The Parenting Journalists Society is the first national organization focused on journalism about parenting and child development. We are committed to serving all parents by offering a diverse set of perspectives and featuring speakers who represent a variety of identities. We welcome interest and feedback. Please contact us by email. To view more information about the 2021 conference see the conference home page. You can read speaker bios below.
KATHERINE REYNOLDS LEWIS
Ellen Lee is an independent journalist and mom of three in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Wirecutter, The Atlantic, Real Simple and the San Francisco Chronicle, where she was a business and technology reporter. She serves as the co-director of the Asian American Journalists Association Freelance Affinity Group and co-director of the AAJA Media Institute. She loves Broadway musicals, peppermint chocolate and sleep.
Katherine Reynolds Lewis is an independent journalist and MIT Knight Science Journalism fellow, reporting on the science of racial bias in preK-12 education. Her 2018 book The Good News About Bad Behavior grew out of Mother Jones’ most-read article. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, New York Times, OneZero, Parents, Washington Post, and Bloomberg, where she was a national correspondent. The daughter of a Singaporean immigrant and a Wisconsinite, Katherine lives in the Washington DC area with her partner Brian and their three children.
Kelly Glass is a journalist whose interests focus on the intersections of health, parenting, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Parents, National Geographic, Romper, Glamour, and more. She’s also appeared on MSNBC Live, Al Jazeera’s the Stream, and NBC Boston. A big city girl at heart, she currently lives in a Midwestern college town with her two children.
Speakers & Moderators
Adiba Nelson, writer, author, executive producer of forthcoming “Ain’t That A Mother”
Adiba Nelson is the author of the popular children’s book about inclusion, Meet ClaraBelle Blue, and the voice of “The Word,” contributing original essays on race, parenting, and disability on the NPR/AZPM radio show “Arizona Spotlight.” She has bylines with The Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Lily, Everyday Feminism, Parents Magazine and others. She is currently penning her memoir, Ain’t That A Mother (due Spring 2022), and developing a television show about her life as a Black mother, woman, and daughter. You can find out more about Adiba by watching the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Full Nelson.
Aisha Sultan, syndicated columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Aisha is an award winning syndicated columnist, independent filmmaker and speaker whose work explores social change with an emphasis on education and demographics. In 2011, she completed a fellowship at the University of Michigan to study how technology is changing families. The Society of Features Journalism has honored her commentary and the Asian American Journalists Association commended her coverage in Ferguson. A Trinity University graduate, Aisha taught college writing at Washington University and hosted a year-long podcast. Aisha lives in the St. Louis area with her husband, two teenagers and an adoring puppy.
Amber Leventry (they/them), Writer, LGBTQIA+ Advocate & Educator
A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez, Health and Diversity Content Specialist and founder of #FreeBlackMotherhood
Amy Joyce, editor, On Parenting, The Washington Post
Amy Joyce is the editor for the On Parenting section of the Washington Post. Before taking that role in 2014, she was a business reporter, career columnist and features editor for the Post. Author of the book “I Went to College for This?” Amy lives in Washington D.C. with her husband, also a journalist, and their two sons.
Anna Halkidis, Features Editor at Parents.com
April Daniels Hussar, managing editor, Romper
Blanca Torres, producer for Forum at KQED in San Francisco
Christine Koh, author, podcast host, speaker
Christine is a music and brain scientist turned multimedia creative who creates content to help people reduce the emotional, physical, and logistical stressors from their lives so they have more room to pursue what they care about and enjoy. She is the co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, founder/editor of BostonMamas.com, designer of Brave New World Designs, creative director at Women Online and a speaker. Christine lives in the Boston area with her husband Jonathan, daughters Laurel and Violet, and standard poodle James.
Christopher Farley, executive editor, Audible
Christopher Farley is an Executive Editor at Amazon Inc.’s Audible. He has previously worked for The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. He’s the author of four novels, Around Harvard Square, My Favorite War, Kingston by Starlight, and Game World and a number of nonfiction books including the national bestseller Aaliyah: More than a Woman, and the biography Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley.
