2023 PARCA Annual Forum

Who Cares About Childcare?

Friday, March 10, 2023, 9:00 a.m. at The Harbert Center, Birmingham, Alabama

Alabamians are struggling to find safe, reliable, and affordable childcare. The challenge is not new but is escalating, creating strain on our workforce, economy, and, ultimately, our future.

Childcare providers struggle to find and compensate staff. Parents struggle to afford care. When childcare is available, it may not align with work schedules. Parents at all income levels worry about childcare providers closing their doors.

Employees are leaving the workforce to provide childcare. Costs are consuming a greater share of family income. Some families are turning to less reputable providers, putting children at risk.

How can policymakers, business and civic leaders, and parents address these challenges?

How do we invest in our children at the most critical time in their lives?

We will explore these opportunities at PARCA’s 2023 Annual Forum.

Confirmed Speakers to date:

Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama

Dr. Alison Hooper, University of Alabama

Dr. Janina Nobles, Bevill State Community College

Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Vanderbilt University

Registration coming soon!

2022 PARCA Annual Forum

Realizing Our Potential: A Plan for Reading and Math in Alabama

March 11, 2022 at The Harbert Center

Join us on March 11 from 8:45 am-1:00 pm as state and national experts, policymakers, and educators will explore the reading and math challenges facing the state, efforts to change the trajectory – including the Alabama Literacy Act – and the role Alabama’s business, civic, and political leaders can play in changing the narrative.

Alabama students rank last in math and 47th in reading. Such was not always the case. Through the first years of this century, Alabama students showed growth in both subjects, culminating with Alabama 4th grade reading scores matching the national average in 2011. However, in the decade since, we have seen a steady downward drift.

What happened? How can we chart a course toward a better future? How is the Alabama Literacy Act refocusing efforts to teach reading? What can we do about math? These questions shape PARCA’s 2022 Annual Forum.

More Details and Individual Ticket and Table Reservations are available here.

2021 PARCA Annual Forum

Alabama Online: Failure to Connect

March 1 – 5, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic exposed hidden gaps in the state’s broadband infrastructure. Outside of the state’s urban centers, more than 500,000 Alabamians have no or limited ways to log online. These inequities certainly make it harder to work from home and learn online, but after COVID, will the lack of reliable access to high-speed internet still matter?

Join PARCA for Alabama Online: Failure to Connect —
a week-long, virtual conversation on the impact, limitations, and divides caused by Alabama’s current broadband network.

Each day, PARCA will explore how strengthening the state’s broadband infrastructure will create new opportunities for economic development, medical care, student learning, and other aspects of our daily lives. The week-long discussion will culminate with the Governor Albert P. Brewer Legacy Virtual Luncheon featuring Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and other state leaders.

Additional details to follow.

2020 PARCA Annual Meeting

Alabama’s Third Century

In 2019, Alabama celebrated two centuries of statehood. In 2020, we embark on our third century. What can we be? In the first 200 years, we moved from cotton, coal, and iron to autos, aerospace, and biotechnology. We labored, and we labored to overcome the discrimination and divisions that marked our first two centuries. Now, can we recreate our frontier as a landscape of opportunity for all, of excellence in education, where we live longer and healthier, where we compete for the national championship of creativity and innovation?

Join us as we explore ambitious and strategic investment in how the people of Alabama can remedy complex issues that have haunted the state since 1819 and make our state welcoming, competitive, vibrant, and fair—long before we celebrate our tri-centennial.

2019 PARCA Annual Meeting

The 2019 Annual Meeting was held on Friday, February 15th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham. The meeting materials are available here.

An Evening with The Capitol Steps benefiting PARCA

Join us for an uproarious night of musical political satire with The Capitol Steps, benefiting the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. Reserve your seating today at


PARCA Roundtable Symposium – 2018 Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

This year’s Roundtable Symposium was a unique event with the 2018 gubernatorial candidates hosted by the PARCA Roundtable, PARCA’s young professionals group of 28 to 45-year-old civic and business leaders. The candidates participating include Tommy Battle, Sue Bell Cobb, Christopher Countryman, Scott Dawson, James Fields, Bill Hightower and Walt Maddox.

The forum featured one-on-one conversations with each candidate with questions specifically addressing the concerns of young professionals. Candidates were also asked about the issues most important to voters, as reported in PARCA’s recent Alabama Priorities. Interviewers included members several of the PARCA Roundtable, other active young professional leaders, and WBHM’s Gigi Douban.

PARCA Annual Meeting 2018 – The 21st Century Governor

The 2018 annual meeting will be held at The Harbert Center on Friday, February 2nd, 2018. Register today!

Vulcan presents An Evening with The Capitol Steps benefiting PARCA

At PARCA, working to inform and improve government in Alabama is serious work – and we’ve been doing it for almost 30 years. But sometimes you just need to laugh. Cue The Capitol Steps. Join us for an uproarious night of musical political satire on October 26, 2017 at the historic Lyric Theatre.

PARCA Roundtable Legislative Symposium – June 23, The Harbert Center, 7:30 am

The PARCA Roundtable will be hosting a legislative symposium on the morning of June 23, 2017 from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.

The Symposium will be a review of the 2017 legislative session by CEOs of major advocacy organizations in Alabama, including A+ Education Partnership, Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Alabama Education Association, Alabama Policy Institute, Alabama Rivers Alliance, Arise Citizens’ Policy Project and the Business Council of Alabama.

The panel will be moderated by Don Dailey, News and Public Affairs Director at Alabama Public Television and host of Capitol Journal.

Tickets are $25 per person. Seating is limited.

PARCA Education Luncheon – May 3rd, Renaissance Montgomery Hotel, 11:30 am

The luncheon will feature several leaders in Alabama public education who are uniquely positioned to move our state forward,  including Jeana Ross, Secretary, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education; Michael Sentance, State Superintendent, Alabama State Department of Education; and James Purcell, Executive Director, Alabama Commission on Higher Education. PARCA will also present recent education research, including stories of smaller and less well-resourced schools and systems that are outperforming. 

Comments are closed.