“Creating Opportunities Together” is the theme of the Kansas Association of Community Action Programs’ annual conference, July 20-22, 2016.
The theme underscores the economic reality faced by many Kansans: Median household income in Kansas remains lower than before the Great Recession, and the poverty and extreme poverty rates remain higher than before the recession.
A distinguished set of nationally recognized speakers and 36 workshops will address why the American Dream of opportunity is at risk and how to create opportunity for all.
Speakers will include:
- Dr. Gloria Wilder, founder of CORE HEALTH and an expert on poverty and economic segregation in health care. She will speak about health equity, poverty as a key social determinants of health and the importance of expanding Medicaid.
- Tamara Draut, discussing why so many Americans are struggling financially and what we can do to create economic opportunity for all. Ms. Draut is the vice president, research and policy, for Demos, a leading think tank that does a lot of work on creating economic opportunity. She is widely published and is a frequent commentator on news programs. Her new book, Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America was published this past April.
- Patty Clark, the Kansas director of USDA Rural Development, and author Sarah Smarsh, will speak in a plenary focused specifically on rural poverty in Kansas.
- H. Luke Shaefer, co-author of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America. The book has been widely praised for its descriptions of the lives of the very poor and for its analysis of how “welfare reform” aggravated the problem of deep poverty – the New York Times included it in its list of the most notable books of 2015.
The venue for the conference is the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Topeka. For a detailed conference agenda and schedule visit www.tinyurl.com/2016kcop