2020 Symposium Special Events & Keynote/Plenary Speakers

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 | 5:30pm to 7pm
Screening of "Speaking Grief"

Brought to you through the support of our Premiere Sponsor, New York Life Foundaion, Speaking Grief explores the transformative experience of losing a family member in a death- and grief-avoidant society. This national public media initiative includes a television documentary, media-rich website, social media campaign, and numerous community engagement events, all aimed at starting a national conversation about grief.

Moving away from the idea that grief is a problem that needs to be “fixed,” Speaking Grief  validates the experience of grievers and guides those wishing to support them. There is no “right” way to grieve. By sharing diverse representations of bereavement, Speaking Grief  illustrates that grief is a universal, yet individual experience.  Learn more about this initiative by visiting their website here.




Tuesday, June 16, 2020 | 7pm to 8:30pm
New York Life Foundation Welcome Reception

The New York Life Welcome Reception, following the screening of Speaking Grief provides an inviting opportunity for 2020 presenters, attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and friends to connect as a community. This festive kick-off invites informal social networking among attendees to spark energy that will power your three-day symposium experience. The New York Life Foundation Welcome Reception is open to all registered attendees.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 | 8:30am to 9:30am
Opening Keynote: The Power of Inclusion: The Impact of Unconscious Bias on Excellence

This dynamic session helps professionals understand the depth and breadth of Diversity, the power of Inclusion and the impact of Unconscious Bias on excellence. It reveals the neurology of bias and heightens awareness about the impact of unconscious bias on decision-making. The session provides a shared reference that helps professionals be more intentional in creating inclusive environments where everyone can thrive. Ms. Aranza is known for her interactive and dynamic approach to complex topics and she utilizes a mix of media and experiential learning to make key points come alive. Participants discover bias as part of the human condition, learn ways to mitigate bias and understand the impact on personal and organizational excellence.

About the Presenter: Sonia Aranza
Sonia Aranza
The U.S. Department of Labor describes Ms. Aranza’s work as “Outstanding!” Global audiences consistently rank her among the top speakers based on audience evaluations at large conferences including the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is a seasoned and respected Global Diversity & Inclusion Strategist with over 22 years of experience in the design, development and execution of quality programs. Her clients include top Fortune 500 companies and organizations including Boeing, CIA, McDonald’s, NASA, Oshkosh Corporation, Schreiber Foods, Toyota and many more. She brings academic grounding with two Master’s degrees in her areas of expertise and solid experience working on some of the largest landmark cases to address discrimination. Respected by her colleagues, she is a past Chairperson of the Diversity Professionals Expert Group of the National Speakers Association. Ms. Aranza was selected to execute congressionally mandated Diversity & Inclusion training for federal government agencies across the United States and repeatedly selected to execute corporate programs on landmark cases. Her unique and engaging approach to a complex topic make her distinct. Ms. Aranza was honored “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by the National Association of Professional Asian American Women and named “100 Most Influential Filipina-Americans in the United States.” She was also honored “100 Most Influential Filipinas in the World” for her work on transformational leadership and is featured in the book “Disrupt 2.0” where she authored the chapter "transformational Leadership Begins Within."

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 | 11:45am to 1:00pm
NAGC Founders' Awards Lunch

 All symposium attendees are invited to join us for lunch as we update you on the happenings within the NAGC and honor a few members of our field. (*CEs are not available for this event).

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 | 4:15pm to 5:00pm
2020 Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model (CBEM) Changes and Enhancements

 Join the Judi's House/JAG Institute team as they share exciting changes to the CBEM that includes providing childhood bereavement prevalence estimates for every county in the United States. Following a brief presentation explaining how model enhancements impact results, advocacy, and planning, Judi's House/JAG Institute staff will be available to answer specific questions to help you leverage the CBEM to create positive change for grieving families.

Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 12pm to 1:15pm
Stronger Together: The importance of collaboration among bereavement, hospice, and funeral services

In this luncheon session, brought to you through the support of the Funeral Service Foundation, panelists will discuss best practices around transitioning care among the grief, hospice and funeral spaces. We will examine the important role each professional plays in the lives of grieving children and uncover how to foster mission-enhancing relationships that build resilient children and families.

Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Plenary: Interactive Activity, Tool or Innovation Sharing Showcase: Creative Ideas to Engage, Educate and Support Grieving Children, Teens, Families

This session will provide creative ideas to engage, educate and support grieving kids, teens, and families. Through discussion and hands on learning, the presenters will provide education about teen grief and loss, outline a practice model of bereavement support and education for kids, teens, and families through specific clinical grief activities, tools, and innovations which can assist the professional to best support clients their grief process in individual, group and camp settings. Join us to explore 20 different activities, tools, or innovations presented and exampled for you to take back to your program.

Friday, June 19, 2020 | 11:30am to 12:30pm
Plenary: Sound Healing: Journey. Discover. Revitalize

An intentional communal sound ceremony facilitated with crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, gongs and other sounds allowing participants the opportunity to journey within to discover new insight, clarity and feel revitalized afterwards providing a smooth integration from symposium to back to our communities.

About the Presenter: Monica Gonzalez

Monica Gonzalez is a native Nevadan, medicine woman, sound healer, massage therapist, spiritual teacher, inspirational speaker and bereavement consultant.

Unknowingly, Monica’s grief journey began as a young child of a homicide and more profoundly when she was hit by a car and had a near death experience at the age of 6. The journey to “the otherside” left her with a deep knowing she was gifted to heal her own past and present traumas and transcend those experiences to consciously journey with humanity and earth.

Monica served as a grief camp director, facilitator, coordinator of volunteer training, and consultant to the Solace Tree for 7 years and is now sharing her expertise throughout Northern Nevadan communities and schools, behavioral health organizations; teaching workshops, developing curriculum for all ages to provide creative solutions to drug, alcohol and other traumatic events through the use of sound healing, meditation circles, art, nature explorations and storytelling. Her services have been summoned from the business world, educational leaders, hospices, cancer centers, non-profit organizations, individuals and families experiencing emotional trauma and across intercontinental borders such as Nicaraga, Oaxaca, and Chiapas, Mexico.

Monica has received recognition from Reno’s Alliance for Victims Rights as “Outstanding Volunteer Advocate- Kind Heart Award” -2012; Solace Tree “Volunteer of the Year” -2008 -2011, “Staff of the Year” -2013; Sierra Nevada College “Student Leadership Award” -2005, among others. Her collaborative partners have included the Boys and Girls Club, Red Cross, serving on their disaster action team, church groups building homes in Mexico, Circle of Life Hospice- “Heart and Film” series speaker, The Eddy House Reno’s homeless youth center, PBS Special “You’ll Always Be With Me” -2010, Washoe County School District transitioning youth of sex trafficing back in the schools and mental health first aid responder, Americorps, hunger relief efforts, and most recently appointed to the Board of Winnemucca Domestic Violence Services. She has also had the opportunity to volunteer for the Dougy Center and present at the National Grief Camp Conference "Healing Through Collaborative Rituals” -2014. Her deep connection to the earth, spiritually, and infectious presence serve as the foundation of her being.