APN Poverty Summit 2015 Schedule 


  • 8: 00

8:00-9:00  Registration & Breakfast 

  • 8:00-9:00 Networking Tables - An opportunity to meet with allies from your area in small, facilitated discussion groups.


9:00-9:30   Opening Plenary


9:45-11:00 Workshop Session I (issue workshops)

  • Mt. Laurel Implementation and Advocating for Funding

Eric Dobson, Fair Share Housing & Arnold Cohen, Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey

The workshop will discuss the requirement that NJ towns adopt plans for addressing their housing obligations under the Mt. Laurel doctrine, and how you can ensure that your town is doing the right thing. The workshop will also explain efforts you can be involved in on a state level to get more funding for homes that are affordable.

  • How School Breakfast Plays a Critical Role in Addressing Child Poverty

Reggie Dorsey, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

According to U.S. Census data, 17 percent of all New Jersey children were living in families earning below the meager federal poverty line of about $23,500 for a family of four in 2013. This is up from 13 percent in 2009, a substantial increase in childhood poverty over the past five years. The numbers are even more alarming when separated by race. Initiatives such as the federal School Breakfast program play a significant role in assisting low-income families and reducing childhood hunger. This workshop will provide updated and accurate data child well-being by race; hear how school breakfast programs positively impact children in low-income families; and teach you how you can get involved in this successful campaign.

  • NJ's Safety Net: Making Work First New Jersey Work

Ray Castro, New Jersey Policy Perspective & Steve Leder, the Community Health Law Project

This workshop will provide an overview of the history and outstanding policy and administrative issues in Work First NJ. Special focus will be placed on the adequacy of the grant, emergency assistance, work training, child support, and work incentives. We will also discuss the effectiveness of current state supervised-county administered system. TANF legislation making its way through Congress will also be outlines and reviewed in terms of how it could affect the problems identified in WFNJ. The workshop will conclude with a discussion on how we can generate support for improvements in this critical safety net at the federal level, the Legislature, and Executive branch. 


  • R.A.C.E. 101 - An Introduction to Racial and Economic Justice in NJ: Racism, Power andPoverty Related Transformative Justice

Dr. Denalerie Johnson-Faniel, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., State of New Jersey, Social Action and Partnerships

This interactive workshop serves as an introductory primer to adopting a more race conscious approach to community building and social justice work. We will take the initial steps to broaden our basic understanding of the causes of poverty, inequality, and community distress in New Jersey; clarify our understanding of the forces that maintain the racial disparity status quo and constrain the potential success of strategies for culture change; identify how and why an emphasis on racial equity might enhance the possibility of poverty reduction focused social change effort success; and highlight new ally approached that could complement and reinforce existing strategy.


11:00-11:15   Break


11:15-12:30   Workshop II (skill-building)

  • How to Talk to Legislators About Structural Poverty and Solutions

Joyce Campbell, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton; Kevin Drennan, Senate Majority Office & Christine Shipley, Senate Minority Office

The workshop will teach participants how to most effectively talk with legislators about structural poverty, creating opportunity and solutions. Presenters will cover basic tips for meeting with a legislator, and discuss ways to demonstrate how structural poverty creates a lack of opportunity. Kevin and Christine, as the Executive Directors of the two Senate offices are a great resource for getting the insiders view on legislative advocacy.

  • Messaging & Media Strategies for Social Change

Deb Ellis, New Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness & Jon Whiten, New Jersey Policy Perspective.

Successfully shaping the debate is a crucial part of most policy and advocacy victories. In this workshop you will learn how to use the media to drive your advocacy agenda through winning messaging and smart press strategies. This year's workshop includes a special emphasis on messaging around racial and economic injustice, as well as a chance to try your hand at crafting messages that can lead to social change.

  • Social Media Strategies to Amplify Advocacy

Deborah Howlett, ACLU of NJ

In this workshop, learn about the basics of social media and how to use these tools to strengthen your impact, effect social change, and engage your audience. Also, learn about APN's new Poverty Stigma social media campaign, designed to invite allies to capture and share images that penalize, shame or criminalize poverty. 

  • How to Talk So People Will Listen 

Rev. Maristela Freiberg, NJ Synod 

Listening to people one-on-one is a community organizing skill that Rev. Freiberg has perfected through many years of helping communities identify their greatest needs and concerns. A community cannot be empowered and moved into action until all involved have had a chance to speak and be heard. Add this skill to your toolbox; join Rev. Freiberg for this hand-on workshop in community engagement. 

12:30-2:30 Lunch and Closing Plenary

  • Greetings from the Department of Human Services
    • Natasha Johnson, Director of the Division of Family Development
  • Screening of Make Room - the Montgomery Family
  • Keynote panel of Experience Experts, sharing stories of hunger and homelessness (in partnership with Garden State Leaders and Soul of Hunger Campaign)
    • Moderator: Barbara George Johnson, Executive Director, John. S. Watson School of Public Policy, Thomas Edison State College
  • Responses from NJ Legislative Leader Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto
  • Call to Action - 2015 Poverty Solutions Pledge


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