's a die-hard Grey's Anatomy fan and loves audiobooks!



Verena Jonas is the founder and CEO of Greater Heights Consulting (GHC).

Verena’s goal in her current work is to add value to others by assisting Early Child Development programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start (EHS) with solving complex problems. Additionally, Verena seeks to contribute to the advancement of high quality, comprehensive care and services for children, families, and Early Childhood Programs.

Verena spends her career as an advocate for quality early childhood services, policies, best practice standards, and funding for young children and families. Verena served on several boards and advisory committees on the state and local levels including the following: North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Committee, North Carolina Think Babies Leadership Team, North Carolina Head Start Association (NCHSA), and the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children (NCAEYC)



Dr. Marie Huggins (she/her/hers) is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in North Carolina and holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; as well as M.Ed. in Counselor Education and Supervision with a concentration in College Counseling and Student Development in Higher Education and a BA in Applied Psychology and Africana Studies Minor from North Carolina State University. She also holds the credentials of National Certified Counselor and a Global Career Development Facilitator. She currently works as an Outpatient Therapist at Creasman Counseling, PLLC servicing clients in Durham, NC and surrounding areas in North Carolina.



Born and raised in Dillon, South Carolina, Dr. Rogers is a graduate of the University of the South Carolina School of Medicine. He completed both his General Psychiatry Residency and a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute/University of South Carolina. Dr. Rogers is Board certified in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He also holds a Master of Science in Public Health from UCLA and a Masters in Medical Management from the University of Southern California.

Documentary Film:

Growing up Poor in America

Their families were already struggling to make ends meet. Then came the coronavirus.


Director Jezza Neumann, who made 2012’s Poor Kids, once again delves into how poverty impacts children. With the 2020 election approaching, Growing Up Poor in America follows three children and their families in the battleground state of Ohio as the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies their struggle to stay afloat. As the country also reckons with issues of race and racism, the children share their worries and hopes about their futures.

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