Missourians to End Poverty Hosts Event on Building Resilience in Missouri Communities

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) September 17, 2018 — What makes a community resilient? Missourians to End Poverty and difference-makers from across the state will gather on Thursday, September 20 in Jefferson City for the 2018 Missouri Poverty Summit at Capitol Plaza Hotel and Convention Center to discuss how together we all can build resilient communities where everyone thrives. The timing of this event coincides with recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the new Census Bureau data released this past week, Missouri’s poverty rate is 13.4%. The state’s poverty rate steadily increased from 13.3% in 2007 to 16.2% in 2012. Since 2012, however, the poverty rate has declined to today’s rate of 13.4%. Given these dates coincide with the Great Recession and the years following, it’s an indicator of resilience! Despite the progress, there are still 795,732 Missourians in poverty—of which 252,041 are children. From food insecurity to restricted access to healthcare, lack of a living wage to inadequate housing, people living in situations of poverty may face these challengesand more.

The 2018 Missouri Poverty Summit will feature two engaging keynote speakers, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Founder and Co-Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, and Dr. Jason Q. Purnell, Associate Professor, Principal Investigator and Project Director, Washington University’s Brown School, as well as a panel discussion with elected officials and a panel of experts addressing the five elements of poverty—economic and family security, education, food and nutrition, health, and housing and energy. Panel discussion and dialogue with summit attendees will include:

  • Community-Based Solutions Panel | Addressing the Five Elements of Poverty: How an Assets-Based Approach Leads to Better Outcomes
    • Moderator: Jeanette Mott Oxford, Empower Missouri
    • Otto Fajen, Missouri National Education Association
    • Nancy Kelley, Missouri Foundation for Health
    • Gus Metz, Missouri Housing Development Commission
    • George Robnett, Community Action Agency of St. Louis County
    • Christine Woody, Empower Missouri
  • Public Policy Issues Panel | The Policy-Practice Connection: Strengthening Missouri’s Public Policies to Uplift Low-Income Missourians
    • Moderator: Angela Hirsch, Central Missouri Community Action
    • Representative Jay Barnes, Missouri House of Representatives
    • Brian Colby, Missouri Budget Project
    • Tamara Kenny, Catholic Charities of St. Louis
    • Chris Thompson, West Central Missouri Community Action Agency
    • Representative Cora Faith Walker, Missouri House of Representatives

For more information and to register for the event, visit http://www.moendpoverty.org/poverty-summit.html. If you have questions about Missourians to End Poverty or the 2018 Missouri Poverty Summit, please contact Missouri Community Action Network’s Director of External Affairs and Missourians to End Poverty Chairperson, Jessica Hoey, at (573) 634-2969 ext. 31, or email jhoey@communityaction.org.

Missourians to End Poverty is a coalition of individuals, advocates, businesses, faith-based organizations, non-profits and government agencies that have come together around a shared vision—the vision of a just society of shared responsibility by individuals, communities, businesses, and government in which all individuals are respected, have opportunities to reach their full potential, and are embraced as participants in thriving, diverse, sustainable communities. The members of Missourians to End Poverty work toward this vision every day.