“Parenting in a Time of Insecurity" kicks off free 2024 Speaker Series on February 15

ACTON, MA – Discovery Museum kicks off the 12th year of its Discovery Museum Speaker Series with Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins from The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, who will discuss “Parenting in a Time of Insecurity.” 

The event will be held virtually via Zoom webinar on Thursday, February 15, 2024 from 7:00 to 8:00pm. Registration for this event and the entire 2024 series is open now at http://bit.ly/DMSpeakerSeries. All events are free with advanced registration, which is required.

The health and well-being of families, classrooms, and communities today is increasingly affected by the insecurity, intolerance, and injustice we see in the world around us. Gene Beresin and Khadijah Booth Watkins from Mass General Hospital's Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds will help us understand the link between local and global events, social and cultural norms, and the confusion and uncertainty we and the children in our lives feel—and they will offer advice on how parents can care for themselves first, in order to successfully navigate the conversations that help children feel agency, safety, and security in uncertain times. 

Gene Beresin, MD, MA, is executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a full professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and senior educator in child and adolescent psychiatry at MGH. As a clinician and educator with 40 years of experience in working with youth, Dr. Beresin has focused on prevention, early intervention and treatment of teens and young adults. He has been a keynote speaker at local and international conferences and is often called upon by media to weigh in on issues relevant to this vulnerable population and the unique impact of societal issues.

Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD, MPH, is associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the Interim Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Program of Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. In addition, she provides clinical care to children, adolescents, and families in the MGH Child Outpatient Clinic, and teaches and supervises fellows, residents, and medical students. Areas of particular interest include Anxiety Disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, student and college mental health, mental health within schools, diversity, inclusion, and suicide prevention.

Speaker headshot photos available for use can be found here in Dropbox.

Other Events on the 2024 Schedule

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 | “How To Have Brave Conversations that Build Empathetic Kids,” with Valora Washington, Ph.D., CEO & President, The CAYL Institute; former Vice President, W.K. Kellogg Foundation. How can adults have the brave conversations that develop kids' sense of empathy over judgment, and respect the complexity of the world we live in? Dr. Washington will help us understand why keeping children "in a bubble" is not a reasonable option in today's world, and how choosing to be a powerful parent (or caregiver, or grandparent, or teacher) is one of the greatest gifts we can give the children in our lives. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024 | “How Art Can Inspire Civic Engagement in Kids,” with Chanel Thervil, Artist + Educator; Inaugural Discovery Museum Artist in Residence. Civic engagement is not just about voting and government—it encompasses all the ways in which individuals take action and get involved in their communities. Chanel Thervil will speak about helping children consider what they love about their community, so they see a place for themselves in making their communities better and how the creative process and experience of artmaking is a powerful tool in giving kids the space to connect, share ideas, and be present for others—all important steps in becoming active civic participants. This event is supported by a grant from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | “The Science of “Good Enough” Relationships: Trusting and Developing Our Capacity for Simple and Authentic Human Interactions,” with Junlei Li, Program Chair of Human Development and Education, Saul Zaentz Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education. What makes any of us “enough”? Whether we teach children directly, or support families and educators, we invest ourselves in building authentic relationships with human beings. This presentation is intended as a reflection and a reminder that the simple, ordinary things we do with other human beings matter in ways that can be seen and felt in moments when we really show up for others, and in ways that can be measured over the long run.

Fall 2024, date tba | a Science Moms panel discussion on climate science and how we can preserve the planet for our kids. Science Moms is a group of nonpartisan climate scientists and mothers, working to give children the plant they deserve. They were founded to help mothers who are concerned about their children’s planet but aren’t confident in their knowledge about climate change or how they can help. Together, they aim to demystify climate science and motivate everyday moms to demand climate change plans and solutions.

The Discovery Museum Speaker Series remains free thanks to the support of Enterprise Bank and the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. Additional support is provided by Sutherland Realty Group/Keller Williams Realty Boston NW. Thank you!

About Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum that blends science, nature, and play, inspiring families to explore and learn together. The museum and its Discovery Woods accessible outdoor nature playscape and giant treehouse blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus abutting 180 acres of conservation land in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. Originally founded in 1982 and expanded to two museums in 1987, the museum reopened in a single, 16,000sf accessible building after a complete renovation and expansion in early 2018. Hands-on, open-ended exhibits developed by professional educators inspire curiosity and exploration, providing a fun and engaging experience for children and adults to discover their world together. Serving families and schools from towns throughout the region, the museum is devoted to informal education that enhances classroom learning. Discovery Museum is committed to accessibility and is a proud recipient of the Massachusetts Commonwealth Award, the only winner in the Access category, and a LEAD® Community Asset Award from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Discovery Museum was also recognized in 2023 as a Finalist for the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Medal, the highest honor in the museum field. For more information, please visit www.discoveryacton.org. Discovery Museum is a community-supported non-profit organization.

Discovery Museum programming is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.