Plenary: Families: What, So What, Now What?

Opening Plenary Session

This session will be live streamed

Nora Spinks is Chief Executive Officer, The Vanier Institute of the Family, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Facilitator: Bahira Sherif Trask, 2018 NCFR Program Chair

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1:00 PM
3:00 PM
Golden Pacific Ballroom
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Sponsored by Regents of the University of Minnesota, through its Department of Family Social Science

Pre-Address Agenda:

  • Welcome: Bahira Sherif Trask, Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2018 Conference Program Chair
  • Welcome from the Plenary Sponsor, Regents of the University of Minnesota through its Department of Family Social Science: Jodi Dworkin, Ph.D.
  • Welcome from NCFR President: Anisa M. Zvonkovic, Ph.D., 2017-2019 NCFR President
  • Introduction of Board, Editors, and NCFR Executive Director: Anisa M. Zvonkovic, Ph.D.

Presentation of Awards:

  • Margaret E. Arcus Award to Francesca Adler-Bader, Ph.D., CFLE, Auburn University; and Ted G. Futris, Ph.D., CFLE, University of Georgia; Presenter: Karen Myers-Bowman, Ph.D., Education and Enrichment Section Chair
  • John L. and Harriette P. McAdoo Award to Ijeoma Opara, M.P.H., M.S.W., Montclair State University; Presenter: Yolanda T. Mitchell, Ethnic Minorities Section Chair-Elect

Plenary Presentation:

Nora Spinks, Chief Executive Officer, Vanier Institute of the Family

  • Session Facilitator: Bahira Sherif Trask, Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2018 Conference Program Chair

Live captioning at this session sponsored by Florida State University


Nora Spinks

Families are the cornerstone of society and the engine of our economies. Diverse, complex, and dynamic, they are vital to the well-being of individuals, communities, and workplaces around the world. With such an important role, it is essential that people who study, serve, and support families understand modern families, family life, and family experiences, expectations, and aspirations. However, there is no single story to discover or tell when it comes to families, as they are increasingly diverse, and are continually adapting and reacting to ever-evolving social, economic, environmental, and cultural forces. Furthermore, while statistics and data are key to strengthening research and policy development, it’s equally important to hear the stories behind the statistics by reaching out to families directly. Ms. Spinks will discuss how balancing evidence-based experience with experience-based evidence can help us better understand families while we anticipate, plan, and prepare for the future.

About the Presenter

Nora Spinks, chief executive officer, Vanier Institute of the Family, Ottawa, Ontario, has dedicated her career to creating innovative policies and programs focusing on health and well-being, caregiving, workplace flexibility and work–life harmony, having served as an adviser and consultant to leaders in business, law, labor, government and community. She is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Canada 125 Award for Exemplary Community Service, the Workplace Wellness Pioneer of the Year Award, and the Learning Partnership Volunteer of the Year Award.

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