Webinar: Happy Wife, Happy Life! Is Marriage Really That Simple

afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the
National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage
and Family’s Webinar, “Happy Wife, Happy Life!” Is
Marriage Really that Simple? Today we have a great
presentation for you, but before we get started, I just wanted to go over a
few of the logistics with you. First, please remember to
on your computer speakers to hear the presentation. We do mute all participants; however, you still
can communicate with us. And please feel
free to reach out with any questions or
comments using the Q&A Pod, which is in the
bottom right hand corner. Above that you can see
the downloadable resources. This contains two
documents that you may download by selecting the
download files button and this will allow the
documents to be downloaded onto your computer for
you to reference later. Above that is the web links pod. This link to web links they will be referenced
throughout the presentation. If you select one
or all of the links and then select
browse to button, a window or multiple
windows will pop up that navigate
directly to that link. So, the links of
all of the resources are also available in the
downloadable resources pod. The last thing I
wanted to talk to you about before we go over the agenda is
that there are a couple of polls throughout the presentation. The polls will
appear on your screen for about 15 to 30 seconds and then please
select your answer. And then we will close the
poll and discuss the results. Before we go over that agenda, we can actually
start with the first poll, so let me go ahead and
open that up for you guys. And this is just to
kind of get an idea of who is on the
phone with us today. So I joined the webinar today
as an individual interested in learning more
about relationship skills, practitioner in the
healthy marriage field, marriage family therapist,
academic or educator, provider focused on
human services, or other. And if you select other and you would like to
tell us a little bit more about who you are, you can also enter
that in the Q&A pod. And I’ll just leave that
open for another five seconds. Okay, great. Well, it looks like
we have about 30 percent who are in the
academic or education field. About 20 percent
that are practitioners in the healthy marriage field, 23 percent as an
individual interested in learning more
about relationship skills. So welcome everyone,
we’re glad that you’re here. And now I want to take a little
time to just go over the agenda. Today we are going to do
the introductions and logistics, we already did the logistics. We’ll hear a
welcome and overview from the Resource Center. Then we’ll get to
some key speakers from National Marriage Week USA. And they’ll go over the overview of their
organization and events. We’ll learn about
how to understand and how to recognize and
strengthen skills necessary for a healthy relationship. Learn about free,
research based resources available through the
Resource Center website to strengthen relationships. And then at the end, we will
have a discussion, and Q&A. And as you enter questions
throughout the presentation, we are actually going to
hold all of the questions until the end. But please feel free to
send them to us at any point during the presentation and
we will get to them at the end. So now let me just
introduce our speakers and then we can get started. So first we’re going to
hear from Robyn Cenizal. And Robyn is the Director
of Family Strengthening with ICF. Since its inception in 2011, she has served as
the Project Director for the National Resource Center
for Healthy Marriage and Family. In addition to ten
years of federal level work in the family strengthening,
healthy marriage, and responsible
fatherhood field, she also has over 26 years
of local government experience. She is a nationally
certified family life educator and has authored
numerous publications on promising practices
associated with high risk, low resource, and
culturally diverse populations. Then we’re going to
hear from two speakers from the National
Marriage Week USA organization. The first is Sheila Weber and Sheila is the
Executive Director of National
Marriage Week USA. She has over 25 years of
experience as a public relations and communication executive. She helped launch National
Marriage Week USA in 2010 and they did it to elevate
marriage as a national benefit and to build a
collaborative grassroots effort and public relations campaign
to strengthen marriage. She was a President’s
Scholar for her master’s degree in Management from NYU
and has an Honors Degree in Journalism and Economics
from American University. She and her husband are longtime
residents of New York City and they have a son and daughter who are both
married with children. Our second presenter from
National Marriage Week USA is Heather Grizzle and Heather
is the Communications Director for National Marriage Week USA. She graduated cum laude
with honors in Economics from Harvard University where her thesis
included original research on giving and volunteering
in the United States. Heather is a member of the
Board of Salem Media Group, Vice-Chairperson of the Board
of Trustees of Stewardship and a member of the Boards of
Innovation for Poverty Action and Alpha USA. She and her husband Ben
