Summit Presenters

 Don't miss these speakers at CCFC's Consuming Kids Summit March 21-23 in Boston. Click here to register.

Joan Almon
Joan studied sociology at the University of Michigan and then worked with leading civil rights and anti-poverty leaders. She became interested in the needs of children and devoted over 30 years to the education of young children, primarily within Waldorf schools in the US and abroad. Out of a deep concern for the decline in children’s health and well-being, she partnered with educators and health professionals in 1999 to found the U.S. Alliance for Childhood ( She served as its founding director for 12 years. Among its campaigns, the Alliance focuses on reducing screen time in children’s lives and increasing play in early childhood education and in out-of-school settings. Through its campaign, the Decade for Childhood: 2012-2022, it is partnering with others internationally to serve children’s needs for a healthy and fulfilling childhood. Joan interests include spending time in nature, telling fairy tales, and creating puppet shows for children and adults.

Alex Bogusky
Alex Bogusky has advertised to children and he feels good about it—in public service announcements, that is. He helped create the groundbreaking "Truth" anti-tobacco campaign which was named the most successful social advertising campaign in U.S. history. With a focus on 13 to 17 year olds Alex also learned how vulnerable very young children can be to advertising. In addition to his commercial work for MINI, VW, BK, Microsoft, and others, he has worked with Vice President Al Gore to debunk the notion of “Clean Coal” and in 2011, Alex conceived and launched 24 hours of Climate Reality - the most highly viewed streaming web program to date. Alex’s career in communications began over twenty years ago when he joined Crispin and Porter Advertising in 1989 as an Art Director, eventually running the agency a decade later. Under Alex's direction, Crispin Porter + Bogusky grew to more than 1,000 employees, with offices in Miami, Boulder, Los Angeles, London and Sweden, and with annual billings over $1billion. During Alex’s leadership, CP+B became the world's most awarded advertising agency.  In 2008, he was inducted into the Art Director's Club Hall of Fame. And in 2010, Alex received the rare honor of being named "Creative Director of the Decade" by Adweek magazine. Having left CP+B in 2010, he and his wife Ana keep busy helping non-profits with their advertising through their consultancy, The FearLess Revolution. They also mentor social entrepreneurs and start-ups through COMMON, a collaborative network for accelerating social ventures under a unified brand. In 2012, Alex joined partners Dave Schiff, Scott Prindle and John Kieselhorst as a Partner/Creative Advisor for MadeMovement, a new marketing agency dedicated to the resurgence in American manufacturing. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife, Ana, and their two teenage children.

Jacques Brodeur
Jacques Brodeur lives in Quebec, Canada, the only North American jurisdiction where advertising to children is illegal, and has been illegal since 1980. He and other teachers discovered abusive (and illegal) product placement in 1986 when Hasbro paid TV broadcasters to air its own series to advertise toys. These programs were created to catch children's attention and keep them glued to the screen, and carried huge amounts of violence. To help sharpen kids' and teens' critical viewing skills, in 1990 Brodeur and colleagues created the Youth Vote and in 2002 the 10 Day Screen-Free Challenge. Since its creation, the Screen-Free Challenge has been experienced in over 100 schools in Canada and since 2008, 90 schools in France. Brodeur has been involved in organizing this quiet educational revolution in schools to prevent violence and obesity. And it works! He believes that it can lead students to success in every school where parents and teachers decide, as worded by late media researcher George Gerbner, "to stop agonizing and get organized." In 2002, Brodeur was a founding member of the Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME), and in 2003, a founding member of EDUPAX, a not for profit organisation dedicated to violence prevention, media education, and obesity prevention.

Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, MEd
Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin has 25 years of experience in early childhood education. Geralyn is a founding teacher (and current preschool teacher) at the Mission Hill School, a teacher-led K0 – 8th grade, democratic Boston Public School. She is also founder and director of Empowered by Play ( and the director of Defending the Early Years ( In the midst of current misguided education policies, the digital technology explosion and the increase in marketing to children, Geralyn has come to believe that teachers of young children must play a critical role in being advocates and activists in the fight to keep the “child” in early childhood. She contributed to Rethinking Elementary Education and Rethinking Media and Pop Culture, both published by Rethinking Schools.

