May 11, 2018: 11:30 AM — 01:30 PM

Mercer Oaks Golf Course
West Windsor

Thriving Women, Thriving Communities: Getting it Right from the Start

Mercer County underperforms in access to prenatal care, maternal health, infant mortality and high-quality childcare. Why are we so far behind the rest of the state?

Join us for lunch as we explore these critical issues with a distinguished panel of experts.

Moderator: Cecilia Zalkind – President & CEO, Advocates for Children of New Jersey


  • James Burke – President, The Burke Foundation
  • June Gray – Director of Family Support Interventions, Children’s Futures
  • Armstead Johnson – Executive Director, Mercer Street Friends

Online registration for this event is now closed. If you would like to attend, please click here to email Diana Leighton.

About our speakers:

Cecilia Zalkind, President & CEO – Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Cecilia has an extensive background in public policy advocacy for children. Her 25 years in leadership roles at ACNJ have helped produce key policy advances in child welfare, early care and education and health care in New Jersey. She has led important coalitions such as the Early Care and Education Coalition and the New Jersey Build initiative that have advanced high-quality early care and education in the state. She has argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on preschool standards in Abbott v. Burke, the landmark educational equity case, and on the issue of permanency for foster children in several child welfare cases.

She serves on various national leadership committees, including the national Children’s Leadership Council. She joined ACNJ in 1984 as public policy director and became executive director in 2001. While at ACNJ, she served as an adjunct professor of family and adoption law at Seton Hall Law School. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from New York University and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School.

James Burke, President – The Burke Foundation

James oversees The Burke Foundation founded in 1989 by his late father, James E. Burke, long-time CEO of Johnson & Johnson and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Honor for his ethical leadership. The Foundation is focused on improving the health and wellbeing of at-risk children in the New Jersey and New York regions through targeted interventions in three issue areas: children’s health, early childhood development, and arts education.

James is the Co-Founder of DisruptiveLA and is an award-winning film and theater producer. He has produced a number of successful movies including “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” featuring Matthew McConaughey and “Levity” starring Morgan Freeman and Billy Bob Thorton, and theater projects including the multiple-Tony Award winning Broadway revival of “Long Days’ Journey into Night.” James’ transformative experiences in the arts have shaped the Foundation’s focus on giving youth artistic tools to express their identities and feel empowered. A graduate of Middlebury College and the American Film Institute, James lives with his wife and two daughters in Stockholm, Sweden and Princeton, New Jersey.

June Gray, Director of Family Support Interventions – Children’s Futures

June works to reduce and eliminate disparities in prenatal outcomes for at-risk women, infants and families in Trenton. In addition, she administers the Trenton Nurse Family Partnership Program, which provides intensive nurse home visiting, health and parent education, and case management for first-time, low income at-risk mothers.  Prior to joining CF, June served as a public health nurse consultant for the City of Trenton’s Children’s Health Services.  Before that, she was director of professional services for Visiting Homemaker and Health Services, Inc. of Mount Holly, New Jersey.

June has also served as a nurse educator for the Children’s Home Society I Trenton; the home health aide director for the Mercer Street Friends Center in Trenton; a staff nurse for the Visiting Nurses Association of Trenton; and a registered nurse in the Pediatrics Department of Cooper Hospital in Camden.

Armstead Johnson, Executive Director – Mercer Street Friends

Armstead joined this Quaker affiliated organization after approximately 2 1/2 successful years at the helm of the United Community Corporation (UCC), a 50-year-old anti-poverty program in Newark. His career in non-profit management has primarily focused upon organizations providing personal development to inner city youth and anti-poverty programming. Prior to UCC, he was the Executive Director of the All Saints Community Service and Development Corporation (ASCSDC), founded by All Saints Episcopal Church in Hoboken with a mission to serve youth and their families in Hoboken and Union City. Other professional experience includes work with the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Urban League and advocating for people with disabilities. Armstead has also lead social service organizations in Plainfield, Orange, West Orange and Clifton.

Armstead holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University-Newark. He recently completed the Executive Non-Profit Leadership Certificate program at Fairleigh Dickerson University in Hackensack.

Date: Friday, May 11
Place: Mercer Oaks Golf Course (725 Village Road West, West Windsor)
Time: 11:30AM Registration
12:00PM – 1:30PM Keynote & Panel Discussion
Cost: $40 per person
No portion of the ticket is tax deductible.

Table Sponsorships are also available:

  • Leader (Head Table, 10 seats): $5,000
  • Patron (Priority Tables, 10 seats): $2,500
  • Supporter (Reserved Tables, 10 seats): $1,000

To purchase tickets or table sponsorships, visit our donate page here, and choose the orange “support a specific fund” button. Enter the ticket/sponsorship amount and specify “Fund for Women and Girls Lunch.” If applicable, then email your guest list to Myriam Padro.

Bookings no longer allowed on this date.

Map & Directions:

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