The Diversity in Parenting conference was born from the need for more representation in the parenting world, and the desire to showcase multicultural voices that reflect the unique journeys of parents in the modern world.
The mission of the conference is to showcase diverse voices in the parenting world. We live in a world where parenting and caregiving has evolved - but our conferences do not always reflect the unique and varied voices in this space. This conference aims to bring voices from different cultures, family systems, and theoretical ideologies together to explore how parenting looks in the modern world. Essentially, we want to increase representation in the parenting landscape while simultaneously bringing new perspectives to mental health and parenting professionals working with, and healing, diverse families.
Over the course of generations we have seen a dynamic change in the ways we raise healthy children in today’s world. We’ve gone from solely viewing a healthy family as a two-parent home with two kids and a dog to seeing so many forms of a healthy family. We’ve moved from rearing our children in a tight-knit community to having family mean those who are close to us, far from us, and virtually available to us. And, we’ve moved from the idea that there is only one “right” way to raise healthy children.
Still, our professional parenting world isn’t as reflective of these changes as we’d like to see them. The lack of diversity in these spaces make it difficult for use to examine and understand the diverse ways that we create families and raise children in the modern world. It’s time for us to showcase more than just one type of voice in the ways that we conceptualize child-rearing, the development of a parenting identity, and the ways that we create healthy, supportive families.
The Diversity in Parenting conference was born out of this need. Our founder, Mercedes Samudio, has been in this field for over a decade. And while her work has been featured internationally and many have adopted the ideas she shares about ending parent shame and creating a shame-proof parenting community, she noticed that the professional parenting world was still sorely lacking in bringing multicultural voices to stage.
When this conference was conceived it was after our founder was left feeling ignored, invisible, and unheard in professional spaces that touted being all-inclusive and open to all. Seeing the same faces, the same racial and sexual identities being showcased was frustrating. But, instead of staying silent and allowing this to continue, Mercedes decided that it was time to create a space for more types of parents and families to be explored and examined. And, thus, the conference was created.
Although this is our first year, the ultimate goal is for this conference to be one of the premiere conferences attended by parenting professionals, mental health professionals, education and child care professionals, and those professions who care for parents and their families.
Why this conference?
In the inception of this conference, we were asked, “Why not join in with a larger conference to spread this message?” The answer: While that would be a safe and probably less risky option, it negates the whole idea behind the need for this conference. In order to show that the Diversity in Parenting Conference is, in fact, a unique space for diverse voices, we decided that it was best to create a space separate from the spaces that have systemically and consistently refused to address the diverse needs of parents and their families. This isn’t about sharing the space - it’s about creating a unique space that allows these voices and these identities to shine brightly without being dimmed by traditional spaces.
Essentially, we believe that the conference shows up best by being a beacon of light for those who have been at sea for too long looking for a shore that represented their needs, voices, and identities.
Who is this conference for?
The short answer: This conference is for anyone who is interested in, committed to, and willing to, work with families to help parents feel more confident and raise healthy children.
The longer answer: This conference is specifically about representation in the parenting professional world. This world includes mental health professionals, parent coaches, educators, school counselors, psychiatrists, medical professionals, child care providers, community leaders, and a slew of others who work to support families. While many of the speakers and topics will look at parenting through this lens, the conference also hopes to open up discussions about how to disseminate this information and how to execute this knowledge with the families with work with daily.
On the same note, this conference is for professionals who have recognized the lack of diversity in the parenting world and wants to be a part of the solution for bringing more representation into this space. So many of us attend conferences by the same experts and speakers without really questioning why these same people are asked to speak on the entirety of the family landscape. This conference is the answer to the question you may not have been asking (or, maybe the question you have been asking but didn’t get a clear answer to). The attendee of this conference recognize the evolution of family systems and family types and are ready to hear from speakers and experts in the field who are also addressing this diversity - both in their practices and in their work on the subject.