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U of M Center for Multimedia Arts Among Leading Innovators University News
For release: October 14, 2010

For press information, contact Simone Notter Wilson, 901/678-4164

The Center for Multimedia Arts (CMA) at the University of Memphis, in partnership with the Shelby County Office of Early Childhood and Youth (OECY), is among a small group of innovators from an international field to outline game-changing proposals to significantly improve the wellbeing of children. The results are now available in Big Ideas: Game-Changers for Children, a compilation of creative solutions to help develop a national agenda for children’s rights, published by First Focus, a D.C.-based, bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions.

In their essay, “Change in Sight: Child Well-Being As a Policy Development Framework,” Michael Schmidt, CMA director, and Julie Coffey, OECY deputy director, detail a strategy to improve circumstances and opportunities for children in the Mid-South by creating and implementing Shelby County’s Child Impact Statement Reporting System (SHELBY), a web-based software application that evaluates the effectiveness of policy decisions on behalf of children. SHELBY (Safety, Health, Education, and Land-use Decisions on Behalf of Children and Youth) is administered by OECY, which partnered with the CMA to develop and design the application.

First Focus provides copies of Big Ideas: Game-Changers for Children to all members of Congress, their staffs, candidates for federal office, the media, the children’s advocacy community, and state advocates. Select contributors to the book, including Michael Schmidt and Julie Coffey, will present their briefings to Congress as well as U.S. governors and mayors at separate upcoming events.

For more information and to request a free copy of the book, visit

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