Courtney Schley, editor, New York Times
Damon Brown, entrepreneur, author, Inc. Magazine columnist & coach
Damon Brown helps side hustlers, solopreneurs, and other non-traditional creatives bloom. As a best-selling author, 2x startup founder, and 4x TED Speaker, Damon co-founded the popular platonic connection app Cuddlr and led it to acquisition within a year, all while being the primary caretaker of his infant son. He now guides others through his 1-on-1 business coaching, Inc. Magazine column, #BringYourWorth show and side hustle bootcamp. Damon was the first Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the Toledo Library. His latest book is Build From Now: How to Know Your Power, See Your Abundance & Nourish the World (January 2021).
Dani McClain, reporter and author, We Live for the We
Dani McClain reports on race, parenting and reproductive health. She is a contributing writer with The Nation and a fellow with Type Media Center. McClain’s writing has appeared in outlets including The New York Times, The Atlantic, TIME, Slate and The Rumpus. Her work has been recognized by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism. Her book, We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood, was published in 2019 by Bold Type Books and was a 2020 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominee in Nonfiction.
David G. Allan, Editorial Director, CNN Features
Debbie Reber, author, Differently Wired and host, Tilt Parenting podcast *
Debbie is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and founder of TiLT Parenting, a top resource and podcast for parents raising neurologically atypical (differently wired) children. A regular contributor to Psychology Today and ADDitude Magazine, Debbie’s newest book is Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World. Prior to launching TiLT, Debbie spent more than fifteen years writing books for women and teens. She is frequently interviewed about education, understanding, and support for neurodivergent children.
Doreen Oliver, Writer/Performer/Speaker
Doreen Oliver is a writer, performer, and speaker whose work illuminates the beauty, heartbreak, and unpredictability of life. Her critically-acclaimed one-woman show about raising a child with autism, EVERYTHING IS FINE UNTIL IT’S NOT, broke the record for the fastest sellout of a run in the 20-year history of the New York International Fringe Festival and won the Backstage/United Solo Audience award the following year. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post Sunday Magazine, The Root, Kenyon Review and elsewhere. She is a recipient of residencies and fellowships from Yaddo, Hedgebrook, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation at Gallery Aferro, and a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was a Charles Bonini Fellow.
Esther Carlstone, Deputy Editor, Mom.com
Esther has worked in the parenting media industry for a decade, editing and writing for various companies including mom.me, The Bump and Disney. Outside of creating parenting content day in and day out, she also parents three real-life daughters.
Erin Chan Ding, freelance journalist
Gemma Hartley author of Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women and the Way Forward
Hannah Grieco, editor and author, So You Don’t Hear Me *
Heather Clarke, MSPED, MS, MA, mother, activist, abolitionist educator, and disability advocate *
Heather is an Early Childhood and Special Education lecturer at Queen’s College, CUNY and Field Mentor to student teachers at NYU. She has over 20 years of experience working with children with developmental delays and learning disabilities. She has worked on public policy and educational justice for children and girls abroad and in the United States, and has almost 15 years of experience working with the NYC DOE. Additionally, Heather helps administer several local advocacy groups, some focused on addressing Anti-Black racism and dismantling white supremacy, and others on educational needs in the community. Through Heather’s Learning Advocacy service, she advocates for both families and children to ensure children have a safe and appropriate educational environment.
Heidi Shin, Public Radio + Podcast Producer
Howard Yoon, literary agent, Ross Yoon
Jen Malia, author, Too Sticky
Jen Malia is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing Coordinator for Norfolk State University. Her #ownvoices picture book, Too Sticky! Sensory Issues with Autism, based on her own and her daughter’s experiences living with autism and sensory issues, was published by Albert Whitman in 2020. She has appeared on NPR’s With Good Reason and written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Woman’s Day, Glamour, SELF, Catapult, and others. She lives in Virginia Beach with her husband and three kids.
Jenni Gritters, writer, editor, coach and co-host, The Writers Coop podcast
Jenni Gritters is a freelance writer and editor based in the Pacific Northwest. She works with clients like the New York Times, the REI Co-op, Wirecutter, University of Washington, Outside magazine, and beyond, and offers business coaching services to freelance writers. She’s also the co-host of The Writers’ Co-op, a business podcast for freelance writers everywhere.
Jessica Lahey, author, The Gift of Failure and host, #AmWriting podcast *
Jessica writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Atlantic, The Washington Post and the New York Times and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. A sought-after speaker, she is a member of the Amazon Studios Thought Leader Board and wrote the curriculum for Amazon Kids’ The Stinky and Dirty Show. Her second book, The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence will be released in April of 2021.
