MNCASA Offers to Host Minnesota Summit

In 2008, the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Exploitation, the Mayo Clinic, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children began planning for a National Summit to focus on prevention of the sexual exploitation of children. Cordelia Anderson, co-chair of that event, envisioned state summits on prevention to follow.  Donna Dunn, executive director of MNCASA offered to host and secure funding for such a summit in Minnesota. The Summit would focus on prevention across the life span and build on the state’s new Sexual Violence Prevention Plan.  Anderson consulted with MNCASA to produce The Minnesota Summit.  When the date for a national summit was moved, Minnesota Summit planners became the first to accomplish a summit on sexual violence prevention.


Minnesota Department of Health Becomes Co-Sponsor/Four Additional State Departments are Supporters and Participants

MNCASA was the convener of the Summit with major sponsorship from the Minnesota Department of Health. In a remarkable unified effort, the Departments of Corrections, Education, Human Services and Public Safety became sponsors and participants.  Additional support came from The Child and Family Advocacy Program of the Mayo Clinic and funding from Qwest and the Bush and Otto Bremer Foundations.


Pre-Summit Roundtables Held with Minnesota Leaders

While non-profits have focused on this problem for some time, the effort to engage other sectors in actively being part of the prevention solution is new. – from MNCASA report on Roundtable Discussions.

In 2008, in collaboration with the Minnesota Departments of Health and Public Safety, MNCASA held four roundtables on sexual violence prevention with chairs and leaders from Policy, Education, Medical and Industry. The purpose of the Roundtables was to introduce core prevention concepts and efforts in Minnesota and to learn from participants what was needed to engage their sectors in the solution.

The “industry” roundtable was initially conceived to be three separate meetings: media, advertising and other corporate leaders.  Eventually, the industry and media roundtables were combined, and chaired by John Stanoch of Qwest. The Health Roundtable was chaired by Dr. Penny Wheeler, Chief Medical Officer, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, and the Education Roundtable was chaired by Catherine Jordan, former President of Achieve Minneapolis, currently with the Bush Foundation.  A Faith Roundtable was delayed until after the Summit.


Key Planning Decisions


  • A Steering Committee guided MNCASA in planning, provided contacts to invited participants, contributed to the development of the agenda, and assisted MNCASA and MDH staff with planning tasks. Cordelia Anderson served as the key consultant to MNCASA in planning.
  • The work of the MNCASA staff was augmented by the critical services of additional consultants: planning/writing (Patricia Weaver Francisco), event planning (RaeAnn Vandeputte), and media (Melodie Behan).
  • An active volunteer sub-committee planned and executed the significant and effective arts component of The Summit and the technical aspects of the program (Patty Hall, Emily Huemann, Larry LaVercombe, Carolyn Levy).
  • The Minnesota Summit was modeled on the proposed National Summit, which was developed based on the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Forums.
  • Participants were invited, limited to 200, and balanced between issue experts and leaders from government, industry, media, academia, faith and philanthropy.
  • Early interest from key Minnesota leaders helped bring important voices to The Summit. Participants were asked to commit a full day to The Summit, but there was no charge for the event.
  • The Minnesota Summit was designed to be an event that distinguished itself from a conference and from “business as usual.”
    • The day was active and participatory, focused on generating a prevention agenda for Minnesota.
    • Technology was featured as part of the solution. IML audience-response technology “wired” the room, enabling ideas to be captured, reviewed, and prioritized immediately, as well as recorded for reference.
    • Speakers, performances, and the arts stimulated discussion and provided background information and inspiration.
    • Summit Participants were given a number of resources to take with them to reinforce the day’s events and as aids in educating others: a “prevent” rock, notepad, and deck of Prevention Playing Cards

Communications with Summit invitees were primarily electronic. In September, an invitation postcard was mailed and backed up by an e-invite, as well as with follow-up phone calls from Steering Committee members. Three E-Updates were sent to invited participants over the following two months to prepare them for attending the Summit.  The Minnesota Summit website was frequently updated and continues to be a resource for future activities and prevention information . For more details on planning a Prevention Summit, please contact MNCASA.


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