General Sessions

Wednesday, August 28

Reducing Poverty: Policy and Practice Part I

Join panelists for an engaging discussion around the use of policy and programmatic practice to reduce poverty.

Clarence Carter, Director of the Office of Family Assistance, HHS Administration for Children and Families
Clarence is the Director of the Office of Family Assistance and the Acting Director of the Office of Community Services at HHS’ Administration for Children and Families.  Carter comes from the Institute for the Improvement of the Human Condition, which he founded. At that organization, he worked with state and local safety net agencies to meet the emergency needs of socially and economically vulnerable citizens. Carter served as the Director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, in addition to other state, federal and local human services management positions.

Bryan Duncan, Executive Director, I-CARE, Inc.
Bryan is the Executive Director of I-CARE and the Chair of the Community Action Partnership board. He has been with Community Action for over 25 years, serving as an Executive Director of more than 10 years. Bryan also serves as the SEACAA Representative to the North Carolina COmmunity Action Association Board. Bryan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UNC-Chapel Hill, is a Certified Community Action Professional, and a Certified ROMA trainer. Additionally, he is involved in several community organizations including the Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce.

Matt Weidinger, Resident Fellow in Poverty Studies, American Enterprise Institute 
Matt is a resident fellow in poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on safety-net policies, including cash welfare, child welfare, disability benefits, and unemployment insurance. He began his career on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant for Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL) and has also served on the staff of multiple House Committees and Subcommittees, including the 2012 Republican Platform Subcommittee on Economy, Jobs, and Debt. Matt has an M.A. in political science from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Moderator: Denise Harlow, Chief Executive Officer, Community Action Partnership
Denise, CCAP, is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Community Action Partnership, a national hub that links the nation’s 1,000+ Community Action Agencies to each another and to federal, state, and local leaders looking to connect Americans to greater opportunity. She was appointed the Partnership’s CEO in 2014 after serving as Senior Director of Training and Technical Assistance and Interim Chief Operating Officer. Working with Community Action Network partners, Denise was instrumental in the design and deployment of network-wide Organizational Standards and was a leader in the recent update to the Community Action performance management framework.

Reducing Poverty: Policy and Practice, Part II

Additional informaiton forthcoming.

Building Belonging in a Time of Othering

The challenge of othering and belonging is the challenge of our time. Putting these ambitious changes on the agenda for equity advocates cannot be more critical.

john a. powell, Director of the Haas Institute, UC Berkeley
john powell is the Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, a UC Berkeley research institute, holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion, and is a Professor of Law, African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. john has written extensively on a number of issues including structural racism, racial justice, concentrated poverty and urban sprawl, opportunity based housing, voting rights, affirmative action in the United States, South Africa and Brazil, racial and ethnic identity, spirituality and social justice, and the needs of citizens in a democratic society. He is also the author of several books, including his most recent work, Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

Poverty, Equity, and Migration

Learn about immigration history, myths, and facts impacting families. Additionally, racial bias and cultural stigma will be highlighted alongside culturally informed strategies for family success.

Robert Moore, Journalist
Bob is an independent journalist writing for both national and regional media including the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, The Guardian, and the Houston Chronicle. Focused particularly on issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border, Bob has broken numerous stories concerning the death of children in government custody and his reporting for Texas Monthly during the family separation crisis helped drive record web traffic.

Dylan Corbett, Director, Hope Border Institute
Dylan is the founding director of HOPE. Previously, Dylan worked as a staffer to the bishops of the United States at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development as well as with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the national anti-poverty and social justice program of USCCB. He has worked in the international development and nonprofit sectors in Washington DC, Central America, and South Asia, and has studied at the Catholic University of America.

Dalitso Sulamoyo, Chief Executive Officer, Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
Dalitso, hailing from Malawi, is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission and served as president and CEO of the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies (IACAA) for 16 years. His work includes outreach for the Affordable Care Act, developing affordable housing projects and safe drinking water systems. He has received numerous awards, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Awards, holds two Master’s degrees and a PhD, and is also a published author and professional speaker.

Community, Health, Wealth, and Justice

Join panelists for a discussion on how Community Action can further build its capacity to address the social and environmental factors that impact health outcomes.

Thursday, August 29

Legislative Update

Get the latest information from Washington, D.C. as well as an update on CSBG and other key funding streams for Community Action.

David Bradley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, National Community Action Foundation
David has been one of Washington’s leading advocates on behalf of low-income programs for more than 30 years. He helped found the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF), a nonprofit representing funding and policy interests of the nation’s 1000 community action agencies before Congress and the Executive Branch. In his role at NCAF, David was the primary architect of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). His other legislative activities include the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Head Start, and job training programs.

