Empowering You – October Newsletter

Check out Empowering You- newsletter from Empower Missouri.

In this issue:

  • Preview our workshops and meet our Superhero Awardees for the 116th Annual Conference: Persisting & Organizing to Win – POW! October 5-6th! Register NOW!
  • Veto Session: were any of Gov. Greitens’ vetoes overridden?
  • How will you honor World Food Day?

Download a PDF.

POW! 2017 Annual Conference

Persisting & Organizing to Win! Putting the POW in EMPOWER!

October 5-6, St Louis, MO

Online Registration is NOW OPEN!

Empower Missouri is dedicating the 2017 Annual Conference to the role of labor organizing. With continued attacks to reduce the reach and influence of the labor community, now is the time to focus on building strong alliances across the broad social justice spectrum.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Nancy Cross: Opening Keynoter, Vice President SEIU Local 1
  • Tiffany Dena Loftin: Closing Keynoter, Senior Program Specialist, NEA
  • Rev. Traci Blackmon & Rabbi Susan Talve: Dinner & Awards Speaker

>>>Preview our complete POW! Conference program booklet, with descriptions of workshops, bios of presenters and awardees, and final schedule. <<<


Thursday, October 05, 2017

9:00 - 10:00


Registration Opens - remains open throughout conference

Pre-Conference Session Presented by Missouri Jobs with Justice



11:45- 1:15

Conference opens with Welcome 

Buffet Lunch Available

Keynote: Nancy Cross 




Session 1 Breakouts.  See below for list.




Session 2 Breakouts. See below for list.


Break and Awards Dinner check-in.


Networking Happy Hour with Cash Bar.

6:00-8:00 PM

Dinner and guest speakers Reverend Traci Blackmon & Rabbi Susan Talve.

Presentation of annual awards winners.

Friday, October 06, 2017



Breakfast buffet

Annual Business Meeting




Keynote Presentation - Tiffany Dena Loftin 


Response Panel 

11:45 AM-Noon

Call to Action, Thank You’s & Safe Travels


Subject to change, more details to follow.

Breakout Session #1 1:30-3:00 PM   Breakout Session #2 3:15-4:45 PM
Housing & Food Insecurity Among Low-Wage Workers (AHHTF & HTF)   Housing & Food Insecurity Among Low-Wage Workers (Repeat) (AHHTF & HTF)
Justice in the Workplace (HRTF)   Faith/Labor Alliance
MO Budget Project (EJTF)   Ban the Box - Fair Chance Hiring Policies (CJTF)
Impact of Trauma on Low-Wage Workers (H/MHTF)   Minimum Wage and #FF$15 (EJTF)


10% of the total tickets sold are available at a Scholarship Rate of 10% of the conference price. Click here to apply for a scholarship. If selected, you will receive registration instructions.


You and/or your organization can show your support for worker's rights and grassroots organizing by sponsoring our conference and contributing to our scholarship fund for low-wage workers. 

Thank you to last year's Sponsors. 2017 Sponsors include:

Bob Fox & Maxine Clark
Center for Budget & Policy
Clark-Fox Foundation
CWA Local 6355
David Bohnett Foundation
Dowd Bennett, LLP
Lutheran Children & Family Services
Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys
Missouri Faith Voices
Missouri Jobs with Justice
Missouri Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Council of Jewish Women
National Low Income Housing Coalition
Painters & Allied Trades, District Council 58
Places for People
Representative Deb Lavender
Schuchat, Cook & Werner
Second Chance Freedom Foundation
Service Employees International Union Local One
Senator Jill Schupp
Sts Joachim & Ann Care Service
Vision for Children at Risk
Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice
15th Ward Democratic Club

When & Where

October 5-6, 2017

Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis

7730 Bonhomme Ave.

St. Louis, MO 63105

(Special hotel rate of $109/night is available under "Empower Missouri October 2017" RATE EXPIRES 9/12)





Announcing: AJ Bockleman New Assistant Director

A.J. Bockelman Joins Empower Missouri Staff

Assistant Director Position Part of Capacity Building

We are pleased to announce that A. J. Bockelman joined our staff as Assistant Director on January 18. Bockelman previously served as Executive Director of PROMO, Missouri’s LGBTQ civil rights advocacy organization, from 2007-2015 and has served in fundraising and Human Resource positions at both non-profit and corporate entities.

Bockelman said, “I am excited for this opportunity to contribute to the mission of an organization that focuses on justice and equity. This is a time in U.S. and Missouri history when many citizens are awakening to the need to be advocates for social change, and Empower Missouri is well-positioned to train civic leaders for the demands of 2017 and beyond.”

Jeanette Mott Oxford, executive director of Empower Missouri, said, “We are very fortunate to have A.J. join our team. Our Board of Director’s strategic plan includes internal health and capacity as a current priority. A.J.’s track record of growing a volunteer base, increasing financial support, and improving communication will strengthen us as we address poverty, hunger, and other human rights challenges.”

Job Posting: Assistant Director!

Position Title:  Assistant Director

Reports to:  Executive Director

Position Summary:  The Assistant Director is a senior management position, under the direction of the Executive Director, with responsibility for performing advanced management and leadership work. Duties include: planning, organizing, and directing of programs; financial and budgetary management, organizational human resource management and supervision; and membership coordination.

