Notre Dame's For Good Initiative Hosts Panel Discussion Featuring GC-DWC Director, Addressing Opportunity to Lead Global Change

February 29th, 2024 — The University of Notre Dame’s For Good initiative recently hosted a panel conversation featuring professor and director of the Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child (GC-DWC), Neil Boothby, in conversation with Dr. Carrie Quinn, pediatrician and executive director of the Mount Sinai Parenting Center, and Rev. Louis DelFra, C.S.C., director of pastoral life for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).

The event, Serving the World’s Most Vulnerable Children, was facilitated by Lou Nanni—vice president of University Relations—and was hosted by For Good Co-chairs, Dr. Quinn and Jim Parsons. 

All three panelists serve children and their families in different vocational capacities, but their work is aligned by the science of early childhood development and how it complements  Catholic social teaching. Boothby and Quinn spoke about the critical nature of the first 1,000 days in a child’s life and the key role that parents and caregivers play in building healthy brains. Additionally, DelFra outlined the connections between early childhood development science and Catholic faith traditions, connecting back to Invest in our Youth,” the recently published book co-written by Boothby and DelFra.

The speakers emphasized Notre Dame’s unique position to be a strong agent of global change, able to unify deep scientific knowledge with the wisdom of the Church. “250 million children around the world are growing up in danger and deprivation. They will survive, but with diminished prospects for living a meaningful and productive life,” Boothby shared. “The GC-DWC is committed to help lead a global conspiracy of goodness. We have the science to help guide the way technically, and we believe that the Catholic Church—and its parish communities of churches, schools, and families—are potential pathways out of poverty for tens of thousands of children across the globe.” 

Quinn highlighted the compatibility of this work with Notre Dame’s new strategic plan that includes a focus on poverty alleviation and global Catholicism. “With Notre Dame’s strategic plan—paired with the For Good initiative and the Notre Dame community wanting to serve the world deeply in need—there is the perfect opportunity for Notre Dame to go far with using the Catholic mission, the Catholic Church, and the science and expertise of its faculty to help communities of people and support these initiatives,” Quinn emphasized. “Who else is going to do this work if we don’t?”

To learn more about the GC-DWC and its work to provide pathways out of poverty for the world’s most vulnerable children, please visit: