Promoting, supporting, and strengthening children’s earliest relationships
prenatal to age six



Heidi Maderia 
CT Association for Infant Mental Health 


Wednesday, November  16,  2022  9:00am-4:00pm

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022


 Bridging to Belonging: Understanding Power and                  Creating Connections                Special Focus:

Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children, and Families (Tenet #3)

Work to Acknowledge Privilege and Combat Discrimination: Discriminatory policies and practices that harm adults harm the infants and children in their care. Privilege constitutes injustice. Diversity-informed practitioners acknowledge privilege where we hold it, and use it strategically and responsibly. We combat racism, classism, sexism, able-ism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other systems of oppression within ourselves, our practices, and our fields.   


Keynote Presenter: 

 john a. powell


john a. powell (who spells his name in lowercase in the belief that we should be "part of the universe, not over it, as capitals signify") is Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute and Professor of Law, African American, and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He was previously the Executive Director at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University, and prior to that, the founder and director of the Institute for Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. john formerly served as the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He is a co-founder of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council and serves on the boards of several national and international organizations. john led the development of an “opportunity-based” model that connects affordable housing to education, health, health care,and employment and is well-known for his work developing the frameworks of “targeted universalism” and “othering and belonging” to effect equity-based interventions. john has taught at numerous law schools including Harvard and Columbia University. His latest book is Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Otherto Build an Inclusive Society.

Panel Presenters: Specific examples of ways to make changes in reserach, your program, system, or work environment


  Tanika Eaves, PhD, LCSW, IMH-EŽ    

Tanika Eaves has served as former vice-president of the CT-AIMH Board, and is now a director. She was the former CT-AIMH Endorsement Coordinator and has offered training on Reflective Supervision for CT-AIMH. Tanika worked many years as a clinician with Minding the Baby, which is an evidence-based program serving young parents and their children at the Yale Child Study Center. She is now a faculty member at Fairfield University, in the Social Work Program. Tanika is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is Endorsed in Infant Mental Health.

Julie Hall, BSc, PT

Julie Hall is the Senior Director of Children and Family Services at SARAH Inc. Julie started her accomplished career as a Physical Therapist in 1996 as a graduate of the University of Toronto in Canada. She was recruited to work in the United States in 1997 and ultimately joined SARAH Inc.’s KIDSTEPS early intervention team in 1998. Through the years Julie’s passion for helping others has guided her career, shaping her professional and personal goals. During the last 24 years at SARAH Inc., she learned so much from the thousands of families she served and hopes that she has provided them with the support needed to help their children with developmental delays and/or disabilities meet their goals. Julie has also committed many years to supporting other therapists so that they can develop their skills and embrace evidence-based practices in the field of early intervention. With that comes the active advocating for positive changes through committee work and legislative action. Out of the office, Julie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, both the two and four legged kind.

Ava M. Hart, LCSW, IMH-EŽ

Ava works as a Private Practice Psychotherapist in Middletown. She specializes in trauma therapy and recently developed a clinical workshop called Trauma Bonded Sistas, which is an affinity group for Black women. Ava is also the author of a children's picture book called, "The Calm Before the Storm: When Bad Things Happen".

Rebecca Cuevas, MSW, LMSW

Rebecca Cuevas, MSW, LMSW is the Director of Special Programs & Community Engagement for Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES). Becky has over 30 years of experience working with families, early education, and home visiting programs. Becky earned her master’s degree from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Born and raised in New Haven, she grew up with a strong sense of community. She has long believed that parents and caregivers play an important role in their children’s lives and families thrive when they feel supported within their communities. Becky was a past board member of CT AIMH and past co-chair for their DEI committee. She has been a lifelong resident of CT and continues to live there with her husband. Becky’s most cherished role is that of a mother to her two adult children.



 Carlita Elias, PsyD, IMH-EŽ


Dr. Carlita Elias, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Manchester CT. She also serves as Vice President of the CT-AIMH Board of Directors. She has focused her career on the field of infant and early childhood mental health and has been a champion for infants, toddlers, young children and their families in Connecticut for many years. She has previously worked as a clinician for Child First, a Head Start Mental Health Consultant, and program manager for a trauma informed therapeutic childcare program. She is a registered facilitator for Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) and COSP Classroom and is a certified FLIP IT trainer. She is also a registered provider of Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). She provides training and workshops on topics related to infant and early childhood mental health, addressing challenging behaviors in early childhood and incorporates and anti-racism and equity perspective in all aspects of her work. Her professional interests include maternal mental health, infant and early childhood mental health, intergenerational trauma, attachment/relationship based therapeutic modalities, and reflective supervision. She holds a national Endorsement as a Level III Infant Mental Health Specialist and is a Reflective Supervisor. She received her degree in psychology from the Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology at the University of Hartford where she has been an adjunct instructor for Child Psychotherapy, Family Therapy, and Professional Practice Seminar. Dr. Elias lives in CT with her husband and three teenage children.

Anticipated Audience: 

Social workers, early interventionists, home visitors, early child care providers, clinicians, pediatricians, nurses, health professionals, child welfare, etc...

Register Now!

Important Information for Registering:

  • In order for you to take advantage of the CT-AIMH Member Rate to attend the Conference, you must be a CURRENT 2022 CT-AIMH Member (
  •  CT-NASW: CECs are pending (with cultural competency licensure requirement).  
  • Simultanious translation into Spanish will be avaialbe.
  •  Payment  for the conference must be received on or before November 2, 2022, unless arranged ahead of time with Heidi Maderia (      
  • Refunds can not be issued after November 2, 2022.


We are thankful to our sponsors:


CT Office of Early Childhood


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CT Department of Children and Families