Angela Campbell, JD, LLM
Professor Campbell teaches at the Institute for Public Representation where she runs the First Amendment and Media Law section (formerly known as the Citizens Communications Center). Prior to joining the Georgetown Faculty in 1988, she was an attorney with the Communications and Finance Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division and in private practice as an associate with the law firm Fisher, Wayland, Cooper & Leader. From 1981-83 she was a Graduate Fellow at the Institute. Writings include "Restricting the Marketing of Junk Food to Children by Product Placement and Character Selling" in the Loyola Law Review, "Self-Regulation and the Media" in the Federal Communications Law Journal, " Should Government Regulate Advertising to Children on the World Wide Web?" in the Gonzaga Law Review, "Lessons from Oz: Quantitative Guidelines for Children's Educational Television" in Comm/Ent, "Universal Service Provisions: The 'Ugly Duckling' of the 1996 Act" in the Connecticut Law Review, "Publish or Carriage: Approaches to Analyzing the First Amendment Rights of Telephone Companies" in the North Carolina Law Review, and "Teaching Advanced Legal Writing in a Law School Clinic" in the Seton Hall Law Review.

Nancy Carlsson-Paige, EDD
Nancy Carlsson-Paige is Professor Emerita at Lesley University where she taught teachers for more than 30 years and was a founder of the University’s Center for Peaceable Schools.  A strong advocate for public education, Nancy speaks and writes on a variety of education and parenting topics. Nancy has authored five books and numerous articles and op eds on media and technology, education reform, conflict resolution, and peaceable classrooms.  Her most recent book is called Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids.  Nancy has received many awards for her leadership and advocacy in early childhood and peace education.  She is an advocate for education policies and practices that promote social justice and the well being of all children.

Sara Deon
Sara Deon works with health professionals, elected officials, and grassroots leaders to reduce the harmful impact of the fast food industry, reduce junk food marketing and help build a more sustainable food system. Before joining Corporate Accountability International, Deon worked for Defenders of Wildlife as their Outreach Representative in Denver, Colorado where she worked to protect and strengthen state and national environmental policy, including the Endangered Species Act. Deon was also the Deputy Field Director for the Kerry Campaign in Colorado. She began her career with Clean Water Action as a Field Manager. Deon has a BA in environmental studies from Rollins College and a MS in political science from Suffolk University.

Shara Drew
Shara is the program coordinator at Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, where she manages the organization's operations, website, and social media. She also oversees CCFC's Screen-Free Week initiative, the national celebration where children, families, schools, and communities unplug for 7 days to read, play, reflect, daydream, explore nature, and enjoy time with family and friends.


Richard Freed, PhD
Richard Freed, is the author of the upcoming book, Wired Child, that describes how our fascination with technology can lead us to neglect the developmental experiences that are the foundation of our children’s and teens’ happiness and success. He is a child and adolescent psychologist with nearly two decades of experience working with kids and families whose lives have been affected by technology.


Josh Golin
Josh Golin is the associate director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Josh organizes CCFC’s advocacy campaigns and develops its communications strategy. His writings about the commercialization of childhood have appeared in a wide range of publications. He and his wife Jennifer are doing their best to raise their daughter, Clara, commercial-free.


Jennifer Good, PhD
Jennifer Good was Greenpeace Canada’s Information Coordinator for close to five years before pursuing an environmental communication PhD at Cornell University.  Now a professor at Brock University (just outside of Toronto), she is about to publish Television and the Earth: Not a Love Story, a book that explores intersections between television, materialism and a beleaguered planet.  When not teaching courses such as Popular Culture and the Environment, Cultures of Consumption, and Social Justice and the Environment, Jennifer likes to rant in her bi-weekly Brock Press opinion column.  Recent rants have included the crass materialistic evils of National Geographic Kids magazine and why automatic toilet paper dispensers are a really bad idea.

Kendra Hodgson
Kendra Hodgson has been on the staff at the nonprofit Media Education Foundation (Northampton, MA) for 11 ½ years and a part of MEF's management team for 8 ½ years. She has also been a certified yoga teacher (RYT-500) since 2009 and a Certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner since 2006. Her previous experiences as a high school English teacher (Punahou School, Honolulu, HI), an Eating Disorder Awareness Week coordinator, a wilderness trip leader, a Domestic Violence Crisis Responder, and a track/cross-country all inform her dedication to living an embodied life and to understanding our relationship to ourselves and the world through a holistic perspective. She is especially interested in the intersections between critical cultural analysis and embodied practices.