National Partners Panel Discussion

Join us to hear the latest updates in programming, training, and technical assistance from the Community Action network’s national partners.

Jenae Bjelland, Executive Director, National Association for State Community Services Programs
Jenae is the Executive Director of the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP). Prior to accepting the position of Executive Director, she was the Director of Healthy Homes for NASCSP and previously the Director of Research for NASCSP. Janae brings seventeen years of experience in the anti-poverty and energy efficiency network – working at the local, state and national level. She is results-driven, adept in analyzing process management, data, and technology needs and is certified as a National Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) trainer.

Eleanor Evans, Executive Director and General Counsel, Community Action Program Legal Services
Eleanor is Executive Director and General Counsel of Community Action Program Legal Services (CAPLAW) and General Counsel to Action for Boston Community Development. She advises Community Action Agencies nationwide on a broad range of legal matters, writes publications, and presents related workshops. Eleanor is co-author of “Being a Player: A Guide to the IRS Lobbying Regulations for Advocacy Charities,” published by the Alliance for Justice. She is a graduate of Smith College and Georgetown University Law Center.

Katrina Metzler, Executive Director, National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition
Katrina is the Executive Director of the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition and brings more than 20 years of experience in the fields of energy, education, and poverty-fighting programs to the position. As an advocate at the local, state, and now federal level, she has supported legislation for programs such as LIHEAP, WAP, CSBG, and SEP. Previously, she was the Energy Policy Analyst, State Services Director, and Energy Services Director for the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP).

Lee Sherman, President and CEO, National Human Services Assembly
Lee is the President and CEO of the National Human Services Assembly (NHSA) based in Washington, DC and brings more than 25 years of executive-level experience in both the nonprofit and corporate sectors. Prior to joining NHSA, Lee was President and CEO of the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies (AJFCA) where, under his leadership, the organization more than doubled its corporate sponsorships; created a new civic engagement initiative for next generation leaders that serves as a national model for organizational sustainability; and successfully advocated with colleague organizations for a federal grant for services to Holocaust survivors.

Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director, National Head Start Association
Yasmina is the Executive Director of the National Head Start Association. She came to the NHSA after several years as principal and founder of EDGE Consulting Partners where she pursued local, national and global projects that utilized the knowledge, experience, and connections of her years in human services and early education to enhance the capacity of organizations to thrive as competent, strategic entities capable of influencing policy. Yasmina founded EDGE after receiving her Master in Public Administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Moderator: Denise Harlow, Chief Executive Officer, Community Action Partnership
Denise, CCAP, is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Community Action Partnership, a national hub that links the nation’s 1,000+ Community Action Agencies to each another and to federal, state, and local leaders looking to connect Americans to greater opportunity. She was appointed the Partnership’s CEO in 2014 after serving as Senior Director of Training and Technical Assistance and Interim Chief Operating Officer. Working with Community Action Network partners, Denise was instrumental in the design and deployment of network-wide Organizational Standards and was a leader in the recent update to the Community Action performance management framework.

55 Years of Community Action with Mark Shriver

Celebrating 55 years of Community Action, let’s reflect and recommit to the Promise of Community Action!

Mark K. Shriver, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children Action Network
Mark Shriver is the Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Action Network, where he leads an effort to mobilize Americans to ensure that every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early childhood education and that children around the world survive and thrive. He is also Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs & Advocacy at Save the Children. Mark was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1994 to 2002. In 1988, he founded the innovative Choice Program, which serves delinquent and at-risk youth through intensive, community-based counseling. His latest book, Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis, was published in 2016 by Random House and his New York Times and Washington Post best-selling memoir, A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver, was published in June 2012 by Henry Holt.

Increasing Family and Community Resilience

The Partnership’s vision is “a nation that creates opportunities for all people to thrive, build strong, resilient communities, and ensures a more equitable society.” Panelists will explore challenges and solutions to creating resilient families and communities.

Friday, August 30

Making the “Count” Count

This session will highlight the role that data plays in understanding the needs of families and strategies for effective data collection, reporting, and analysis.

Lindsay Marsh, Senior Associate, Special Projects – Census Engagement, Community Action Partnership
Lindsay comes to the Partnership from the Office of Community Service at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Her previous work has taken her across the country working issue and political campaigns, organizing, doing data research, and fundraising. Lindsay co-founded a social media company specializing in online fundraising and social justice work.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and a Master’s degree in Political Management, both from the George Washington University. She is based out of Denver, Colorado.