Together, we’re cultivating a stronger future. Across the Cradle to Career Network, roots stretch deep and broad — connecting individuals, organizations and communities that are measurably and irreversibly seeding change. These roots are made of the experiences, stories and strength of our communities. They grow and spread through our shared commitment to an equitable future, the data we use to make better decisions and the collective expertise of working across sectors that leads to results.

This fall, we will come together virtually to learn from the histories of our communities and our movement; those who have come before us and the new leaders emerging in this moment. These roots feed our determination to rise: to transform the systems of this country so that Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian youth and youth living in poverty will thrive. Grounded in this unshakeable vision, we will find new ways of working together across communities and across the nation so that our progress and conviction are clear.

We will not back down. We are rooted together, we grow together and we rise together.


Our keynote speakers

Heather McGhee | Thursday morning keynote | @hmcghee

A renowned expert on the American economy, Heather McGhee is one of the most influential thinkers exploring inequality today. Her book, The Sum of Us, reveals the devastating true cost of racism. Ibram X. Kendi called it “the book I’ve been waiting for.”


Jennifer Blatz | Thursday morning keynote | @JenBlatz

President and CEO of StriveTogether, Jennifer Blatz is a nationally recognized leader in building place-based partnerships. For two decades, she has designed and implemented strategies for large-scale improvement in partnership with local leaders and organizations.


Maria Hinojosa | Thursday afternoon keynote | @Maria_Hinojosa

Maria Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad. Her nearly 30-year journalism career includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN and NPR, and anchoring an Emmy-winning talk show.


Matthew Desmond | Friday morning keynote | @just_shelter

Author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted, Matthew Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University. He founded Princeton’s Eviction Lab to collect national data on eviction and answer questions about housing and poverty in America.


Julián Castro | Friday afternoon keynote | @JulianCastro

Julián Castro has distinguished himself as a strong leader and public servant for nearly two decades. A former Democratic presidential candidate, he served as secretary of housing and urban development under President Barack Obama and as mayor of San Antonio.


Questions? Contact the convening team at