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Leadership Initiative Events

Throughout the year, a variety of events are offered to the membership to encourage networking, collaborations and learning experiences among peers. We offer a Speaker Series, Leadership Panel Discussions and a myriad of workshops to inspire considerations on leadership in early childhood education.

This page currently only lists publicly advertised events, and may not be complete. Member-only events such as Networking events and Book Group discussions do not currently appear.

Upcoming Events

Past Events

Virtual Film Screening and Discussion “Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope"

The Western NY Regional Early Childhood Leadership Initiative is proud to present a film screening and discussion, featuring the film "Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope."  The event will include a screening of the film followed by a interactive discussion with Tim Hathaway, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse New York. This event is co-hosted by the regional Leadership Initiatives of New York CityWestern NY, and Long Island. The event will be hosted live over Zoom, the Zoom link will be provided at a later date.

Wednesday, November 18th 2020 | 4:00pm - 5:45pm

Survive to Thrive Webinar, November 18th

Survive to Thrive Chapter 2: Program Context and Culture

Wednesday, November 18th 2020, 12:30pm

Read more about our Survive to Thrive Series

How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton

How Full Is Your Bucket? reveals how even the briefest interactions affect your relationships, productivity, health, and longevity. Organized around a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket, and grounded in 50 years of research, this book will show you how to greatly increase the positive moments in your work and your life -- while reducing the negative.

Filled with discoveries, powerful strategies, and engaging stories, How Full Is Your Bucket? is sure to inspire lasting changes and has all the makings of a timeless classic.

Book groups present an opportunity for members to gather to discuss leadership publications and resources and are facilitated by committed professionals, dedicated to deepening the dialogue and illuminating the key messages​

Book Group will run on both nights November 16th and 23rd.

You will need to come and pick up your book at the Child Care Resource Network. Further information will be sent to you after you register.

  • Session 1: Monday, November 16th | 6:00pm - 7:00pm
  • Session 2: Monday, November 23rd | 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Survive to Thrive Webinar, October 21st

Survive to Thrive Chapter 1: What Does It Mean to Be a Director?

Wednesday, October 21st 2020, 12:30pm

Read more about our Survive to Thrive Series

Virtual Panel Discussion "Interdisciplinary Perspectives: Developing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Your Leadership"

This virtual panel will present diverse perspectives on developing a trauma-informed lens in leading your early childhood program and supporting your program staff.  We will learn from the experiences and perspectives of a trauma systems therapy trainer, Early Childhood program director, social worker and behavioral specialist, and an assistant professor in human development and education. Our panelists will also share their career pathways and what has led them to this work. Attendees will walk away with important considerations and strategies for leadership, program culture, trauma-informed care, and resiliency in caring for staff, children and families.

Tuesday, September 29th 2020 | 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Lessons in Leadership, Race, and Gender: An Interview with Melodie Baker

In an interview moderated by Sherry Cleary, University Dean of Early Childhood Initiatives and Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, Melodie Baker will share her experience as a black female education leader and advocate.  She will share her factors to success, navigating challenges, and balancing family and work.

Melodie Baker has spent her career working to advance education opportunities for disadvantaged students. Prior to joining Just Equations she was the director of education at United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. Melodie Chairs and Co-Chairs various national, state and local coalitions including, Erie Niagara Birth-8, Raising New York, and The Coalition for Community Schools. In 2014, she co-founded the first inquiry-based school in Western New York, The Charter School of Inquiry to build on an early learning program she implemented earlier in her career as assistant director for a Head Start.  Her work in education has led to several noteworthy appointments such as being selected to serve on Governor Cuomo’s Reimagining Education Advisory Council and leading the research and evaluation for Rockefeller Institute of Government’s First 1000 Day’s on Medicaid initiative headed by the New York State Department of Health. In 2019, Baker was the first African American to run for the Democratic nomination in New York’s 27th Congressional District.

Tuesday, August 4th 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am

Cultivating Emotional Resilience

Elena Aguilar will explore high leverage strategies that anyone can use to build their resilience, as well as the resilience of others. Attendees will understand how to use these strategies and why they are so effective, particularly in times of crisis and change. 

Elena Aguilar is the Founder and President of Bright Morning Consulting. She has trained trained thousands of educators in transformational coaching. Elena’s expertise derives from twenty five years as a classroom teacher, instructional coach and leadership coach working in diverse school environments. She is the author of four highly acclaimed books: The Art of Coaching, (2013) and The Art of Coaching Teams, (2016) Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators (2018) and the Onward Workbook (2018), and the forthcoming Coaching for Equity (August 2020). She is a regular contributor to Edutopia and ASCD’s Educational Leadership, and she was a blogger for EdWeek Teacher for many years.

Monday, June 29th 2020 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Virtual Dine & Discuss "Leadership During a Time of Crisis"

This virtual panel, “Leadership During a Time of Crisis”, moderated by Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of the NY Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, will focus on the many qualities and considerations for effective leadership in a time of crisis. We will learn from the experiences and perspectives of a former CEO of a social service non-profit, a licensed child development mental health expert and play therapist, a social worker and FEMA crisis master trainer, and an executive director of a child care program. Attendees will walk away with important considerations and strategies for leadership, trauma-informed care, building resiliency, crisis management and coping, and planning for change. 




Thursday, May 28th 2020 | 9:30am - 11:00am

Book Group: "Graceful Leadership" by Ann McClain Terrell

You heard Ann Terrell Speak on Graceful Leadership. Now join the Buffalo Leadership Initiative and your colleagues in a book group discussion on Graceful Leadership in the Early Childhood Education.

Facilitated discussion of leadership books
Book groups present an opportunity for members to gather to discuss leadership publications and resources and are facilitated by committed professionals, dedicated to deepening the dialogue and illuminating the key messages​

Please register for a Book Group Cohort, as there is limited space.

  • Cohort 1 - Session 1: Tuesday, February 25th | 5:30pm - 7:00pm
  • Cohort 2 - Session 1: Wednesday, February 26th | 5:30pm - 7:00pm
  • Cohort 1 - Session 2: Tuesday, March 10th | 5:30pm - 7:00pm
  • Cohort 2 - Session 2: Wednesday, March 11th | 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Ann McClain Terrell: Leadership Journeys in Early Childhood Education

Join us for our first Leadership Speaker Series event, featuring:

Ann McClain Terrell
Author Graceful Leadership in Early Childhood Education
And Executive Director of the
Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation

Admission is free for members of the Leadership Initiative

Thursday, January 16th 2020 | 8:30am - 10:00am

Buffalo History Museum
1 Museum Ct
Buffalo,NY 14216