Tim Kasser, PhD
Dr. Kasser is a Professor of Psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. He is author of The High Price of Materialism and co-editor of Psychology and Consumer Culture: The Struggle for a Good Life in a Materialistic World.


Joe Kelly
Joe Kelly is a journalist, author and speaker who advocates on issues of men in families. A frequent media source on fathering, he teaches professionals who work with families how to use men as resources. Joe provides fathering presentations around North America, and leads groups for men whose loved ones have eating disorders. A co-founder of New Moon Girls magazine and the nonprofit Dads & Daughters, Joe is the author of 10 books, including Dads & Daughters®: How to Inspire, Understand and Support Your Daughter, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being a New Dad, and The Body Myth: Adult Women & the Pressure to Be Perfect (with Dr. Margo Maine). His awards include the Eating Disorders Coalition’s Activist of the Year and Women’s Sports Foundation’s Title IX Father of the Year. Joe serves on advisory boards for CCFC, the Myra Sadker Foundation, Ophelia’s Place, Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day, and Voice Male magazine. He lives near his children and grandson outside San Francisco.

Lexi Ladd, MPH
After a twenty-year career in communications and community activism, Lexi combined her public health background with her experience to focus on Media Literacy. She is founder of Medialit4U, a Media Literacy education consulting organization and is also co-founder of MMLC (Massachusetts Media Literacy Consortium), an organization dedicated to implementing Media Literacy education in all Massachusetts public schools. Lexi teaches Media Literacy and communication theory at Wheelock College. 

Mike Lanza, MA, MBA
Mike Lanza is author of Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play .  He also blogs at He's worked hard to create a very rich neighborhood play life for his three boys - ages 8, 5, and 3 - in Menlo Park. He's also discovered and written about dozens of neighborhoods throughout North America that are doing innovative things to make a vibrant life for kids. Prior to his writing career, Mike was a five-time software and Internet entrepreneur in Silicon Valley.  He holds an MA in Education, an MBA, and an MA and BA in Economics, all from Stanford University.

Velma LaPoint, PhD
Velma LaPoint, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies, School of Education, Howard University. Dr. LaPoint has conducted research and published on topics such as commercial influences on youth dress in public schools and weight management among freshman college females as well as other areas.   She teaches/or has taught undergraduate and graduate courses entitled Diverse Youth of Color; Youth Placed at Risk and Their Resilience; Expressive Therapies and Other Approaches in the Helping Professions; A Learning Community on Black Youth and Hip Hop; and Youth, Consumer Culture, and the Earth.  All courses cover partially or wholly the social problems relating to the commercialization of youth/adults/society and what actions can be taken to reduce and eliminate the social problem.  Dr.  LaPoint has a particular interest in how the commercialization of childhood occurs across ethnic, racial, gender, SES, and ability groups through her research, teaching, and service activities. She co-authored an entry on commercialism influences on children’s development in the Encyclopedia of Cross Cultural School Psychology (2010) and edited a special journal issue, Commercialism in the Lives of Children of Color:  Education and Other Socialization Contexts (JNE, 2003).

Diane Levin, PhD
Dr. Levin is professor of early childhood education at Wheelock College in Boston where she teaches courses on children’s play, media madness and how schools can promote healing in communities affected by war and conflict which includes a service-learning program in schools in Northern Ireland. She has written 8 books including: So Sexy So Soon (with Jean Kilbourne); Beyond Remote Control Childhood, Teaching Young Children in Violent Times; and, The War Play Dilemma (with Nancy Carlsson-Paige). She is a founder of CCFC, Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children's Entertainment (TRUCE: and Defending the Early Years (

Susan Linn, EdD
Susan Linn is co-founder and director of The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. An award-winning producer, writer, and puppeteer, she is the author of The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World, and Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood and lectures internationally on reclaiming childhood from corporate marketers.