also live in New York City with their four children. And then last, but definitely
not least, we have Akua Gyabaah. Akua is a Senior
Training Specialist with ICF and serves as the Training
and Technical Assistance and Website Content Lead for
the National Resources Center. Miss Gyabaah has over 20 years
of professional experience that includes
expertise in data collection, management, training,
technical assistance all related to
supporting diverse local, state, and
federal agencies. She attended the
University of Maryland where she obtained
both of her degrees and is currently
pursuing a degree in learning
design and technology. So those are all
the wonderful speakers you’re going to hear from and I will go ahead
and hand it off to Robyn who is going to kick us off. ROBYN: Thanks Bryana,
and welcome, everyone. Thank you so much for
joining us this afternoon. I know that we’re all very busy and so the fact
that you are willing to take time out of your day
to join me and the presenters that are on today’s
webinar is really appreciated. So, let me give you
just a quick overview on the Resource Center, for those of you
who are not familiar. The National Resource Center for
Healthy Marriage and Families we have a
twofold responsibility. We’re funded by the
Office of Family Assistance and our purpose is to
serve as a national repository which is
basically a clearinghouse. So we gather,
develop and disseminate research that’s
relevant, as well as tools and other
resources on topics of interest related to healthy
relationship education. We also provide free training
and technical assistance to agencies that are interested
in integrating healthy marriage and relationship education into their human
service delivery systems. We offer a
lot of free resources and Akua is going to
talk a little bit more about our website and
some of the really cool stuff specific to
today’s presentation. But just to give
you some insight into all of the
cool stuff that we do, we have the website that
teaches the media gallery, webinars, e-newsletters, and if you’re not already
signed up for our e-newsletter, I hope that you will. I was excited to see that we have a very
diverse audience today. And I think that you’ll all find
something that benefits you in whatever role
that you’ve joined us. We also have a calendar
of events which highlights different events that are
going on around the country. We have a resource library
with over 3,000 resources and a virtual training center that has eight different
courses and those courses, if completed and if you pass with an 80 percent
accuracy on the quiz, you can use those for CEUs. So just some cool
things to mention there. We have a monthly newsletter. We’re also on LinkedIn, so if you’re not
connected with us, please do. And we’re also on Twitter, so I hope that you
will follow us there. So “Happy Wife, Happy
Life” is really a comment kind of often made in jest
comment related to marriage. But the reality is that marriage is a little bit
complicated, right? So not everyone
grew up in a home where healthy relationships
were actually modeled. Sometimes there was
too much fighting or, in other times, there
were never any disagreements. So you never learned how to
actually disagree appropriately in a healthy way. And then not only that,
even if you grew up in a house where healthy
relationships were modeled, stress is serious, right? And so families often respond
differently under stress. So we all know that we
shouldn’t yell at our kids, but sometimes we
yell at our kids. We know we shouldn’t yell at our
spouse, but sometimes we do. So learning how to
navigate those situations and to maintain
under stress and cope and have those
healthy relationships as it relates to
marriage is really important. And so we focus whenever we talk
about healthy relationships, we know that it takes work. Happy, healthy
marriages require commitment, not only to each other, but also a willingness
to focus on effective use of these core skills. And when we talk
about core skills, we’re talking about
interpersonal skills like communication
and conflict resolution. And these skills
are just as important in couple relationships as they are in
parent/child relationships, community relationships, work
relationships and so forth, but also critical
skills like parenting and financial literacy. These skills can be strengthened
and they can reduce stress and improve communication. Kids don’t come with
instructions, we all know that. We also know that there
are larger and larger numbers of blended families
now which bring together different parenting styles,
different spending styles. And all of these differences
can create conflict. Learning how to
manage that conflict and how to focus on the
importance of the relationship and let go of some
of the little things is really
critical to maintaining a healthy relationship and
having a happy relationship. So today’s
webinar is really about helping you
identify free resources, strengthening your relationship and the relationships
of those around you. Whether those are people
that you’re working with or extended family members. And so I’m going to
turn you over to Sheila and she’s going to talk about
National Marriage Week USA and then we’re
going to circle back and you’re going to hear
more about free resources from the Resource Center. And be sure to type in
