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Supporting organizational transformation through the HOPE framework | Recapping the 2024 HOPE Summit []


By Daniel Choi, 3/27/24,

Last week, the HOPE National Resource Center (NRC) wrapped up its Fourth Annual HOPE Summit – the HOPE Transformation. We had over 400 attendees from around the United States and the world including Australia, Chile, and the Netherlands. We deeply appreciate everyone’s support and shared passion for creating a healthier and happier world for all children and families through the HOPE framework and positive childhood experiences (PCEs).

Those who registered for the Summit can still access the platform. Watch recordings of all the Summit events including the keynote addresses, workshops, and the interactive panel discussion.

What’s new at HOPE

In his welcome address, Robert Sege, MD, PHD, Director of the HOPE National Resource Center, shared the growing movement behind the HOPE framework. The HOPE NRC has trained HOPE Facilitators local to 43 states and has led Introduction to HOPE workshops in 39 states, spreading HOPE to a total of 47 states.

This year’s Summit goal and theme – The HOPE Transformation – was to support organizational transformation and the adoption of the HOPE framework. The HOPE NRC has recently launched the HOPE-Informed Organizational Certification program that transitions organizations from talking about broad concepts like trauma-informed care to implementing specific actions to achieve these goals and publicly declaring their intentions and accomplishments. Organizations begin the certification process by assessing their current level of HOPE implementation using the Six Standards of HOPE:

  • Bridge to HOPE
  • Knowledge of the HOPE framework
  • Supporting family strengths and resilience
  • Culturally resonant care
  • Amplifying the Four Building Blocks of HOPE
  • Continuing learning and improvement


Keynote address highlights

The HOPE National Resource Center welcomed Leonard Burton, President of the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), and Aimee Zeitz-Gruber, MFT, Executive Director of Community Well-Being and Project Director of Partners in Prevention at the YMCA of San Diego County, as this year’s Summit keynote speakers. Both have collaborated with the HOPE NRC since the beginning and have incorporated the HOPE framework in their community and through policy settings.

From gatekeepers to gate-breakers

Your worst moment in life should never define you – Leonard Burton, keynote speaker

Leonard Burton, in his keynote address, challenged us to expand our knowledge of antiracist approach, to reimage early childhood care through antiracist policy and practices, and to identify our role as professionals and organizations to support and affirm parents and caregivers.

“Systems need to take a fundamental shift from gatekeepers – where you have this social control [over marginalized groups] – to gate-breakers and opportunity openers, creating space and opportunities for people to thrive,” said Burton to wide agreement from attendees in the chat box.

One such gate-breaking opportunity was the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in 2021 which increased the benefit levels to up to $3,600 per child for most families to help with the costs of raising children. The CTC expansion was an unconditional lifeline for families giving parents and caregivers the freedom and flexibility to meet their children’s needs as the needs changed monthly. “Your worst moment in life should never define you,” he exclaimed. “If you want to advocate for health justice, you need to advocate for economic justice.”

Burton called on everyone, as professionals and organizations in a unique place to support families and communities, to advocate for antiracist supports that give families freedom, flexibility, autonomy, and dignity.

Implementing the HOPE framework from the inside out

We [YMCA of San Diego County] ended up talking about HOPE everywhere we were…They [staff] felt seen and heard and recognized in ways they never thought would happen in a workplace. – Amiee Zeitz-Gruber, keynote speaker

Since 2020, the YMCA of San Diego County has transformed to become a HOPE-Informed community. Keynote speaker Amiee Zeitz-Gruber was first introduced to HOPE from Dr. Sege’s presentation at the 11th Annual Early Childhood Mental Health Conference. Immediately afterward, her team trained to become HOPE Facilitators, and the YMCA organization participated in the inaugural HOPE Innovation Network (HIN) cohort.

The HIN experience motivated them to integrate the HOPE framework into staff training and facilitate communities of practice that gave people opportunities to reflect together about what they were doing with HOPE and the issues coming up from leadership to staff.

“We ended up talking about HOPE everywhere we were [in the implementation process],” shared Zeitz-Gruber. “It helped us understand where there was alignment and where there were questions and even resistance…They [staff] felt seen and heard and recognized in ways they never thought would happen in a workplace.”

In 2023, Dr. Sege and Zeitz-Gruber created a vision with community partners in San Diego to become a HOPE-Informed community. Since then, the YMCA team increased the number of HOPE trainers, is developing a local training of trainers, and will launch the YMCA HOPE Learning and Engagement program.

HOPE work is from the inside out, Zertiz-Gruber concluded. Embracing HOPE requires reflection on the personal level – reconciling our own history, strengths, and challenges.

[Click here to read the full blog post.]

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