Sharon Maxwell, PhD
Dr. Sharon Maxwell has been a practicing clinical psychologist for twenty years, specializing adolescent and family therapy. Her award winning book THE TALK: A Breakthrough Guide to Raising Healthy Kids in an Oversexualized, Online, In-Your-Face World (Avery, 2008) has been translated into Italian, Polish, Mandarin and Vietnamese. Dr. Maxwell has been interviewed by NPR, TIME, US News & World Report, NBC, Fox, Oprah and Friends, and USA Today. She was awarded the 2009 Family Advocate award by the Boston Parents Paper and has won a national award from Parenting Publications of America. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts features her work in a DVD and brochures on risky adolescent behavior. She is currently working on a new book about raising healthy, responsible, stress-free kids in a consumer driven culture.

Dianna Morton, MLS
Dianna Morton is a high school educator and a co-founder and steering committee member of the Massachusetts Media Literacy Consortium, an organization dedicated to implementing Media Literacy education in all Massachusetts public schools. She has designed a media literacy curriculum that she teaches to upper level high school students at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School.  Dianna has composed and produced a presentation titled “The Real No Child Left Behind: Marketing the No Ethics Zone and the National Crisis in Children's Health” which she has given at numerous community venues and has led educator workshops through The Cape Cod Collaborative. Dianna  has facilitated workshops at the CCFC Summit in 2010 and  at The Action Coalition for Media Literacy Education  National Conference in 2011.  In addition, Dianna is an artist and has promoted childhood creativity through her work with Provincetown Library’s Summer Reading Program for eleven years, as well as being the recipient of Massachusetts Cultural Council Grants to foster the Arts in children through puppetry and drama. She is also a faculty facilitator of Cape Cod Regional Technical High School’s Human Rights Academy, and the president of Nauset Together We Can  Prevention Council, Inc,  a non-profit that supports youth on the Outer Cape.  Dianna’s current endeavor, the Hegemony Project, is focused on the digital technological revolution and its effect on human relations. 

Bob McCannon
Bob McCannon, an American Academy of Pediatrics’ Media Educator of the Year and President of the Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME), has done workshops and keynotes worldwide. He is leading an advanced training the Thursday of the CCFC conference. Bob taught media education in middle school thru graduate school for 30 years, including public and private schools (Albuquerque Academy) and the University of New Mexico; he has authored over 40 texts, videos and DVDs. Bob’s pioneering skills programs and methods are found in many states and countries. They cover most children's media issues. After building the country’s most successful state ME/ML non-profit, Bob founded ACME, the only national ME/ML group which is completely independent of Big Media.  Bob published the most in-depth review of ME/ML research in Children Adolescents and Media - college text, (3rd edition, due March, 2013).

Erin McNeill
Erin McNeill is a journalist who has covered riots, natural disasters, city politics and business in San Francisco and environmental and economic policy in Washington DC. She is now a freelance writer, editor and media consultant and publishes the blog Marketing, Media and Childhood – a journalist’s look at the influences of media messages on children. Erin is a co-founder and steering committee member of the Massachusetts Media Literacy Consortium.

Michael Rich, MD, MPH, FAAP, FSAHM
Michael Rich, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, came to medicine after a twelve-year career as a filmmaker (including serving as assistant director to Akira Kurosawa on Kagemusha). As the Mediatrician® ( and Director of the Center on Media and Child Health ( at Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Rich combines his creative experience with rigorous scientific evidence to advise pediatricians, parents, and other caregivers on how to use media in ways that optimize child health and development. Recipient of the AAP’s Holroyd-Sherry Award and the SAHM New Investigator Award, Dr. Rich has developed media-based research methodologies and authored numerous papers and AAP policy statements, has testified to the United States Congress, and makes regular national press appearances.

Jean Rystrom
Jean Rystrom has spent over 28 years working to improve the health of the community and of Kaiser Permanente members, with a focus on children for 17 years as Department Administrator for Pediatrics in the Northwest Region, serving a group of about 100 primary care and specialty clinicians and their patients. Jean recently shifted gears to Medicaid and autism, serving also as a member of the CARES NW child abuse assessment and intervention Governing Board and Vice-Chair of the Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders. While working on ways to prevent and treat child obesity, Jean recognized the wide range of potential health impacts from too much entertainment use of screen media (TV, video and computers). Jean founded the Screen Time Awareness and Reduction (STAR) Coalition in Portland, Oregon, and served as a Board member of the Center for Screen-Time Awareness and Kaiser Permanente’s National Lead for clinical screen time reduction.