your questions as we go along and we will revisit them at the
end of today’s presentation. Again, thank you
for being here. Sheila? SHEILA: Yes, next slide,
thanks. Yes, thank you guys. This is Sheila, Heather
and I are so pleased to – just thankful for
Bryana and Robyn and Akua for letting us be a part of
this very important webinar. And we want to
share with everybody a really wonderful opportunity. I think everyone in
this call can take advantage of National Marriage Week USA. Let’s go to the next slide. And so I just want to encourage
anyone who’s listening, whether you’re an educator or
a practitioner or a counselor, this is a great opportunity
we all have to join forces once a year in a campaign. And you see that we have four
ways that we are effective, which is we’re a movement, a national clearinghouse, a campaign and a source of help. And so let me
just explain a bit. We want to increase marriage
education all across America. So, we’re a movement to increase
those classes and events and all the many ways that there
are groups around the country who are already
doing such good work. We actually want to
mobilize more communities, whether it’s groups of
faith or local non-profits, to just increase
marriage education and relationship education. Secondly, we are the
only online national calendar where every marriage event in
the United States can be posted. It’s free, it’s really easy. And we’d love to see 10,000
events all across the nation all year long put in
this one national calendar where people can
plug in their state and find something
that’s happening near them and, of course, publicize
what you are also providing. So it’s both a place for
people to put their information and also to find resources. I think about if you
have a niece who’s struggling and she lives in Kansas, you can go plug in
the State of Kansas and find something
that might be helpful to one of your family
members or your friends. And then third,
we’re a campaign. So we do get media coverage and we’ve had a very good
amount over the last ten years of national TV and
national radio, commentaries, important magazine articles. We want to promote
the benefits of marriage and especially
share the research of how it reduces
poverty and benefits children. We want to put out the message
that marriage is worth it and how you can have a
more successful relationship. We’re going to talk later
about the things you can do, but I wanted to just
point out that everybody who’s listening can be
a part of that campaign and can use this campaign
time to advance your own work. And we will talk about
that a few slides later where we’re going to share
how you can use Marriage Week to advance your own work. And then lastly,
we’re a source of help. So, when people go to
NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org, if they’re struggling,
they can find resources, if they’re in an emergency, a personal emergency for
themselves or for somebody else. But also, there’s a
toolkit and resources, somebody
can take a class to their local YMCA
or bring a video series or a church can start a home
group or a Sunday school class. So all of those
resources are there. We do not create
our own curriculum, but we are thrilled
to be the rising tide that floats all boats. Of all the marriage
curricula that exists, we want to make
sure it is on our site as a resource for everyone. And I think we can – well, I’ll just
say one more thing before we move
to the next slide. I like to use the
analogy of Earth Day. Earth Day started way back in
the 1970s on a very small scale and today there are two
billion acts of green in more than 200
countries around the world. So we think that
marriage can become a movement of these instances where
people are being supported and encouraged, whether it’s just a one
night Friday night special Valentine’s Day dance
with an encouraging talk, or something that’s much
more instructive and dynamic – you know, a 10
week, 12 week class. So I just wanted to leave you
with a vision for a campaign where everyone
can be a part of it. Next slide. Oh, I think we have
a poll question here and we would love
to have your response. Have you or any
other group in your town ever celebrated
National Marriage Week? So if you have any
awareness of that, either for yourself or
others, we’d love to know. Okay, so that’s
really helpful information that we’re getting there. So I’m glad to know
that about 72 percent of you have an opportunity to try
this out for the first time. Next slide. HEATHER: This is
Heather Grizzle. I’m so glad to be
joining all of you today. One of the most
important features, as Sheila mentioned earlier, on our website is
our national calendar. So it’s the only
national clearinghouse for any and all marriage
events, classes, resources. You can put in anything
that you’re doing locally that others are able to access and then it will
go on our calendar. So that, as Sheila mentioned, if you have a niece
or a nephew or a friend or anyone in a
different community that may be
looking for resources for their own marriage, you can direct
them to that calendar. So that’s how we try
to be the rising tide that lifts all boats in
terms of whatever the platform or whatever the event type, whatever the
organization running it, we try to make as
many resources available to people across the
