2016 Poverty Summit 

Solving Poverty:

Working Together for Racial

and Economic Justice

October 28, 2016


8:30                        Registration, Breakfast, and Networking


9:00                        Opening Plenary

                               Welcome & Celebration of APN partners

o   Joanne LaPerla-Morales, President, Middlesex County College

o   Renee Koubiadis, Executive Director, APN

o   Kiki Jamieson, Executive Director, The Fund for New Jersey

o   Robert Atkins, Executive Director, New Jersey Health Initiatives

o   Deborah Cornavaca, Organizing Specialist, Organizational Development, NJEA


Introduction to Summit Theme and Workshops

o   Rev. Bruce Davidson, Retired Pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America   o  Felicia Alston-Singleton, APN Board of Trustees

Morning Keynote: What is Racism?

o   Rev. Charles Boyer, Pastor, Bethel AME Church

Inspiration for the Work: Anti-Poverty Public Service Announcement

o   Produced by the Jewish Renaissance Foundation’s Anti-Poverty Youth Summit Participants, Summer 2016


10:10   Workshop Session I

Housing, Economic Justice, Criminal Justice, or Networking

See below for workshop topics & locations


11:20   Workshop Session II

Criminal Justice, Children and Youth, Economic Justice, Legal Protections, or Networking

See reverse for workshop topics & locations


12:30   Lunch & Afternoon Plenary

Garden State Leaders video


Lunch Keynote Address

o   Richard Smith, President, NAACP NJ

Panel Discussion on Structural Racism and Poverty

o   Moderator:  Michael Hill, Correspondent, NJTV News

o   Quincy Bloxom, Garden State Leaders

o   Angela Fields, Garden State Leaders

o   Yanira Cortes, Newark HUD Tenants Coalition

Audience Q&A


2:15                        Call to Action


2:35      Workshop Session III

Children and Youth, Housing & Community Development, Legal Protections, or Networking

See below for workshop topics & locations




Housing Workshop (Gallery)

Presenters: Connie Pascale, Felicia Alston-Singleton, Rev. Eric Dobson, David Troutt, and Bill Good

This workshop will focus on identifying the structural and other forms of racism that have caused New Jersey to become and remain one of the most racially segregated states in the country. It will also explore the many ways that housing discrimination has disadvantaged and harmed people of color in a host of critical contexts, especially in relation to poverty and its often tragic consequences.  The workshop will conclude with an interactive discussion of current and potential community-based advocacy efforts, centered on the demand that ongoing residential racial discrimination be openly acknowledged and aggressively remedied.


Criminal Justice Workshop (Corral)

Presenters: Alex Staropoli, Rev. Charles Boyer, LaShawn Warren, and Cuqui Rivera

In this workshop, speakers will explore the historical context of criminal justice reform in New Jersey and will highlight current efforts to create a fairer and more just criminal justice system in our state. Over the last three decades, New Jersey’s prison population has grown at a staggering rate, increasing from around 6,000 to more than 20,000. At the same time the corrections budget has skyrocketed from $77 million a year to over $1 billion a year. The overuse of incarceration tears apart vulnerable families and communities and permanently excludes large segments of the population from gainful participation in the workforce. These unfair and ineffective policies excessively impact New Jersey’s already marginalized communities. While African Americans and Latinos make up less than 30 percent of the state’s population, they account for more than 80 percent of those incarcerated.

Economic Justice Workshop (Room 100)

Presenters: Rev. Sara Lilja, Beverly Brown-Ruggia, Jon Whiten, and Demelza Baer

This workshop will explore persistent racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in economic circumstances through consideration of employment, wage disparities, the tax system and public policy, and barriers to accessing credit. Each panelist will contextualize part of the discussion, and offer potential policy and legal changes to reduce these disparities and promote equality of economic opportunity for all.


Legal Protections Workshop (Room 102)

Presenters: Brandon McCoy, Johanna Calle, and Dianna Houenou

This workshop explores the relationship between communities of color and institutions of legal protections and law enforcement. Topics include legal representation, identification for immigrants, police and community relations, and voting rights. We encourage participation from attendees to discuss policy solutions and ways in which meaningful change can be realized.


Children and Youth Workshop (Room 101)

Presenters: Deborah Cornavaca, Rosie Grant, and Jerrell Blakeley

In this participatory workshop we will discuss four different kinds of racism – internalized, interpersonal, institutional and structural - and identify where and how they are manifested in our public schools.  As a group we will uncover the ways in which we have experienced racism in our educational system, identifying the forms, so that we can work towards solutions.  The goal of the session is to raise awareness and empowerment of those attending not just to identify racism, but to seek constructive solutions, from the interpersonal to the systemic levels, to promote justice and equity in our public schools.

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