Michele Simon, JD, MPH
Michele Simon is a public health lawyer specializing in legal strategies to counter corporate tactics. For 4.5 years she served as research and policy director for Marin Institute (now Alcohol Justice), an alcohol industry watchdog group. Her groundbreaking 2007 report on alcoholic energy drinks led to a federal ban. Her first book, Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back, was published by Nation Books in 2006. Simon has a master’s degree in public health from Yale University and received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She is president of Eat Drink Politics, a corporate watchdog consulting firm and blogs at Appetite for Profit.

Lenore Skenazy
Lenore Skenazy is “America’s Worst Mom.” (Google it!) The New York City columnist got that title after letting her 9-year-old son take the subway, alone. In response to the media blowback, she founded the book and blog, “Free-Range Kids,” which launched the anti-helicopter parenting movement. Her feisty belief that our kids are safer and smarter than our culture gives them credit for has landed her on talk shows from Dr. Phil to The View. She has lectured everywhere from Microsoft Headquarters to the Sydney Opera House's "Festival of Dangerous Ideas," and written for everyone from The Wall Street Journal to Mad Magazine. (Yep. Mad!) As host of World’s Worst Mom, a reality TV show airing on Discovery/TLC International, she helps overprotective parents loosen the reins. A graduate of Yale and Columbia, she lives in New York City with her husband and two sons, who are half Free-Range, half Facebook addicts. Then again, so is she. One thing she understands: None of us is a perfect parent -- and that’s okay. Lenore is available for speeches and seminars at universities, schools, community groups and corporations. Please contact:

Makani Themba
Makani Themba is executive director of The Praxis Project, a nonprofit organization helping communities use media and policy advocacy to advance health justice. Under her leadership, The Praxis Project has raised more than $20 million for advocacy organizations nationwide. These initiatives include Communities Creating Healthy Environments (C-CHE), an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support policy advocacy to advance healthy food outlets and safe places to play in communities of color. Makani has published numerous books and articles on race, media, policy advocacy and public health. She is author of Making Policy, Making Change, co-author of Media Advocacy and Public Health: Power for Prevention and Talking the Walk: Communications Guide for Racial Justice. Her latest book (under The Praxis Project) is Fair Game: Racial Justice Communications in the Obama Era, available on AK Press.

Gabriela Vuolo
Gabriela Vuolo is the Mobilization Coordinator at Brazil’s Instituto Alana. Gabriela has been working to engage people in different causes for the past 10 years—from childhood obesity to climate change, from agriculture to consumption patterns. Gabriela holds a BA in International Relations.


Melissa Atkins Wardy
Melissa is the creator and owner of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, a company that offers empowering apparel and gifts to full of awesome kids at PPBB was launched in 2009 and now ships orders around the world. PPBB has become a large social media advocacy group and popular blog on issues involving gender stereotypes and the sexualization of childhood. Melissa’s book “Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween” will be published by Chicago Review Press in Fall 2013. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and lives with her husband and two young children in beautiful Wisconsin. You can read her blog at: or find her on Facebook (Pigtail Pals) and Twitter (@PigtailPals).

Cara Wilking, JD                                                  
Cara Wilking is a senior staff attorney at the Public Health Advocacy Institute located at Northeastern University School of Law where she also instructs the Public Health Legal Clinic. She conducts research into the role of state consumer protection laws to limit unfair, deceptive and misleading food marketing aimed at children. She provides legal technical assistance to public health officials and public health researchers working to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and to increase access to drinking water. Her current food marketing research focuses on the use of digital marketing tactics via handheld devices and computers to market soda, candy and fast food to children and teens.

Rob Williams, PhD
The founding president of the Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME), Dr. Rob Williams ( is a teacher, musician, farmer, historian, consultant, journalist, and professor who teaches media, communications and history courses at Burlington's Champlain College and the University of Vermont and serves as publisher of Vermont Commons: Voices of Independence newspaper ( He co-manages Vermont Yak Company (, a farm business raising grass-fed yaks for meat and agri-tourism, and performs music with the Phineas Gage Project (, Vermont's only pherocious pholk phunk acoustic power trio.