Jyoti Gupta, Media-maker, Educator, and Author, Different Differenter: An Activity Book about Skin Color
Jyoti analyzes and makes media for social good, especially about the impact of colorism on women and youth of color. She is the proud creator of (designed, researched, wrote, and self-published) Different Differenter, a first-of-its-kind, arts-based, racial literacy toolkit for 5- to 9-year-olds. Her views and insights have appeared on or in Bitch Media, Romper, and The Washington Post. She has presented at TEDxWomen, and the Jaipur Literature Festival, Asia’s largest literary event. Jyoti holds an MA in Media Studies from The New School, New York City, and a BFA in Visual Communication from the College of Art, New Delhi. She lives in Manhattan with her spouse and 7-year-old son.
Jordan Shapiro, author, Father Figure and The New Childhood
Julie Beck, Family Editor at The Atlantic
Julie Beck is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Family section. She is the creator of “The Friendship Files,” a series of interviews with friends about their friendships. She has been with The Atlantic since 2013, and previously covered science, technology, and health. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Kirsten Ott Palladino, Editorial Director + Cofounder, Equally Wed
Laura Lambert, managing editor, MOJO
Laura Lambert is the managing editor of MOJO, a new youth sports brand that’s making sports more fun for parents, kids and coaches. She’s been in the parenting space for more than a decade, having written or wrangled content for the likes of Disney, Reading Rainbow, the Penguin Random House site Brightly and mom.com.
Laura Vanderkam, speaker, author and podcast host
Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including Juliet’s School of Possibilities, Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune. She is the host of the podcast Before Breakfast and the co-host, with Sarah Hart-Unger, of the podcast Best of Both Worlds, and frequently speaks about time and productivity to audiences of all sizes.
Leslie Arreola Hillenbrand, founder, Latinx Parenting
Leslie is a first generation non-Black Chicana mother to three biracial children ages 8, 2, and 1. She is a descendant of Indigenous Tarahumara Rarámuri and Spanish lineages who has resided on occupied Tongva and Acjachemen land, also known as Orange County, CA, all of her life. Formerly an early childhood teacher and 1:1 behavioral coach, Leslie has worked with children and families for over 13 years, with training that includes Trauma-Informed Nonviolent Parenting, Positive Discipline, Supporting Fatherhood Involvement (SFI), and Community Parent Education (C.O.P.E).
Liv Monahan, Freelance writer, Editor-at-Large of Voices SAC for The Sacramento Bee
Matt Villano, freelance writer and editor *
Matt Villano proudly has two full-time jobs: father and freelance writer and editor. In the first, he’s “Daddy Cat” to three daughters, ages 11.5, 9, and 5. In the second, he pens journalism articles, corporate content, and marketing copy for a variety of different clients. Every now and again the worlds overlap and he gets to write about parenthood or life as a Dad.
Michelle Woo, editor, Forge at Medium, author, Horizontal Parenting
Michelle Woo is a senior platform editor at Forge, a Medium publication. Her first book, Horizontal Parenting: How to Entertain Your Kid While Lying Down, comes out this fall. She was previously the parenting editor at Lifehacker. Her work has appeared on CNN, Jezebel, Gizmodo, and in USA Today. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, Matt, and her kids, Maggie and Max.
Moss Froom, trans centered doula
Mystique Hargrove, MS, CFSD, CLE, CBE, Ph.D. Student
Nefertiti Austin, author, Motherhood So White
Author and memoirist Nefertiti Austin writes about the erasure of diverse voices in motherhood in the critically acclaimed Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender and Parenting in America. Her work around this topic has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, MUTHA, Gen Medium, and many other publications. She was the subject of an article on race and adoption in The Atlantic and appeared on numerous shows/podcasts and radio programs, including The Today Show, 1A with Joshua Johnson, and NPR. Nefertiti is the proud adoptive mother of two children and lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Nikkya Hargrove, writer
Priscilla Blossom, journalist / content writer
Randi Olin, Co-founder Executive Editor, Motherwell
Reema Zaman, author, speaker, screenwriter, and producer
Roberta Zeff, The New York Times
Sa’iyda Shabazz, freelance writer *
Sa’iyda Shabazz is a freelance writer and aspiring YA author. She is a staff writer for Scary Mommy and creates content for Netflix Family. Her work has been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bustle, Romper and more.
