Building Blocks of Missouri’s Success is the theme of the 2019 Empower Missouri annual conference, scheduled for Saturday, November 9, 10 a.m.-4:20 p.m., in Columbia, MO. We are again focusing on making the day very affordable through a one day conference held at a public school, Hickman High School, 1104 North Providence Road (65203).
Our highlighted issue for 2019 is food insecurity and evidence-based public policy solutions to hunger. Our keynote speaker is Ellen Teller, Director of Government Affairs, Food Research and Action Center, Washington, DC.
Teller joined FRAC in 1986 as a staff attorney and previously worked at the American Bar Association’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and the Consumer Federation of America. She has a B.A. in political science and English literature from the State University of New York College at Oneonta, and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.
We are presently soliciting proposals for workshops in the following issue areas – affordable housing and homelessness, criminal justice, economic justice, health and mental health, human rights, and hunger. Please request the workshop proposal form from A.J. Bockelman, our Assistant Director, at AJ@EmpowerMissouri.org. Proposals are due by September 1.
One confirmed workshop that will be repeated during both the morning and afternoon sessions is a presentation by faculty members of the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security at University of Missouri-Columbia, researchers and publishers of Missouri Hunger Atlas. Through a series of indicator maps and tables, the Atlas details the extent of food insecurity in all 114 Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis. The Atlas also assesses the performance of many public and private programs intended to help people struggling with hunger. The fifth edition is currently in preparation, and we will be among the first organizations in Missouri to receive a briefing on their findings.
The closing keynote speaker for the conference is The Honorable Crystal Quade, Minority Floor Leader of the Missouri House of Representatives. Rep. Quade holds a BSW degree from Missouri State University and is the former chapter director of Care to Learn, a nonprofit organization that addresses the health, hunger and hygiene needs of children from economically challenged families in several school districts. She personally benefited from safety net programs as a child and credits the SNAP program as being especially important to putting food on the table, since her mother’s wages and tips as a waitress often were not enough to secure the family’s necessities. She represents House District 132 in Springfield, MO.
Is your organization able to co-sponsor the event as a way to build a stronger advocacy network on hunger issues in Missouri? Sponsorships are available at the following levels:
- $100 – bronze; 1/4 page ad in program and on screen
- $250 – silver; one free ticket, 1/2 page ad in program and on screen
- $500 – gold; two free tickets, full page ad in program and on screen
Please mark November 9th on your calendar now. The annual conference event is our mutual opportunity to gain strength for social justice advocacy by bringing new voices into the work of securing basic human needs for all. The spirit of the day is contagious, and those who attend learn about the victories that have made a meaningful difference to living conditions in Missouri. Make a list now of who you plan to invite to attend with you on November 9, and be sure to pass registration materials to that list as soon as they arrive in your Inbox.