2023 Conference

Changing the Odds

Humans Being: The Art & Science of Emotionally Thriving People

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Every year, Momentous Institute’s Changing the Odds conference brings together some of the world’s brightest minds in mental health and education who are focused on today’s children and families.

This years theme

Humans Being: The Art & Science of Emotionally Thriving People

This year our team set out to curate an experience focused on helping conference attendees understand how to create a world of emotionally thriving people, for themselves and for the children with whom they work.

Announced Speakers

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CTO Speaker

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

Founder of Center for Youth Wellness & Former Surgeon General of California

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is an award-winning physician, researcher and public health leader who has spent her career on the front lines of some of our world’s most pressing public health challenges. She served as California’s first-ever Surgeon General and is the founder of Center for Youth Wellness, to advance pediatric medicine, raise public awareness, and transform the way society responds to children exposed to ACEs and toxic stress. She is the author of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity, and her TED Talk, “How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across the Lifetime” has been viewed more than 10 million times.

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CTO Speaker

Dr. Adam Saenz, Ph.D., D. Min

C.E.O. of the Applied EQ Group, Licensed Psychologist, Ordained Minister, Author, and Emotional Intelligence Expert

Dr. Adam Sáenz earned his Ph.D. in School Psychology from Texas A&M University as a United States Department of Education doctoral fellow. He currently serves as the C.E.O. of the Applied EQ Group, the counseling and assessment clinic he founded in 2003. He also serves as a consulting psychologist in the Texas A&M College of Medicine and the Texas A&M Department of Athletics, and he leads professional development courses in public schools throughout the United States. Dr. Sáenz has authored multiple titles, including the best-selling, The Power of a Teacher and Relationships That Work. His most recent release, The EQ Intervention, was an Amazon best-seller that won the Independent Publisher Association gold medal in psychology.

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CTO Speaker

Nedra Glover Tawwab

Therapist, NYT Bestselling Author, and Relationship Expert

Nedra Glover Tawwab is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Drama Free and Set Boundaries, Find Peace. A licensed therapist and sought-after relationship expert, she has practiced relationship therapy for more than fifteen years. Every day she helps people create healthy relationships by teaching them how to implement boundaries. Her philosophy is that a lack of boundaries and assertiveness underlie most relationship issues, and her gift is helping people create healthy relationships with themselves and others. Tawwab runs a popular Instagram account where she shares practices, tools, and reflections for mental health and relationships.

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CTO Speaker

Dr. Wendy Suzuki

World-Renowned Neuroscientist, Professor, and Author

Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a world-renowned neuroscientist and a celebrated international authority on neuroplasticity. Dr. Suzuki is best known for her research examining how the brain forms long-term memories, while her more recent work has focused on how aerobic exercise can be used to improve learning, memory, and higher cognitive abilities in humans. Dr. Suzuki’s Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion is a guidebook for how to harness the power of anxiety into unexpected gifts. Her previous book, Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better, explores the biological connection between exercise, mindfulness, and action. In this fascinating book, Dr. Suzuki accessibly teaches readers how they can make their body feel alive while activating their brains. Her infamous TED talk on the brain-changing benefits of exercise has received more than 31 million views on Facebook and was the 2nd most viewed TED talk of 2018. In her keynotes and presentations, Dr. Suzuki energizes audiences with her dynamic speaking and physical exercises. She implores crowds to get off their feet, engage both their mind and body, and transform their ways of thinking and living.

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CTO Speaker

Dr. James S. Gordon

Award-Winning Psychiatrist, NIMH Researcher & Georgetown Medical School Professor, Founder of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

James S. Gordon, MD, a Harvard-educated psychiatrist and former NIMH researcher, is internationally recognized for using self-awareness, self-care, and group support to heal population-wide psychological trauma. He is the Founder and CEO of the nonprofit Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) in Washington, DC, a clinical professor at Georgetown Medical School, and was chairman (under Presidents Clinton and GW Bush) of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy.

Dr. Gordon founded The Center for Mind-Body Medicine to create a healing community and community of healers, to make self-awareness, self-care, and group support central to all health care, to the training of health professionals, and the education of our children. A peace-maker and consensus-builder, Dr. Gordon is known for cross-cultural relationship building as well as deep life-changing therapeutic work with individuals, families, and groups. For more than 25 years, he has led CMBM teams in relieving population-wide psychological trauma: during and after wars in the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa; after climate related disasters in Louisiana, Texas, California, Puerto Rico, and Haiti; in communities affected by school shootings; and with active duty U.S. military and veterans and their families.

Register for the Changing the Odds conference

  • Join national thought leaders in education, mental health, and related fields as they present on a range of topics related to the mental health of children and families.

  • Date

    October 26 & 27

  • Location

    AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. Dallas, TX 75201

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What to expect

The Changing the Odds conference seeks to inspire and equip more than 1,000 educators, therapists, nonprofit professionals, and decision makers with knowledge and strategies to prioritize social emotional health in their work with countless children and families.

Conference Agenda

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26 | 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Cocktail hour and fireside chat with Nadine Burke Harris, Founder of the Center for Youth Wellness and Former Surgeon General of California
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 | 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Keynote speakers and panel discussion - lunch will be provided
CEUs offered on both Thursday and Friday.

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