Family Talks

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Join Roanoke Valley Family and mpi Too each month for our Family Talks series, a free monthly gathering featuring local professionals speaking about on important topics for parents in our community. Free childcare* with our partner organization - Creative Kids Childcare - and snacks are provided, plus door prizes.

*Childcare is available for 2+ potty-trained children



Where: CoLab Roanoke, 1327 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke

When: Tuesday, June 25
Tuesday, August 27
Tuesday, September 24
Tuesday, October 22
Tuesday, November 19
Tuesday, December 10

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 10 special time - TBA


Have a topic you’d like to suggest? We’d love to hear about it! Email

June 25: Bouncing Back: How Resilience is the Key to Stronger Communities


Melanie Morris, Roanoke Prevention Alliance Director, will lead a discussion about what it means to be resilient. Here’s your primer:

There are some serious issues in our society that we all want desperately to fix — things like homelessness, domestic abuse, drug dependency, incarceration, disease, depression and other mental illness, and poverty. And we certainly don’t want our children to grow up and become incarcerated, drug dependent, diseased, or depressed. It isn’t a mystery how these issues take hold; they have roots in childhood events and circumstances. If we can learn how to intervene in a child’s life and teach resilience, then we change his or her future and make our community stronger.

Come learn more with us at the Family Talk!

August 27: Climate Justice in the Valley: How the Climate Crisis Impacts Our Children's Future


Desiree Shelley, Climate Justice Organizer, with Mothers Out Front - Roanoke / Southwest Virginia will lead our August discussion.

Through this discussion and interactive workshop, parents and caregivers will gain an understanding of both the present impacts of climate change on our communities as well as what lies ahead in our future. Participants will watch a series of short video clips and engage in a group activity that illustrates how climate change will impact our environment and living circumstances over the next 10 years. After the video, we will dig deeper into the climate crisis by examining climate justice issues in Virginia such as increased rainfall, flooding, storm water, air pollution, water pollution, food scarcity, public health impacts, utility regulation and infrastructure and more.  The second part of the workshop will focus on solutions and taking action. We will look at a few local examples and case studies that illustrate local campaigns mothers have taken in other areas of Virginia and potential campaigns for our region. We will also discuss actions that individuals can as well as small scale community projects such as energy efficiency, solar projects, community gardens, etc. The workshop will conclude with a listening session where parents can voice some of their own concerns about the climate crisis, changes they have noticed and threats to public health and sustainability that are impacting their children and family.  Participants will be given the opportunity to brainstorm climate solutions relevant to their community. Participants will be introduced to local actions being taken and opportunities to get involved by attending events and volunteering with climate action initiatives.

Come learn more with us at the Family Talk!

September 24: Are You Transporting Your Children Safely? Most Parents are Not and They Don't Even Know It


Jill Lucas is Carilion Children's Safe Kids Southwest VA Coordinator thru Carilion Children's. She will lead our July discussion and make sure we are aware of anything we could be missing. Here’s your primer:

Seven out of ten children are not properly protected when riding in vehicles, and motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children.  A nationally certified car seat safety technician will help you learn everything you need to know about the occupant protection laws as well as inform you how you can keep your child as safe as possible when they are in the car.

Come learn more with us at the Family Talk!

October 22: Help Save The Next Girl - Story, Mission & Staying Safe


Gil Harrington, founder for Help Save The Next Girl (HSTNG), will be joining us for our October Family Talk.

The abduction and murder of 20-year-old Morgan Dana Harrington in 2009 caused her mother to become a passionate advocate against sexual violence. Gil founded Help Save The Next Girl in 2011 to promote safety, to protect young people, and to shield other families from the overwhelming anguish of losing a beloved child. At the same time, Gil determinedly pursued her daughter's murderer for five years until this serial killer was unmasked, arrested, and convicted. HSTNG is an organic, vibrant, and active social movement that is relevant locally, nationally, and globally.

Please come and listen to Gil Harrington discuss their family's redemptive journey from tragedy to wholeness, learn more about the work that HSTNG does to respond to, and to prevent predatory violence, and learn safety tips to share with your children - elementary to college age - to stay safe. 241

November 19: Making Your Home & Community Safer with the American Red Cross


Lloyd Long, the Shelter Lead for the Roanoke/NRV Chapter of the American Red Cross, who will be speaking with us about the Red Cross’ free smoke detector installation program.

Learn how to make your home and community safer, and sign up for free smoke detectors! You’ll walk away with more of an understanding of what the Red Cross can provide on a day-to-day basis to help you and your community stay safe.

December 10: Family Talk Series Holiday Open House