Lesley University's Conversations series presents author and activist Andrew Solomon to speak on "Implications of Ameliorating Child Homelessness"
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The conversation, to be held at noon on Monday, February 25, 2013 in Marran Theater, is part of Lesley University’s Child Homelessness Initiative (CHI), which is a comprehensive project that aims to facilitate a national conversation on child homelessness and advances Lesley’s curriculum and learning opportunities to address the rising number of children and families in the United States grappling with chronic and episodic homelessness.
Solomon is an activist in mental health, education, the arts, and LGBT rights. His highly-acclaimed most recent book is “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity,” which illustrates the universal experience of differences within families through stories about families coping with a variety of circumstances.
Solomon’s book, “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression,” won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize.
“Solomon’s scholarship opens wide the door for discourse about how children and families beat long odds,” said Dr. Mary Coleman, Dean of Lesley’s College of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies and a primary facilitator of Lesley’s CHI. “His lecture will offer Lesley University graduates – next generation teachers, policy advocates, therapists, and child care providers – a trauma-informed asset model that enables practices and policies consistent with maximizing infant and toddler health, happiness, and wellbeing to help secure their protection from injury and insult, and to advance their educational opportunities and citizenship.”
A native New Yorker, Andrew Solomon holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and a Master’s from Jesus College, Cambridge, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology. He is founder of the Solomon Research Fellowships in LGBT Studies at Yale, and a member of the boards of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Trans Youth Families.
Solomon will speak on February 25 at 12 p.m., followed by a Q&A session, reception and book signing. He will be introduced by Leanna Balloffet, a senior child studies and early childhood education major at Lesley. The talk will be held in Marran Theater on Lesley’s Doble Campus, 36 Mellen St., Cambridge, Mass.
Lesley Conversations are free and open to the public. On March 5, the series welcomes author and leading American environmental activist Dr. John Francis.
Lesley’s Child Homelessness Initiative is sponsored by Lesley alumna Laurie Schoen (’86), who is co-founder of United States 4 Kids, an organization committed to raising awareness about the national crisis of homelessness.
“This conversation is part of a larger initiative to address the growing number of children and families without adequate shelter in Massachusetts,” said Coleman. “We are incorporating this work into Lesley’s curriculum as part of our commitment to work on a long-term solution to end child homelessness.”Assistant Professor Jan Wall, who directs Lesley’s Internship Office, developed the Child Homelessness Multidisciplinary course that brings together students and faculty to discuss the complex, often invisible, nature of this issue. The class aims to prepare future generations of teachers and counselors to better serve the homeless, and to become pioneers in ending the trauma and chaos associated with growing up homeless.
“I am inspired to work more closely with children in homeless situations,” said student Jennifer Murphy, a child studies major with a specialization in early intervention and a minor in early childhood education, who will graduate this year. “Now that I can holistically analyze the effects of such situations on a child, I look forward to helping this population to the best of my ability and to helping spread awareness of what we can do to help resolve homelessness in America.”
To read a Professor's Prologue of Solomon's talk by Dr. Irle Goldman, who teaches in Lesley's Counseling and Psychology and Expressive Therapies divisions, click here.
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