Tuesday, October 18, Coastal Conversations partnered with United Way of Southwest Alabama to launch the Basics program. The Coastal Conversations program featured Dr. Ron Ferguson, Founder and President of The Basics Network. Dr. Ron Ferguson was the featured speaker at Coastal Conversations’s first program, From Cradle to Career in February 2021. His research regarding early childhood development and gaps in socio-economic, racial and ethnic groups led to the establishment of The Basics Boston. Inspired by Dr. Ferguson’s presentation, United Way of Southwest Alabama sought to begin development of The Basics Southwest Alabama. The Basics program recognizes five basic principles which help new mothers and children during the first three years of life when 80% of brain growth occurs. Simple interactions between children, their parents and other caregivers provide abundant opportunities to give every child a more equal start in life. The Basics Southwest Alabama aims to integrate the Basics into the region by partnering with community centers, healthcare providers, child care and early learning centers, libraries and community centers. Coastal Conversations continues to inspire positive change and improve quality of life in Coastal Alabama, highlighting relevant issues such as health disparities, sustainable tourism, economic development, policing and affordable housing.