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Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families Expert Speakers

Does your group want to learn more about how policies at the state and federal levels affect kids and families in Arkansas? Our policy and advocacy experts can present on a wide range of issues on education, health, family economic advancement, how to advocate and more. Email connect@ardvocates.org to request a speaker for your meeting or event.

Keesa Smith, Executive Director, Bio

  • Child Welfare
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Child Care and Early Childhood Education
  • Maternal Health
  • Medicaid
  • State Government
  • Family economic advancement
  • How to advocate
  • Nonprofit Leadership
  • Southern Politics

Fran Carter, Development Director, Bio

  • About Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
  • AACF fundraising events- Soup Sunday or Friends of Children Luncheon
  • The Culture of Philanthropy

Maricella Garcia, Race Equity Director, Bio

  • Various topics related to racial equity
  • Historical context of marginalized communities in America
  • State and federal anti-hunger policies
  • How to advocate
  • Immigrant children and families

Olivia Gardner, Education Policy Director, Bio

  • K-12 education policy
  • Early childhood education policy
  • Topics surrounding educational equity
  • The Arkansas LEARNS Act
  • National and regional education policy trends

Pete Gess, Economic Policy Director, Bio

  • The Arkansas State Budget Process
  • Taxation and the Purposes of Taxes
  • Family economic advancement
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Kids Count Data Center
  • Census Data
  • Arkansas Political History

Val Rose Habrock, Governmental Affairs Director, Bio

  • Advocacy and lobbying including relationship building
  • The Arkansas General Assembly

Laura Kellams, Northwest Arkansas Director, Bio

  • How to advocate
  • Children’s well-being in Arkansas and how policy can improve outcomes
  • Policy opportunities to improve food security in Arkansas
  • Policy opportunities to improve health outcomes in Arkansas
  • Child Poverty in Northwest Arkansas

Camille Richoux, Health Policy Director, Bio

  • Maternal health policy and pregnancy-related health disparities
  • Medicaid advocacy 
  • Social determinants of health

Rebecca Zimmermann, Community Engagement Director, Bio

  • How to advocate
  • Overview of AACF policy priorities
  • Voting and ballot rights