The Princeton Area Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls will hold a luncheon and panel discussion to speak about improving the lives of young children and their caregivers through healthy development, education and support of multiple generations living in poverty in Mercer County.

“Thriving Women, Thriving Communities: Getting it Right from the Start” will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 11 at Mercer Oaks Golf Course, 725 Village Road West, West Windsor. Tickets are $40 each.

The Fund for Women and Girls works to improve the lives of economically vulnerable women and girls through community investment, education and collaboration.

According to the latest New Jersey Kids Count report:

  • More than 35% of Mercer County women lacked early prenatal care in 2015.
  • In 2014, there were 27 infant deaths in the county; 14 of the state’s 21 counties had fewer infant deaths that year.
  • Between 2012 and 2016, there was a 6% decrease in licensed childcare centers in the county.


  • 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

Cecilia Zalkind 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 serves on various national leadership committees, including the national Children’s Leadership Council.

James Burke is the President of The Burke Foundation, founded in 1989 by his late father, James E. Burke, long-time CEO of Johnson & Johnson. 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 children’s health, early childhood development, and arts education.

June Gray works to reduce and eliminate disparities in prenatal outcomes for at-risk women, infants and families through her work at Children’s Futures 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.

Armstead Johnson joined the Trenton organization after approximately 2½ successful years at the helm of the United Community Corporation (UCC), a 50-year-old anti-poverty program in Newark. He was previously the Executive Director of the All Saints Community Service and Development Corporation (ASCSDC), which serves youth and their families in Hoboken and Union City.