Schedule-at-a Glance | Conference Highlights | Conference Workshops | Keynote Speakers

Richard Klarberg's Conference Introductions and Comments
Marcia Robinson Lowry Introduction
Juan Sanchez Introduction
Conference Closing Remarks

Marcia Robinson Lowry Introduction

Thank you very much Michelle. Our partnership with you and your colleagues at the Department of State has been just that - a partnership. We are honored to have the opportunity to work with you.

Applaud Her.

And Sr. Ann, your leadership as our board chair has furthered COA’s tradition of a partnership between our trustees and staff, a tradition that was built on the work of our former chairs Neil Newstein and Sharon Osborne – both of whom are here this morning.

Thank you Sr. Ann. You are a great friend personally and professionally.

Speaking of professionally, I have to make a confession. I am a recovering lawyer. And as a recovering lawyer, I have heard dozens of lawyer jokes - most of them were uncomfortably close to being true.

But none of them bear even the vaguest resemblance to our keynote speaker - Marcia Robinson Lowry. She is one lawyer who has dedicated her entire professional career to something that is no joking matter: protecting the rights of children.

A graduate of Northwestern University and the New York University School of Law, Marcia has worked with the New York Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union and is the founder of Children’s Rights, a national advocacy group.

In each of these capacities, she has stood tall and steadfast in her determination to protect children dependent on child welfare systems by developing realistic, long-term solutions to improve the lives of abused and neglected children.

For more than a decade, Children’s Rights under Marcia’s leadership has been fighting to enshrine in the law of the land, every child’s right to grow up in a safe, stable, permanent home.

Children’s Rights has issued national policy reports and engaged in advocacy efforts that are changing the way child welfare is practiced in the United States.

Through tough legal action complemented by substantive policy expertise, she and her colleagues have won landmark victories and brought about sweeping improvements in the lives of abused and neglected children in more than a dozen states across the nation proving that failing child welfare systems not only can be fixed, but can be made to run well — and provide a brighter future for the children in their care.

COA is proud of the relationship we enjoy with Marcia and her colleagues at Children’s Rights. It began when they negotiated a settlement agreement with the Mississippi Department of Family & Children Services that included COA accreditation, and it is continuing as we work as partners to transform practices there. I believe that together we will make a difference in the lives of thousands of children in Mississippi.

I am honored to call this amazing woman my colleague and delighted to call her my friend.

Ladies and gentlemen, Marcia Robinson Lowry.

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