It’s Not Easy Being Seen

Hello dear blogosphere, miss me? Probably not, since you’re an anthropomorphization of my overactive imagination, but that’s OK. Still, it’s always fun to have someone to talk to, oh Figment! Today, my mind is ruminating programs, partnerships and policy (yes, I know it’s three “P’s” in a row and a truly scatological mnemonic), three interconnected components that relate the idea of conceptual capital.

See three P! Oh!

A scatologically bad mnemonic for an important concept.

I’m mostly thinking about these things because later this week we’ll be hosting the 2nd annual #STHAchieve Conference at the NYC Department of Education – a professional development series for DOE employees and nonprofit partners focused on supporting students and families affected by homelessness. I’ll explain more about this in a moment, but for the time being suffice it to say that it’s a little unusual to be hosting a 1,200 person conference for city agency employees. Of course, the subject of homelessness, its related traumas, and their impacts on youth development and educational attainment are both intuitively obvious (not good at all), and also highly complex. On its face, it’s clearly important to bring together the educational professionals and support staff who interact with students affected by homelessness so that we can identify strategies, resources and relationships to become better allies and advocates for these students.

But it’s also about lifting up the reality of homelessness in an environment where social emotional learning and whole child supports are still relatively new concepts, and where homelessness itself (and it’s related traumas and stigmas) can remain hidden.

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