country as possible. Our vision and hope is
to have a marriage event or resource in every
single community in America so that for couples who
want to protect their marriage, who want to have
a firm foundation for their relationship and who may need
help or maybe just want to strengthen their
relationship even further. They can find resources
and activities on our site. Let’s do one more poll. Is there an
organization in your community that serves marriages that National Marriage
Week should know about? Like to hear who and
where. That’s part of — We go through and find
national organizations and put their local
events on our calendar so that they can be
featured on our calendar. And so, if there are
things in your community that we may not know about
or may not be on the calendar, then we’d love to put
those on our calendar. ROBYN: And I would say
those of you who are listening, you can keep in touch with
us by going to our website and recording your email
with us, just registering. And then you will hear from us
and we’ll be in touch with you. HEATHER: It looks like
we’re getting a few responses. As Sheila mentioned, even after this
call and after this poll closes, if there are resources
that we should know about, and I’m seeing the
responses here to the poll. One person said not
during National Marriage Week, but other times
throughout the year. Just to clarify, the week
of National Marriage Week, which is always February
7th through 14th every year, is what we use to
sort of be that campaign that Sheila mentioned, the Earth Day equivalent
to really highlight marriage and the importance of marriage at a time when people
are already focused on love and relationships
because of Valentine’s Day. But the calendar is
functional all year around. So we have events throughout
the year from organizations all over the country that are
designed to support marriages. So even if it’s not
during National Marriage Week, don’t worry about it; we’d still love to have whatever
is happening in your community be featured on that calendar
so people can access it. So I know that many of
you on this call today are focused on
young people and youth and ensuring
their emotional health. And we know that
marriage is a key part of that, that children and
youth do much better if their parents are married. It’s more likely
for them to thrive. So we just wanted to remind
everyone of the connection. According to the
Institute for Family Studies, children thrive when
their parents are married. And if the marriage is healthy, children are more
likely to be stable, to have more attention and
less likely to be in poverty. Youth model their parents when developing
their own relationships. So we can obviously see the
ways that a strong marriage for the parents is going to get
future strong relationships. We recognize that
marriage is not easy and we don’t treat it
lightly, but we do believe, and our tagline is
“marriage is worth it.” That even when it is hard, and we’ve all had those
times in our own marriages, even when it is hard
it is worth fighting for. It’s worth working on. And that our society as a whole, not to mention
individual youth and families would be better off if
the marriage rate was higher, the divorce rate was lower. Only 22 percent of
Millennials are married. And what we know is
that if anyone follows the success sequence,
is what it’s called, which is getting at
least a high school degree, working fulltime and marrying
before they have children, in that order, they’re more
likely to not be impoverished, to not be in poverty and to
have better financial success. So this is important not only for the emotional
health of youth and children, but also for
their financial success and future health as well. I’ll turn it back over to Sheila who will talk
about what you can do to support
National Marriage Week and marriages
throughout the country. SHEILA: Yes, I would love to see
everybody listening to this call take advantage of
National Marriage Week to benefit your work. For example, you might
already host marriage events and reach out to community. But even if you’re an
educator or a counselor, you could write a
commentary about your specialty or a particular issue
that you want to speak to and you can present
it to your local media or even an online journal, because it’s
National Marriage Week. It’s not too late, we’re a
couple days away from the start. So you could put it out
there tomorrow or the next day saying it is
National Marriage Week and we’d love to see if you
could put this commentary out. That’s something that I want
people to have a vision for. So obviously we say, the first thing we call people
to start a marriage class or host a one-time event. It could be at the
local library, the YMCA, certainly churches
are a very natural place to provide classes. And then to be creative. I want to just
mention one really fun thing. One group in
Ohio a few years ago put up a huge display in the
center of a big shopping mall, and it said “National Marriage
Week: Free Marriage Counseling.” And they had
organized a group of people to man the booth
each of seven days and then they’d
organize local therapists who would provide a free
session of an interface, maybe it was just that one day and then another therapist
would take another day. And so people
were walking through and sort of
