Call for Workshop Proposals

Transformation of Youth Justice Symposium: Expanding Knowledge, Changing Practice, Achieving Outcomes
March 24-25, 2021 | Nashville, Tennessee | Event Webpage

The Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice (RFK National Resource Center), led by Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, is pleased to invite practitioners, leaders, and experts from across the country to submit workshop proposals for the March 2021 Transformation of Youth Justice Symposium. The RFK National Resource Center is accepting proposals focused on practical and innovative reform efforts that effectively transform youth justice and improve outcomes for children and families.

Quick Links
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Workshop and Presenter Criteria
Proposal Guidelines and Instructions
Special Considerations
• Visit the Transformation of Youth Justice Symposium & Training Institutes webpage

Event Description
On March 24-25, 2021, in the heart of Downtown Nashville, the RFK National Resource Center will host a one-of-a-kind Symposium for multi-disciplinary professionals and youth-serving stakeholders seeking to learn, network, and become part of the nationwide movement to effectively transform youth justice and improve outcomes for children and families. The Symposium will feature research-based and evidence-informed practical reforms that can be replicated and applied by participants within their state and local jurisdictions. The event will also emphasize the importance of peer-to-peer learning and collaboration to identify common challenges and solutions that lead to meaningful, sustainable and measurable policy and practice change. The symposium will also offer 30 workshops and learning sessions for participants to obtain a deeper understanding of reform efforts that address the challenges or issues that are most relevant within their jurisdiction or to the population they serve.

Symposium Audience
The Symposium’s audience will include: Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Directors; Probation and Court Service Directors; Judges; Social Workers; Probation Officers and Managers; Prosecuting Attorneys; Public Defenders; Guardians Ad Litem and Child Law Attorneys; Educational Staff and Advocates; Behavioral Health Providers and Clinicians; Federal, State, and Local Policy Makers; and, youth, family and system improvement Advocates.

Submitting a Workshop Proposal

Workshop and Presenter Criteria
The RFK National Resource Center is accepting proposals for workshops that will showcase reform efforts and practices that effectively impact the transformation of youth justice, resulting in improved outcomes for children and families. All workshops must feature methods and guidance for replication of the program or practice reform and incorporate participant engagement (e.g., interactive discussion, breakout groups, peer-to-peer learning activities, etc.). All workshop sessions will be a maximum of 90 minutes.

The RFK National Resource Center emphasizes the importance of peer-to-peer learning and diversity. We especially encourage workshops to be presented by individuals with on-the-ground experience, diverse backgrounds, and/or who are reflective of the constituencies they serve. We invite the submission of workshop proposals on all critical issues impacting juvenile justice reform and youth justice transformation, but will give preference to workshops focused on the following topics:

  • Adolescent Development
  • Advancing State-Level Juvenile Justice Reform
  • Balanced Role of Probation and Community Supervision
  • Building Resiliency in System-Involved Youth
  • Cognitive Behavioral Development
  • Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC)
  • Culture Change – Systemic, Organizational, etc.
  • Dispositional Guidelines
  • Diversion – Effective Practices
  • Dual Status Youth Reform
  • Girls (Best Practices, Gender-Specific Programs, etc.)
  • Graduated Responses – An Effective System of Accountability and Incentives
  • LGBTQ Youth
  • Opioid Addiction – Impact on System-Involved Youth and Their Families
  • Positive Youth Development
  • Probation and Juvenile Justice System Reform
  • Racial Disparities – Designing Fair and Equitable Programs, Practices, and Systemic Reforms for Children and Youth of Color
  • Tribal Youth

Proposal Guidelines and Instructions
All proposals must be submitted online. To submit a proposal, please use the link below and be prepared to include the following information (all mandatory criteria, indicated with an asterisk [*], must be completed in order to submit a proposal):

  • Lead Presenter Contact Information (Name, Title, Affiliation, Address, Email, Phone)*
  • Additional Presenters (Name, Title, Affiliation)
  • Presenter(s) CV, Resume, and/or Biography* – presenter CV, resume, and/or biography can be uploaded as an attachment (Word or PDF format); or, a biography for each presenter can be included in the provided comment box
  • Suggested Workshop Title*
  • Brief Abstract (50-100 words)* – please provide a clear and accurate description of the workshop, as it would appear in the event program
  • Expanded Description (500 – 1000 words)*
  • Learning Objectives / Key Takeaways (minimum of 3)* – please provide 3-5 Learning Objectives and Key Takeaways, e.g., skills, knowledge, new capacity, and/or action items participants will bring back to their communities.
  • Target Audience (please see the abovementioned description of the Symposium Audience)
  • Session Format*
  • Room Setup & Technology
  • Recommended Attachments (e.g., sample presentations, session handouts or materials, etc.) – We welcome you to provide sample presentations and/or a sample of handouts or materials that you will provide during the session (a list of handouts or tentative materials may be provided in lieu of drafted documents). These attachments are for review purposes only and will not be distributed without permission

Submit a Workshop Proposal
Please use the following link to submit a workshop proposal:

Deadline and Notice of Selection
Proposals must be received by Friday, November 20 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. The Lead Contact will be notified of the final decision by no later than Friday, December 18.

Please contact Executive Director John Tuell ( or Associate Executive Director Kari Harp ( with any questions about the Transformation of Youth Justice Symposium or the call for workshop proposals.

Special Considerations

Compensation & Travel Support
The RFK National Resource Center will waive the symposium registration fee for a maximum of three (3) presenters per workshop (breakfast and lunch will be provided during the event on both March 24 & 25). We regret that we cannot provide travel support, lodging, or honoraria for presenters.

Safety is Our Priority!
In collaboration with the Doubletree Hotel in Downtown Nashville, we are committed to creating a safe and conducive learning environment. We will incorporate practices to promote safety for all attendees and the support staff who make these events possible, while still providing a dynamic networking and learning experience. Please continue to look for updates on what we are doing, both in front of and behind the scenes, to maintain wellness – together.