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Gubernatorial Forum to Highlight Advocates' Gathering

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Linda O'Neal
February 22 , 2002Phone (615) 741-2633

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth's 14th Annual Children's Advocacy Days (March 5-6) will include a gubernatorial candidates forum on March 6.

The forum, to be moderated by Chris Clark of WTVF News, will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the War Memorial Auditorium. Confirmations have been received from Phil Bredesen, Jim Henry, Randy Nichols, Ed Sanders and Charles Smith.

The presentations on Tuesday, March 5, will be 1 p.m. in the War Memorial Auditorium and will include information on the status of children's programs and legislation. Speakers will include Natasha Metcalf, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services; Elisabeth Rukeyser, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; and John Morgan, state comptroller. Participants, including child advocates from across the state, will also visit with legislators.

Three annual awards, the Jim Pryor Child Advocacy Award, the Youth Excellence Award and the Making KIDS COUNT Media Award, will be presented on March 5.

Events of both days are open to the public, but preregistration is required for people attending on Tuesday.

Co-sponsors include the Nashville Area Association for the Education of Young Children, Tennessee Voices for Children, Youth Villages and other organizations serving the children of Tennessee: the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations; the Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children; the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network; the Mid-Cumberland, South Central, and other Tennessee Community Services Agencies; National Association of Social Workers, Tennessee Chapter; and the Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare. The regional councils on children and youth affiliated with TCCY are also co-sponsors.

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is an independent agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly. Its primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families.