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NYC: We (Also) Need Diverse Apps

November 12, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EST

We (Also) Need Diverse Apps

The We Need Diverse Books movement has taken the conversation about diversity in children’s books to a whole new level over the past year. As measurable changes in the children’s book industry take place, it is time to take the conversation one step further and address the state of diversity in other children’s media. In this panel discussion, app developers, entertainment companies, researchers, educators, and librarians (aka media mentors) will come together to discuss the state of the industry, best practices, and the connection between child development and access to diverse content. This panel launches the grassroots coalition Diversity in Apps (, an interdisciplinary coalition committed to supporting the creation of diverse and inclusive children’s digital media products through research, best practices, and collaboration.

This event is sponsored by global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who recently introduced Curious World, an interactive content service which features a diverse collection of videos, games and eBooks, curated by early learning experts and mapped to key learning areas.

DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 12, 2015, 6:30 to 8:30pm

LOCATION: The Actors Theatre Workshop
145 West 28th Street, 3rd floor (btw 6th and 7th Aves)
New York, NY 10001


Members & Non-Members: FREE
This event is full, and is no longer accepting registrations or new names for the wait list.

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More about our speakers:  


Kevin Clark is a full professor in the Learning Technologies Division of the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. His research interests include the role of interactive and digital media in education; issues of diversity in educational media; and broadening participation in STEM careers and disciplines. In addition to his scholarly activities, Dr. Clark has more than 20 years experience as a designer, advisor, and consultant to organizations such as:  National Park Service, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Common Sense Media, Fred Rogers Center, Disney Junior, Jim Henson Company, and DHX Media.  For his work, Kevin has been honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his work in supporting and accelerating STEM opportunities for African American students, schools, and communities, and was selected as a Fellow for the Television Academy Foundation Faculty Seminar. Dr. Clark holds both a B.S. and M.S. in computer science from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems from Pennsylvania State University.


Liza Conrad is passionate about increasing access to quality education. She is Head of Community at Hopscotch, where she helps kids build their own games and learn to code. Previously, Liza helped scale Girls Who Code from an NYC pilot to a national organization, worked in the field in Florida for the Obama Campaign, and managed education partnerships in Costa Rica. She graduated with Honors from Wesleyan University. 




Kika Gilbert is Head of Community at Tinybop. She was raised as a Third-Culture Kid, growing up in the USA, Tokyo, and London, before completing her BA at Smith College, in 2008. Since 2008, Kika has been building community within schools and startups, navigating relationships and partnerships to create visibility and engagement. She believes that community engagement is essential for building successful products and that the two most important qualities a person can have are great listening skills and empathy.




David Grandison Jr. led teams as Executive Producer of BrainPOP (, an award winning educational animation and game studio for 6 years. He holds a Masters in Instructional Technology and Media from Columbia University (TC). He led scaling of production processes and facilitating communication between studios in the UK, Mexico, France, China and Israel.  While in this role, his team developed apps for BrainPOP, BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP ESL across all mobile platforms and in multiple languages.


Darrell Robertson is the Branch Manager of Carroll County (MD) Public Library’s North Carroll Branch.   From 2008-2014, he served as the Children’s Services Supervisor at the Finksburg Branch Library where he oversaw & developed a very successful Children’s Department.  During this time, CCPL recognized a need for public librarians to serve as “Media Mentors” and guide families through the endless sea of technology.  In the past few years, Darrell & other MD Librarians have worked to develop programming and trainings with the goal of educating everyone on the  importance of media mentorship and technology.   Darrell and other CCPL Staff have formed a partnership with PBS Affiliate WQED and to provide quality information about Youth & Technology.   All of these programs, trainings and partnerships stress the importance of the parent-child interaction when it pertains to technology.  Darrell obtained his Master of Library of Science from the University of Maryland.


Amy Kraft – Moderator

Amy Kraft is a content creator, strategist, and producer specializing in interactive children’s media. She is Co-founder of Monkey Bar Collective and creator of the kids’ media blog, Media Macaroni. She has worked on a wide range of products for kids including apps, eBooks, console games, websites, picture books, workbooks, and even CD-ROMs back in the day. Amy has worked with such companies as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Microsoft, Scholastic, Spin Master, Speakaboos, Leap Frog, Barnes and Noble, Sylvan Learning and many more in both the corporate and startup worlds. She is also a proud member of Diversity in Apps, a group committed diverse representation in content for children.


Event sponsored by:



November 12, 2015
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EST
Event Category: