Family Re-Union 11 to focus on families and youth

October 2, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Former Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore will moderate Family Re-Union 11, an annual conference that addresses major concerns affecting families and children, at Vanderbilt University on Oct. 21.

This year’s conference, at Langford Auditorium, looks at strategies for family involvement in positive youth development. This will be the 11th year that Family Re-Union has given families, young people, community program directors and others who work with families an opportunity to share their expertise and successful strategies with leaders in academia, philanthropy, national and local organizations.

“Family Re-Union is a national conversation about issues that matter most to all of us as parents,” said Al Gore, who has moderated the conference since he was a U.S. senator. “This is an especially critical time to think about helping youth to become active citizens and responsible adults.”

“This conference will be filled with young people who made a tremendous difference to their communities,” added Tipper Gore. “We look forward to learning about their achievements. Their energy and passion will enrich the future for all of us.”

The conference is sponsored by the Child and Family Policy Center at Vanderbilt’s Institute for Public Policy Studies and Tufts University’s Applied Developmental Science Institute of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development.

“These yearly conferences are based on the belief that programs and policies should respond to the needs of children, families and communities,” said Andy Shookhoff, associate director of the Child and Family Policy Center at Vanderbilt. “We want to give the people who make policy at the local, state and federal level an opportunity to learn from the experiences of young people and families.”

“This conference will give participants the chance to better integrate and to advance ideas for community building that strengthens youth and their families,” said Richard Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science at Tufts University. “Family Re-Union also will help us craft a new vision for programs and policies, one based on the idea that young people are resources to be developed in order to advance the health and welfare of our nation and world.”

“Every year Tipper and I look forward to the chance to talk with families and to those who have made a difference in their lives,” Gore said. “Tipper and I are grateful to the sponsors for their devotion to this ongoing family policy initiative. We are all committed to engaging families and young people in shaping the communities in which they live.”

The former vice president and Tipper Gore will moderate panel discussions starting at 8:30 a.m. CDT and ending at 4 p.m. CDT. In the afternoon, there will be 11 breakout sessions with topics ranging from youth and the media to youth and the workplace to youth and health.

People are invited from all over the country and about 1,000 attend the annual event. There is limited seating for the public. If you would like to attend, call 615-322-5638. For more information on the conference, go to the Family Re-Union website at

Contact: Emily Pearce, 615-322-NEWS,

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