spontaneously getting some help that they might not
have reached out for. And then, of course, it was a win-win because
some of the family counselors got some business
and clients out of it. Meanwhile, they
were helping people. So I thought that was a
really creative thing to do, to reach out to your community. And then secondly, we are asking everyone to
post your event all year long on the National
Marriage calendar. And then three,
to use our toolkit. Now the toolkit is very
rich with all kinds of ideas. For example, we have
a sample press release that you can fill in the blanks
and send it to your local media and you fill in the blanks
with your event information. We have a newspaper ad. It’s easy to put
it in a Penny Saver and then you just tag
in your event information. It’s a way to get people’s
attention about the issues surrounding marriage today. And we also have recorded a PSA. You could ask your
radio station to play it because they do
have some obligations to provide public
service announcements. Or we have a script. I know there was a
woman in New Hampshire that read her own
PSA from this script and she got it all over the
New Hampshire radio stations. We have resources for churches, also, if any of you are
connected to faith communities. So there’s a big
section for that because the church
is a very natural place for educating
people in relationships. So we have church bulletin
inserts and sermon ideas. And the curricula, a lot of
the curricula that we provide, some is perfectly suited
for a secular perspective and some is well suited
for a church community. So those are ways
you can take advantage of National Marriage Week. And I would love to see other
people placing commentaries on behalf of marriage and other people
getting local radio and local newspaper coverage because it is
National Marriage Week, but yet we can
elevate what you’re doing. So that is sort of the
summary of everything we have. I think I can hand
it back over to Akua to tell you more
about the Resource Center. AKUA: Thank you, Sheila. All right, so we’re going
to talk about the resources that are specifically
targeted to individuals, couples and families. And again, these are free
resources that you can find on the Resource
Center’s website. So, what you’re looking at here is the landing
page of our website. And the circle is around
strengthening your relationship because that’s the area that
we’re going to be focusing on. And that’s actually the area where you can find
the resources that are specific to individuals,
couples and families. So, we work with both providers
of safety net services, as well as
providing targeted resources. So actually, we worked our menu so that our strengthening
your relationship section would be right up front. So that when you
visit our website, it’s easy to navigate to. So, once you get
into that section, what you’re going to see is that we have
actually gone by topic area. So the different topic
areas are Communication, Conflict Management,
Family Crisis, Parenting, Financial Management, and then we have a
special collection called Healthy Dating
Leads to Healthy Marriages. So essentially what we’re
doing here in this section is we’re
highlighting the elements of a healthy relationship, how to build one,
how to maintain one and also resources around
each specific topic area. So, for example, let’s
take financial management. So if you were to click
on that particular area, what you will notice with
this and all of the areas is that we really take a
holistic approach to each topic. And the way that
we’re doing that is that we are
looking at diverse resources to help the user
advance their understanding on how to apply the information. So not only are we providing
an overview of the topics, so what is financial management, what does that
mean to a relationship? We’re talking about that. And then we also include a link to curated library resources
specific to this topic. So if you were to click
on the resource library, you would be sent to only
resources for this topic area, so you don’t have to
search around looking for what applies to this topic. And then we also have any
applicable external resources. So we’ve linked to Smart Money, we’ve linked to resources
from the federal government, any other things that might help with budgeting
external to our site. And then we also link to
our virtual training center and provide
course recommendations that will help you, again, further your understanding
on that particular topic and how to
strengthen your relationship in that particular area. All right, so part of our strengthening your
relationships theory or section is that we have a
special collection that I mentioned earlier and it’s called Healthy Dating
Leads to Healthy Marriage. And the purpose of this section is really to focus on
healthy dating behaviors that will ultimately feed into a
healthy relationship, marriage. And so we provide things and then we actually drill
them down by specific topics. So for parents, for
service providers, for teens. So then you can
take a deeper dive depending on which
particular group you fit in to learn about how you
can practice healthy dating so that your relationship,
your marriage relationship, will be more likely
to be healthy as well. In addition to the sections, we also have
