Community Engagement and Education Series

The Center’s adult community stayed connected this year through the engaging and well-attended virtual Community Engagement and Education series.
The series, structured around the topics of Social Justice & Equity and Health & Wellbeing, brought speakers and thought leaders to share their work, facilitate discussion and build greater understanding amongst parents, faculty, staff, alumni, grandparents, and friends.

Senator Cory Booker: "Where Do We Go From Here?"
August 26

Over 500 CEE Community members joined us for this special event moderated by actress, writer, producer, and CEE parent Mindy Kaling last August. Sen. Booker answered questions from the community about the state of politics today and individual and collective efforts towards social justice, especially in the areas of education and community building.

Mike Murphy and Bob Shrum: “A Conversation on Campaign 2020”
September 21

Veteran political strategist and CEE parent Mike Murphy, along with fellow strategist Bob Shrum,  joined CEE for a behind-the-curtain conversation regarding the 2020 election. Murphy and Shrum, both of the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future, shared captivating insights including what happens in the back rooms of the campaigns, how the media covers the race, and how the coverage shapes the outcome. 
Dr. Lisa Damour, Dr. Sheryl Ziegler, and Eve Rodsky: “Practical Parenting in a Pandemic: Moving from Coping to Adaptation”
September 30
CEE parent and bestselling author, Eve Rodsky, moderated a conversation with Drs. Lisa Damour and Sheryl Ziegler on how to thrive as a parent and as a family during uncertain times. Dr. Damour and Dr. Ziegler shared insights about burnout and stress in parents and how families can build routines and reduce decision-making fatigue.

Dean Pedro Noguera: “Talking About Race: Overcoming Racism in Schools”
October 14

Dean Pedro Noguera of the USC Rossier School of Education is a renowned expert on race, equity, and diversity in society and in schools. Dean Noguera’s talk focused on the challenges of our times, racism and anti-racism in schools, and the marginalization of people and voices. CEE parent Shukura Holliday Shimura moderated the important conversation.

Art Bilger & Jane Oates: “The Future of Work in America”
November 10

CEE Alumni Parent, Former Trustee, and Founder & CEO of WorkingNation, Art Bilger, joined CEE for an engaging session on the future of work and how to remain relevant as the workplace evolves. Alongside WorkingNation President, Jane Oates, Art guided attendees through an informative discussion on unemployment issues, the future of work, the skills gap, and achievable solutions for our workforce economy. The session was moderated by Alumni Council co-chairs Nathan Ament ’98 and Darrin Revitz ’92. 

Dr. Michael Thompson: “Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children”
January 21

Friendships are central to the psychology and happiness of children, but the Covid-19 pandemic hit children's social lives hard. Dr. Michael Thompson is a consultant, author, and psychologist specializing in children and families who discussed the ins and outs of childhood friendship development and the dynamics of popularity. Dr. Thompson also addressed the concerns that many parents have about the impact of the pandemic on their child's social lives.

Dr. Christine Carter: “A Conversation About Finding Peace”
February 24

Interim Head of School Reveta Bowers and Dr. Christine Carter, author of The New Adolescence: Raising Happy and Successful Teens in an Age of Anxiety and Distraction, joined in conversation regarding strategies for finding peace as a parent. They answered audience questions about what parents can do to find a happy place in the face of uncertainty. A sought-after parent coach and sociologist at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, Dr. Christine Carter melds research, including the latest findings in neuroscience, sociology, and social psychology, with her own real-world experience as the mother of four.

Rabbi Steve Leder: “A Discussion on The Beauty of What Remains”
March 25

Rabbi Steven Leder is the author of four bestselling books and currently serves as the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. He is a regular contributor and guest on The Today Show, writes regularly for TIME,, and Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper, and has published essays in Town and Country, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. Rabbi Leder is a proud CEE alumni parent of Aaron '02 & Hannah '04. The session, moderated by CEE parent and trustee JJ Ramberg, focused on Leder’s new book, The Beauty of What Remains and how we can cope with grief of all kinds through this most difficult year and beyond.

Mike Murphy & Bob Shrum: “The Biden Presidency and the Future of the GOP”
April 15

Following their well-attended event before the 2020 election, veteran political strategists Mike Murphy and Bob Shrum returned to the CEE community this April for an engaging analysis of the first 100 days of the Biden administration and the future of the Republican party in 2021 and beyond. Mike and Bob shared their thoughts on what to look for as the 2022 races heat up.
The Center for Early Education, a socio-economically and culturally diverse independent school for children, toddlers through grade six, strives to graduate students who are joyful, resilient, life-long learners. The Center embraces a philosophy of education that combines a nurturing, inclusive learning environment with an increasingly challenging academic program that addresses the developmental needs of each child.