Isles’ 2024 Virtual Forum

Isles’ fourth annual virtual forum is a series of free webinars, workshops, and panels focused on community development, environmental solutions, violence prevention, and more. This Forum was free and open to the public. 

View the forum schedule, panelists, and recordings and slides from sessions below.

Monday, May 20: Environmental Health

9AM – Keynote Presentation – Community Voice in Community Development: The Time is Now!
9:30 AM: Maternal Health, Lead, and Racial Disparities

Description: For those interested in lead, efforts have typically been directed at protecting children from lead exposure and bringing better services to those already affected by lead. Still, there is research that shows that lead is a factor in health disparities into adulthood, including black maternal mortality and morbidity. Join Isles’ Elyse Pivnick, MCP, and Rutgers’ Brian Buckley, Ph.D., to learn more about this research and how they propose to raise awareness and improve healthcare protocols to better serve women and families during prenatal and postpartum periods. 

Panelists include:
Elyse Pivnick
LaTricia Adams
Dr. Brian Buckley

1:30 PM: Food Access and Insecurity in Trenton and Beyond: Status, Strategies and Solutions 

Description: Addressing people’s growing needs for access to healthy, affordable foods has been a perennial problem for agencies across the region. Join this panel to learn about collaborative initiatives facilitated by Trenton Health Team, Rutgers, Mercer Street Friends, and Isles that are working to understand the depth and scope of food insecurity in the region, and how these initiatives are working to build a robust and resilient food ecosystem in Trenton, Mercer County, and the region. 

Panelists include: 
Chris Shimchick
Matthew Broad
Joan Healy
Pam Sims Jones

Tuesday, May 21: Building Wealth

9 AM: Historical Spaces with Modern Uses

Description: Our panelists will discuss how Community Development efforts often attempt to bring new life into abandoned and underutilized spaces in cities. The reinvention of historical spaces for modern uses preserves history while meeting the needs of communities today. This panel explores three projects designed to do just that.

Panelists include:
Laura Fenster Rothschild
Molly Dykstra
Gianfranco Archimede

11 AM: Creating Workplaces Where People Want to Be

 1:30 PM: Micro but Mighty: Supporting Entrepreneurship in the U.S

Description: Whether accurate or not, the concept that America was “built by small businesses” has been a dominant talking point since its founding. The reality is much more complicatedWhile the dream of owning a business as way to gain long-term financial stability remains a goal for many, a major challenge exists for women, people of color, immigrants, and other individuals with limited resources to access the capital, business training and support needed for successIn this session, we will revisit the recent history of microbusiness development in the US, explore the current landscape for these types of business ventures and discuss what’s needed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs in the 21st century. 

Panelists include:
Peter Rose
Monique Valanzuela
Amy Hollander
Alejandro Cruz
Joe Lamberti

Wednesday, May 22: Transportation & Mobility

9 AM: Electric Vehicle Microtransit: From First Mile/Last Mile to All the Miles

Description: Our Panelists will describe the rapidly evolving micro-transit landscape, best practice around the nation by detailing existing programs and funding and what it takes to get a program started in your community. 

Panelists include:
Ben Haygood
Matthew Lawson
Thandi Nyambose
Cheryl Kastrenakes
Chuck Feinberg

11 AM: The Future of Public Transit in New Jersey

Description: Our Panelists will discuss the current state of affairs for transit in New Jersey, best practices, and how we could make changes to ‘connect residents to millions of employment and economic opportunities, essential services, community resources, entertainment, and social activities.’ We will examine funding and planning/land-use solutions, from the looming fiscal cliff to longer-term sustainable answers that could help provide real access and options for the entire state. 

Panelists include:
Ben Haygood
Antoinette Miles
Alex Ambrose
Zoe Baldwin
Raymond Blanks

The Future of Public Transit in New Jersey from Isles, Inc. on Vimeo.

1:30 PM: Promoting Accessibility and Mobility for All

Description: What are the things that we can do to make our streets safer for pedestrians, bikers, or folks using public transit or cars? We’ll zoom in on issues and plans in Trenton and then zoom out to get ideas about what we could be doing on a regional or national level to ensure that our spaces are more accessible for all people. We’ll focus on both planning and street-level implementation to learn more about where the barriers to accessibility lie and how we might work toward overcoming them. 

Panelists include:
Leigh Ann Von Hagen
Angel Heinz
Cassidy Boulan
Marissa Volk
Scott Elliot

Promoting Accessibility and Mobility for All from Isles, Inc. on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 23 – Innovative Approaches to Violence Prevention and Reduction

9 AM: Making Education Work for Students

Description: It is universally understood that educational engagement is a protective factor for youth who reside in communities with high rates of violence.  Yet, our educational system is not structured to meet the needs of these youth. Much has been discussed and written about disparities in educational practices.  This panel explores three evidence-based models designed to support and promote student success:YouthBuild Community Schools, and Upward Bound.  

Panelists include:
Laura Fenster Rothschild
Stacy Denton
Chantea Hobson
Nkese Rankin

Making Education Work for Students from Isles, Inc. on Vimeo.

11 AM: Building Resilience: The Role of Healthcare Providers in Community-based Violence Intervention

Description: We’re bringing practitioners from the field together to share best practices and approaches to addressing community-based violence. Healthcare providers play a crucial role in fostering resilience and promoting interventions that go beyond traditional healthcare settings, creating safer and healthier communities. Explore innovative strategies, hear from experienced professionals, and join the conversation on how healthcare providers can make a meaningful impact in violence intervention and community resilience. 

Panelists include:
Perry Shaw
Roberta Martin
Michelle Madiou
Nathalie Laurent

Building Resilience: The Role of Healthcare Providers in Community-based Violence Intervention from Isles, Inc. on Vimeo.

1:30 PM: Public Safety Ecosystem: A Response to Structural Violence

Description: Leading experts, including seasoned practitioners, policymakers, and community advocates explore the intricate dynamics of structural violence and unveil strategies for a safer, more equitable society. Delve into interconnected factors contributing to violence, from systemic inequalities to social determinants of health, and join us in charting a course towards a public safety ecosystem rooted in justice, compassion, and collective well-being, paving the way for a future where every individual thrives free from the grip of violence. 

Panelists include:
Perry Shaw
Jason Rodgers

Public Safety Ecosystem: A Response to Structural Violence from Isles, Inc. on Vimeo.

Thank You to all of Isles’ Forum Sponsors

Daily Sponsors

Session Sponsors