Power PLAYer Panel Kicks Off
2021 VIRTUAL Play Conference

Power PLAYer Panel:

Available ON DEMAND through June 30

(Registered conference attendees can access the recording through session through our conference attendee hub.)

Thought leaders and game changers come together for our kickoff keynote session – the“Power PLAYer Panel,” tackling the 2021 conference theme of “PLAY IS SURVIVAL,” particularly as it relates to issues of access, equity and inclusion.  This is a discussion NOT to be missed!

Laura Huerta Migus (moderator) is the Executive Director of the Association of Children’s Museums in Arlington, Virginia, the world’s largest professional society promoting and advocating on behalf of children’s museums and children’s museum professionals. Throughout her career, Laura has been devoted to the growth and education of children, particularly those from underserved and under-resourced communities. Under her leadership, ACM pursues innovative and effective partnerships to leverage the power of children’s museums worldwide.

In 2018, Laura was named as an Ascend Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and in 2016 she was recognized as a Champion of Change for Summer Opportunity by the White House. She is a noted speaker and author on topics of equity and audience-focused museum practice for institutions including the Board of Science Education of the National Academies of Sciences, the U.S. Play Coalition, and various university texts. Previously, she served as the Director of Professional Development and Equity Initiatives at the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Inc. and also held positions at the National Multicultural Institute and the National Association for Bilingual Education. She earned a B.A. in Spanish from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Organization Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University.

Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!  In early 2021, Lysa M. Ratliff became the newest CEO of KABOOM!, the national non-profit that works to end playspace inequity. For good. Throughout her career, Ratliff has served as a champion for kids and their resilience, leading efforts to connect partners and make change for communities and kids across the country, and around the world. She was the Vice President of Partnership Development at KABOOM!, has held senior leadership roles at Habitat for Humanity International, Save the Children, and spent more than a decade in international marketing communications at several large corporations. Lysa has led both public and private fundraising teams, cause marketing and communications campaigns with large global corporations. When not spending time with her own kids and husband, Lysa enjoys all things home, with most of her playtime being spent in the garden growing organic fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Christine Sims, Associate Professor of Educational Linguistics/ American Indian Education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.  Dr. Sims specializes in indigenous language revitalization and maintenance issues, provides technical assistance to indigenous nations in language program planning, and trains American Indian language teachers. She established the American Indian Language Policy Research and Teacher Training Center at UNM in 2008. The Center engages in public advocacy and training support to Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization initiatives in New Mexico and has sponsored several international language symposia with funding support from the National Science Foundation. The Center’s most recent research projects include a study of language immersion programs in Bureau of Indian Affairs schools in New Mexico, a training and materials development support project for New Mexico Native language teachers working with Native children, ages of 0-8, funded by the W.K. Kellogg and McCune Foundations.

Dr. Sims serves on the National Advisory Council for American Indian/Alaska Native Head Start Programs and is a member of the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center Steering Committee based at UC Denver. She is also active in the New Mexico Coalition for the Majority, an advocacy organization supporting cultural and linguistic diversity in education.

Dr. Sims is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Acoma and resides with her family on the Acoma Pueblo reservation in northwest New Mexico.

This kickoff keynote presentation was recorded live on zoom and is included in our 2021 VIRTUAL Play Conference content available through June 30.  Find the replay here.


The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, park and recreation professionals, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The 2021 Virtual Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY IS SURVIVAL explores play across the lifespan, play in the workplace, play in the classroom and address universal issues of access, equity, inclusion and more.  The conference features weekly live headliners and networking events, dozens of recorded educational and research presentations and much more – all online from April 1 through June 30, 2021.  We hope you will engage with us virtually in the interest of public health, wellness, safety and education!!!