multimedia resources. And we’re really proud of
our Relationship 101 series which essentially, again, focuses on common
relationship dilemmas and this is in the
form of a podcast. So the first one is
Navigating Finances. We understand that finances
can have a really great impact on the relationship, whether
positively or negatively. So in the navigating finances, we talk about
the common dilemmas that a couple may
encounter around finances. And then we also have one that
is called Honeymoon’s Over. We all know, in the
beginning we may have what we call our representative. So as that representative
becomes more real, what are we doing, how are we navigating
the common dilemmas that come up
when we sort of start to let our guards
down in the relationship? And then we also have
a video series called Dating in Real
Life or Dating IRL. And these offer dating tips
for youth and young adults. Again, because we want
them to start to practice those healthy
relationship behaviors and to understand what
those behaviors should be so that they can lead into more
healthy long-term relationships. All right, we have a poll now. So let’s go
ahead and look at it. And this is actually
addressing the methods that bring the largest audiences
to the National Resource Center. So how do you think
most people get to us? Is it by direct link, external
referrals, a keyword search? You can go ahead and vote. All right. So it looks like the majority
of you selected keyword search. So ding, ding,
ding: you win a prize. Actually, that is the most
common way that people reach us. 39 percent of our traffic
comes via keyword search. So that means that
we’re really intentional in terms of our design to make sure that
we have the keywords that would be
applicable for someone who’s searching for our website. And that’s something that
we continuously work closely with our technology team to make sure that we’re
optimizing those search terms. And then secondly,
by direct traffic. So this webinar, we
attend several events where we provide
people with our direct link so that they can come in
and see our free resources. And then lastly, other sources such as being referred through
a federal client, et cetera. And then let’s talk
about why people actually visit our website. So for the most
part, people visit because they want
evidence-based practices for integrating healthy marriage
and relationship education. So, everything that
is on our website we do, we vet not only on our level,
but also at the client level. So that we’re very
intentional that the resources that we have are evidence-based
or evidence-informed. And then also 58 percent
want general information on healthy marriages
and relationship education. So a lot of that is who
we’re talking about today, our individuals, our
couples, our families. They want to know “how can I
strengthen our relationship?” And then 39 percent, training
and technical assistance. So a lot of our
work is in this area. We hold what we call
integration institutes where we’re
targeting service providers. And our goal
there is to help them to integrate healthy
relationship education into their normal
service provision. We do that by
actually going state to state. And I believe by
the end of this year that we would have
visited every single state. So that is something that we really work
towards this project. Also, partnership development, so collaboration is something
that we really work towards and we actually
help our stakeholders and people that
visit our website, as well as those who participate
in our Integration Institute on partnership development. Leveraging the resources
of other organizations in their area all towards the
goal of serving their customers. And then 28 percent program and
implementation and then other. So this is why you are
usually visiting our website. So how do individuals,
couples, how do you all, how does anyone connect with us? So first it’s our website. Of course, the web link here,
HealthyMarriageandFamilies.org. We also have a help desk
number, which is listed here. And individuals, couples, service providers can
call and ask us for assistance and free resources. They can call
and ask a question. There are also
available by email, by mail. And then also our drop
in, as I mentioned earlier, we are on social media. So we are on
Twitter and LinkedIn. We may expand to
other platforms, but currently we tweet
and post on a daily basis. So please do follow
us on social media. And then I’m going to go
ahead and pass it on to Robyn for questions and answers. Thank you. ROBYN: Thank you so
much. Thanks, Akua. And thanks Sheila
and Heather as well. So we heard Sheila
and Heather talk about Healthy Marriage
Week USA and identifying. And please take advantage of
identifying and participating in local resources, including
workshops in your area. So that’s an
important opportunity to strengthen
relationship skills. And as Akua mentioned, we
at the Resource Center offer lots of free web-based
resources to help with developing and strengthening
healthy relationship skills, whether they’re
skills for yourself, skills for your family members
or for skills for the families that you actually work
with in your communities. And just a reminder, these resources
can help highlight healthy versus
unhealthy behaviors, but are not designed
to fix relationships that are unhealthy. The family crisis section of our Strengthen Your