Sharon Holbrook, managing editor, Your Teen Media *
Sharon is a freelance writer and the managing editor at Your Teen Media. She believes in the power of parenting writing to launch writing careers. After working as an attorney, she got her first clips by pitching parenting essays on spec and then leveraging those clips into reported work and editing. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Real Simple, Brain, Child, and many other publications. She is currently writing and querying a parenting book.
Sherisa de Groot, Founder, Raising Mothers
Trystan Reese is an established thought leader, educator, and speaker, focusing on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is a professionally trained anti-racism facilitator and curriculum designer, studying under Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington at the Social Justice Training Institute. Trystan has also been organizing with the trans community for nearly two decades and has been on the frontlines of this generation’s biggest fights for LGBTQ justice.
Tyrese Coleman, author, How to Sit
Vanessa Hua, author, A River of Stars, columnist, San Francisco Chronicle
Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of the national bestseller, A River of Stars, and the short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, among other honors. Her work appeared publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she teaches at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and elsewhere.
Ylonda Gault, author, Child, Please
Ylonda Gault is an author, parenting journalist and education advocate. She has been a senior producer at iVillage; lifestyle and parenting editor at Essence magazine; as well as a retail and fashion reporter at Crain’s New York Business. CHILD, PLEASE: How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself is her first book. Bylines include The New York Times, Redbook, Health and The Huffington Post.
- Jasmine Banks, Parenting is Political
(Names with an asterisk are also on the programming committee.)
Catherine Pearlman, founder of The Family Coach
Emily Popek, freelance writer
Kate Rope, author, Strong As a Mother and co-author Soldiers of Science (Audible Original)
Kortney Lapeyrolerie, founder, community organizer, and editor, Queer Doula Network
Shana Westlake, freelance writer
ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE MEMBERS
- Tonya Abari, freelance writer and editor
Frequently Asked Questions
When and how long is the conference?
The conference spanned two days from 10 am to 8 pm ET, on Friday March 12 and Saturday March 13. Each day included one keynote speaker and five workshops, each lasting 75 minutes.
What will I get out of the conference programming?
The event is run by journalists who ensured that speakers stayed on topic and offered clear takeaways and actionable advice. The workshop leaders and keynote speakers represent some of the most prolific and talented parenting journalists in the country. Whether you’re an aspiring parenting writer or someone with years of experience, you’ll learn strategies for pitching, honing your craft, advancing your career, becoming more productive and making more money. Plus, you can network with your peers around the globe, meet editors and make important professional connections through the Facebook group.
How do I access the conference recordings and webinars?
Conference recordings are hosted on a Resource Hub where you can view webinars, download resources and access editor emails. After you register, you will receive an email with an invitation to create a login to the Resource Hub. If it’s been more than 24 hours and you haven’t received the email, (and you’ve checked your spam folders), please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you.
The monthly webinars are hosted on Zoom. Please download the Zoom software or update it ahead of time on the device you plan to use, so you have the latest version. (If you have an out-of-date version of Zoom, you will see a message “connecting” that just hangs there.)
What is the Parenting Journalists Society?
The Parenting Journalists Society is the first national organization focused on journalism about parenting and child development. We are committed to serving all parents by offering a diverse set of perspectives and featuring speakers who represent a variety of identities. Your membership includes monthly webinars through February 2022 for networking, professional development and connecting with editors.
What's in the bonus bundle?
The Bonus Bundle includes bonus items from our speakers, including downloadable PDFs, worksheets, checklists, podcasts, webinars, and more. When you register, you’ll receive an email with instructions for joining the Resource Hub. Bonus Bundle items can be downloaded from the Hub; the session recordings are not downloadable and will expire at the end of the month.
I'm not on Facebook. Will I still benefit from the series?
The Facebook group is an added bonus for those who have an account and would like a place to continue the conversation with other attendees. All of the presenter-led material will be available in the Resource Hub.
Is the conference acccessible?
We used a service from Rev.com to live-caption the conference sessions in order to make them accessible. If you have additional accessibility needs, please contact us at email@example.com
What is the cost and refund policy?
The total cost of the conference recordings is $69 US. Upon registering, you’ll be invited to join the Resource Hub, where you’ll be able to access replays, the bonus bundle material, and additional downloadables. Refunds are available within three days of purchase with a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org If you have financial need, please email email@example.com to inquire about available scholarships.