Main Job Tasks and Responsibilities:

  1. Coordinate organizational marketing and communications materials including but not limited to:
    1. Developing marketing materials such as flyers, emails, website content, and social media tools;
    2. Drafting and distributing communications for the organization as needed; and
    3. Developing organizational fundraising/visibility events, donor development, and planned giving.
  1. Assist with the oversight, development, and coordination of new programs/events, annual conference, workshops, publications, website, and endorsed service provider relationships.
  1. Work with Board of Directors and the Executive Director to develop program processes (presenter contracts, registration policies, cancellation policies; etc.).
  1. Develop/monitor annual budget:
    1. Assist with ongoing financial management to assure the organization stays within approved plans and budgets;
    2. Monitor expenditures and income; provide basic bookkeeping duties including: paying bills, recording deposits, reconciling bank statements, preparing financial reports, and assist accountants with tax documents; and
    3. Coordinate annual audit.
  1. Provide grant writing and reporting and/or coordination with contracted services.
  1. Provide oversight of the human resource management functions including, but not limited to, employee benefit programs, payroll, and timekeeping; unemployment claims; and maintain office personnel policies.
  1. Provide staff direction and supervision:
    1. Directly supervise Chapter/Campus Organizing Manager including performance evaluation and annual goal setting; and
    2. Assist in setting benchmarks for regional staff that coordinate with policy, financial, and chapter goals.
  1. In coordination with Chapter/Campus Organizing Manager, oversee communications program (i.e., website, emails capabilities; social media).
  1. In coordination with Chapter/Campus Organizing Manager, supervise membership campaigns- renewals, recruitment, and membership tracking technology.
    1. Maintain membership database, assisting with collection of membership dues, data collection, and general membership correspondence as needed.
  1. Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of management of nonprofit organizations
  • Knowledge of finance, accounting, and budgeting principles and methods
  • Leadership and supervisory skills
  • Planning and organizational skills
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and shift priorities
  • Interpersonal/human relations skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Report design and preparation skills
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality

Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred.

Minimum of 2-3 years of experience in a nonprofit and/or business office environment.

To Apply:

By November 25, please send resume, cover letter and list of three-five references to Jeanette Mott Oxford, Executive Director, Empower Missouri, 308 E. High Street, Suite 100, Jefferson City, MO 65101, or Jeanette@EmpowerMissouri.org. For more information, call 573-634-2901, x 301.

Empower Missouri is an Equal Opportunity Employer, we prohibit discrimination based on age, ancestry, color, gender, HIV status, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, family leave status, or any other protected group status as defined by applicable law.


114th Annual Conference: Oct 22-23

Introducing our 114th Annual Conference:

Poverty and Inequality: Separating Fact from Fiction

Since 1901, Empower Missouri has worked to inform and motivate social justice advocates through our annual conference. This year is set to be another success as we look into the fictional stories that negatively impact real policy. We’ll talk about the facts of poverty and inequality in Missouri, as we focus on the real lives and real numbers of social welfare, instead of harmful stereotypes that erode our safety-net programs.

This year’s Keynote speaker:  Dr. LaDonna Pavetti, VP for Family Income Support Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will discuss strategies and successes on Thursday, October 22nd.

Workshop topics include:

  • Toxic Stress: What is it and why it matters.
  • How to counter the five most common fairy tales about food stamps.
  • Separating fact from fiction on housing
  • Justice is Blind, right?
  • HIV Facts and Fiction

Online Registration Now Open: Click over to register and to see a full schedule of events

This year’s program is not to be missed! So go on and save the dates: October 22-23rd and join us in Columbia, Missouri at the Holiday Inn Executive Center for a great time of networking, education, and empowerment.

*Limited number of student & low income scholarships are available. Contact Susan Cook for more information. 


2015 Membership Survey

Empower Missouri relies heavily on our membership. The 2015 Board of Directors created a special Membership Committee to review membership protocol and make recommendations for growth and improvement.

The Membership Committee recommended a survey of current and past members to gain insight for improvement.

Membership is earned through contribution and is valuable to Empower Missouri for a few reasons:

  • Volunteers: With so much work to do throughout the state, our mission becomes possible only through the gift of hours by volunteers.
  • Dollars: Your monetary gift means we can keep expanding our services while staying true to our mission. Any amount you can afford will be put to good use in the fight for fairness.
  • In-Kind: Partnering with services and organizations we often use allows us to represent Missourians while being cost efficient.

Staff will be reaching out in the coming days to ensure a good participation rate for our 2015 Membership Survey. We kindly ask that, whether you are a current member, prospective member, or past member, that you give us 5 minutes of your time by taking the survey.

We will continue to become a better organization with your help.

Thank you for your participation!



New Website & Newsletter Testing

Sure, we’ve been around since 1901, but that doesn’t mean we have to look it! Ask anyone over 50 about their bell-bottoms, and they’ll tell you about changing fashions. Certainly, image matters – we all like to fit in, yet be outstanding. And first impressions matter as much as the work we do. Last year (2014), we saw the transition of identity from the Missouri Association of Social Welfare to Empower Missouri. Like a butterfly, we had reemerged invigorated with a new beautiful and functional appearance.  Now in 2015, we’re making a huge leap forward to improving our communications. Image is only part of a likable person, the other part is the personality. We think Empower Missouri has a great personality! And we’re moving in a direction to better share it with you.

Here’s what you can expect to see in the coming weeks (and months) ahead:

  • New website
  • New newsletter design & functionality
  • A monthly newsletter
  • New Social Media Tools
  • Video meetings delivered straight to your mobile device
  • Up-to-the-moment content

We’re big advocates for change and we think you’ll appreciate the strides we’re making. But remember that, as with any big changes, there are sure to be kinks. We appreciate your patience as we begin to roll out these changes. We’ll be doing our best to make it as seamless as possible.


Persephone “Seph” Dakopolos

Dir. of Communications & Development