Relationship section does offer info on
agencies that can help if you’re actually in a crisis. But we definitely encourage
that you seek out help and not stay in an
unhealthy relationship thinking that accessing some of these
resources can help with that. Unhealthy is unhealthy. So let’s talk
about some questions. So we heard the question
when is Marriage Week again? And that is February 7th through
14th, as we heard earlier. And then here is another
– it looks like a comment. So, I’m going to
share it with everyone, “There’s never a bad time
to learn about something new, but oh how I wish this webinar would have been at
least a month ago. I would have loved to get
something together for this. I’ll be sure to post. Maybe have Sheila or
Heather mention that they can do stuff year around and talk about how they
did on the dry run about just making an effort
to start conversations during Marriage
Week is a good idea.” So Sheila, why don’t
you talk a little bit about Marriage Week as
a starting point versus everyone thinking it has to actually
happen during that time? SHEILA: Yes,
you’re not too late. Marriage Week is a time
to get people’s attention and we often say you know, it’s fine to kind of
formulate a plan this week. And you can form a committee and it’s perfectly fine if you
have something going on in April to just put it on
our national calendar. And we are just two days
away, it starts this Friday. So there’s still a
little bit of time, if anybody wants to
grab our press release and just send it to some
of your local newspapers or radio or TV stations
and plug in your information. You certainly, it really
doesn’t take that much time and it’s under our toolkit
at NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org. ROBYN: Sheila, aren’t there some
examples of like proclamations and things that can be done? SHEILA: Yes, we also
have a sample proclamation that your mayor can
put forth or your governor if you have those connections. We do have that
language under the toolkit. And you know, so
actually we have a few days and it runs from
next Friday to Friday, so you have plenty of time to get the attention
of somebody locally, which is easier than to
get via national attention. So it’s really not too late. Yeah, you would have to grab
some of our toolkit information and use some of the pro forma
things we’ve already put out, the sample press
release and the PSA. But I would encourage people
to go ahead after the call and look at
NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org and then click toolkit
and see if there’s something. But no matter what, please put your event
on the national calendar. That way you’ll be recorded and especially if
people click into your state, they’ll find the organization. Even if they missed your date,
they will know who you are. They’ll find you
as an organization. ROBYN: I think that’s
particularly important for the healthy marriage, responsible fatherhood grantees
that are around the country. But I’m also curious, do you have any
other restrictions in terms of who can
post on your calendar? SHEILA: Just, you know, it’s
mostly marriage class related, but certainly relationship
education is highly valued. And we would not
turn anybody away that wants to have
classes on parenting. That all relates to who we are. And we care about
children and their welfare. So that would be just fine. ROBYN: Awesome, thank you. And Akua, so you talked
about the types of folks who come to the Resource
Center looking for information, the types of information
that they’re looking for. In terms of the strengthening
your relationship section, what seems to be the greatest
area of interest so far? AKUA: Thank you, Robyn. In terms of strengthening
their relationships, communication would be
the area of most interest. So people who are
visiting looking for resources on communicating
better with their partners is where we see
the most movement. ROBYN: Thank you. And I know you mentioned there’s
a virtual training center and that is highlighting
each of those sections. So if communication is
the area of most interest, what does the
virtual training center have to offer on communication? AKUA: Sure, I’ll
tell you right now. In the communication section, we actually have a course
called Core Healthy Marriage and Relationship
Skills, Communication. So it’s one of the
four courses in the four Healthy Marriage and
Relationship Skills series. And this course is
essentially meant to use an inside out approach
for users to better understand healthy communication
at a personal level and so ultimately to help
them interact with others. So this is great
for communicating in personal relationships, but in
communication overall as well. ROBYN: Awesome. In addition to the
communication course that’s in the
virtual training center, there is a full blown
relationship, education course. Is that open to everyone? AKUA: Absolutely. The courses are open to anyone
that would like to access them. ROBYN: And what about CEUs, are
they available for the courses? AKUA: Yes, we do have CEUs. So depending on your
organization requirements, we do have CEUs
that we can provide. You do get a certificate
at the end of a course that you can present
to your organization showing that you
completed the course. ROBYN: So that seems to
