The DEY 2020 Summer Institute


The 2020 Summer Institute will be held on July 19-21 st at the Eaton Hotel, 1201 K St NW, Washington DC. A block of discounted rooms will be available and are limited.

The 2020 theme is: We Are Stronger and Louder Together.


Day 1 – Sunday, July 19 th │1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

  • Panel Discussion with Nancy Carlsson-Paige, senior advisor and co-founder of Defending the Early Years; Michelle Strater Gunderson, veteran early childhood teacher in the Chicago Public Schools and chair of the Early Childhood Committee for the Chicago Teachers Union; Takiema Bunche Smith, Executive Director of the Center on Culture, Race &  Equity at Bank Street College; and Denisha Jones, Director of ECE Organizing, Defending the Early Years, and Institute lead facilitator.
  • Working Groups identified

Day 2 – Monday, July 20 th │8:30 am – 5:00 pm

  • Workshop led by Ijumaa Jordan, professional development trainer for early childhood professionals and ECE consultant at IJC/Harvest Educators Collaborative, to center the group in racial and social justice.
  • Working Groups work together

Day 3 – Tuesday, July 21 st │8:30 am – 5:00 pm

  • Keynote and Discussion.  Presenter TBA.
  • Working Groups present and receive feedback

Register for the Institute here.  

Due to the extraordinary times, we are extending deadline for the Early Bird registration fee of $75 until April 24.

Book your room at the Eaton Hotel here.       

DEY’s code at the Eaton Hotel is: SUG19A          

Statement on the Coronavirus

DEY is watching COVID-19 updates carefully as the situation evolves.  With our Summer Institute still several months away, we continue to assess the risk of bringing our colleagues together in July to share the same space.  For now, we want to reassure anyone who has already registered, or those wishing to take advantage of our early bird registration rate, that if it becomes necessary to cancel the Institute, refunds will be offered.


DEY’s Summer Institute is an annual event that brings together early childhood educators and advocates from across the country to develop an advocacy platform that supports the whole child, respects child development, and recognizes the importance of play for all children.  Our goal is to build policy platforms our attendees can use back at home as they work to protect childhood. 

Attendees will explore and develop leadership skills and advocating on Capitol Hill as well as within their local school and school district.  You will learn various organizing skills, identify threats to the early childhood profession, network with other early childhood leaders, and develop a platform for protecting childhood that is centered on equity for all children.


Early childhood teachers. Administrators. Parents. Early childhood non-profit professionals. Advocates. Anyone who is concerned about current trends within early childhood education – the loss of play, the continued pushdown of academics into lower grades, the need for equity in education – and wants to help make a difference and wants their voices heard.


The DEY Institute provides a forum for fellow advocates to come together to share ideas and recommend next steps for collective impact. As part of Day 1, participants will self-select into working groups around specific advocacy topics and issues and spend the next two days identifying challenges, strategies, needs and next steps toward implementation. The Institute will be guided by core themes of diversity, equity, inclusion, cultural relevancy, and evidence-based solutions.


  • Summer Institute registration fee: $100 ($75 Early Bird registration fee has been extended until April 24)
  • Snack included in your registration for Day 1.  Breakfast and snack on Days 2 and 3.
  • Participants will cover their own hotel and travel expenses.
  • A limited block of rooms is available at the Eaton Hotel for $185/night. Once the block of rooms is booked, this rate can’t be guaranteed.

We can’t wait to see what focus our working groups take and we can’t wait to advocate with you!

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