As we celebrate 50th anniversary of President Johnson's declaration of a war on poverty, we are just beginning to grasp how very true, and overwhelming, that statement was. But it was followed by an inspiring revelation. President Johnson went on to say, "We have the power to strike away the barriers to full participation in our society. Having the power, we have the duty...to pursue victory over the most ancient of mankind's enemies."
That power was realized, that duty fulfilled, and lives changed at the 2014 Kansas Conference on Poverty. Yes, it featured intense, impactful presentations, workshops, and networking, at its heart, this event was about people. The almost 400 in attendance were policy makers, social workers, volunteers, government employees, program directors, CEOs, non-profit professionals, business owners, students, and most importantly, all advocates; people who have seen firsthand the impact poverty has on our communities, our classrooms, our economies, our children; people who believe we can work together to make our communities and classrooms better and stronger; people who believe there are tools that will help us face poverty with a united front; people who know that WE ARE ONE.
We do not HAVE to look back 50 years for inspiring calls to action. During her Thursday morning keynote, NFESH Founder and President Enid Borden said, " We must continue to work together to forge alliances, to stand apart from the crowd, and to imagine what a community without poverty, a community without hunger, a community without violence, a community committed to equality would look like. And then we must seize the moment and make that dream a reality. Today is the day to do that. Today is our commencement. Today we say that we are a community united for change." Read more.
Meanwhile, Tavis Smiley used KCOP as his platform to announce a call for a 2016 Presidential debate on poverty, as part of his foundation's Ending Poverty Campaign. Read More.