kind of wrap up the questions that we have on
the table right now. I’ll allow a few more minutes if anyone wants to
type in any questions. But in the interim, I wanted to kind of
revisit our presenters and see if anyone
had additional comments that they’d like to make. So I’ll start with you,
Sheila, is there anything having heard kind of the
rest of the presentation, anything else you’d like to add? SHEILA: Sure. Just if you would, anybody listening would
like some gentle reminders to give yourself a
little more time for next year, please go to
NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org and click register. And we do not
overwhelm anybody with emails. There’s a few general
reminders in the fall and then right
after the holidays. It’s just ideas of
things you can do. So if you’d like to be reminded
well in advance of next year, please register your email. That really would help
us stay in touch with you. ROBYN: Awesome. SHEILA: We also have a Facebook
page and we have Twitter. The handle is @marriageweek. ROBYN: Heather, did you
want to add anything else? HEATHER: No, but
thank you so much for having us at this meeting
so we can hear feedback. But thank you so
much for having us. And I hope that everyone
on the call can get involved with National Marriage Week and post events on the calendar
so we can help more couples. ROBYN: Sounds good. And how about you,
Akua, any final thoughts? AKUA: Sure, thanks Robyn. So what I’d like to add is, as I mentioned we are on
both Twitter and LinkedIn. We also have a
monthly newsletter. If you are interested
in any or all of those, please let us know. We’ll be happy to
add you to our list. And also we post
anything that’s new regarding content
to our social media, so that’d be a
great place to start. Thanks. ROBYN: Awesome. And so I would just
like to remind everyone that although primarily
we talk a lot about this from the perspective of working
with social service providers and encouraging them to
promote healthy marriage in their
communities, we are all family. We are all part of a family,
whether we happen to be married or have
relatives who are married. And I would encourage us to take
advantage of this opportunity to talk about
National Marriage Week from a perspective
of our own families. And what might we do as a
partner in a relationship or as family members who
have folks in our family who are married, what can we do to
promote healthy marriages and what can we do to encourage and support those who are trying
to have healthy marriages? You know, it’s
interesting when we work as service providers
that we are in a position, and I know this from being a certified
family life educator myself, that we’re in a
position to often tell people kind of from the
front of the room what they could do
better or different in order to improve
their relationship. But sometimes,
honestly, we went crazy abiding all the families
that don’t say anything. And so I would encourage us all
to think about what can we do to strengthen our
own relationships and what do we do to
encourage healthy relationships in those family
members around us and not miss this opportunity. Valentine’s Day is coming up. Let’s think broader
than just the happy hearts and so forth, and
think about what can we do to actually improve
those relationships. Because here’s
the reality, folks. At the end of the day, healthy
relationships in the adults strengthen
relationships for the children and we also set them up for
a strong, positive trajectory. And that, at the end of the day, is kind of the point is that if
we do better, they do better. And so it’s up to all
of us to do better. And so I hope that you’ll
take advantage of the resources that you heard about today. Pull down those web
links that are here. Take a look at the
downloadable resources that Bryana has
provided for you. And just take advantage of
this opportunity to step back and say what can I do to do
better in my own relationships and to strengthen the
relationships around me? And with that, I’m going to
turn you back over to Bryana who is going to take
care of our survey questions. Thank you all for joining. BRYANA: Yeah, I want
to thank you all, again, for joining and thank
you to all of the speakers who shared all the
information they did today. Again, as Robyn just mentioned, please before we
close the webinar, feel free to download the files
from the downloadable resources and browse
directly to those links. I know Sheila and Heather
had mentioned the toolkit and the calendar
which are both on there. And just as we close out,
again, thank you for attending. When we close out the webinar, a survey will pop up
in a separate window and when that window opens up, if you can just spend
not even a minute answering a couple quick
questions about the webinar, if you want to leave
any feedback or comments. And then once you complete
those couple questions, you receive their certificate
of completion for this webinar. So if you just do those
couple steps then at the end you will get that certificate that Akua and
Robyn had mentioned. And thank you again
for your participation and we hope you
all have a great day. Also, if you have any
questions as we close out, again, our contact information
is on this last slide here. This concludes today’s call.

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