The Kairos Center Presents:
Moral Policy in a Time of Crisis

DAY 1: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23
6-7.30pm: The Right to Work with Dignity

How our current economy is leaving workers behind and why we must think about work, labor, and jobs in a new way, with:

Ben Wilkins is the director of NC Raise Up, the North Carolina branch of the Fight for $15 Campaign. He has been a labor organizer since 2007. Before his work in North Carolina, he organized hospital and nursing home workers in Detroit with SEIU. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.


Beth Kontos is a proud mother of two amazing daughters and president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts. She is a career changer who discovered the love of teaching in her Sunday School classroom after 20 years of working in the telecommunications industry. She began teaching high school History and American Government, and later embraced teaching English Language Learners in her Newcomers History class. Her transition to union leadership has been a continuation of her teaching style of cooperative project based learning and that like-minded people are always stronger together.


Chris Caruso, Ph.D., is a popular educator, community organizer, and researcher. He has been active for over 30 years in the movement to end poverty, led by the poor. Chris is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Kairos Center and the Political Coordination Committee of the University of the Poor. Chris received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center.


Darrick Hamilton, Ph.D., is a pioneer and internationally recognized scholar in the field of stratification economics, which fuses social science methods to examine the causes, consequences and remedies of racial, gender, ethnic, tribal, nativity, etc. inequality in education, economic and health outcomes. This work involves crafting and implementing innovative routes and policies that break down social hierarchy, empower people, and move society towards greater equity, inclusion, and civic participation.


Shana Bartley is the Director of Community Partnerships and Program Development, Income Security, and Child Care / Early Learning at the National Women’s Law Center.


Shailly Barnes is the Policy Director for the Kairos Center and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. She has a background in law, economics and international development and has spent the past 15 years working with and for poor and dispossessed communities. With the Campaign, Shailly has developed numerous resources, reports and articles, organized several hearings on Capitol Hill, including a hearing on poverty in front of the House Budget Committee, and developed and compiled oral and written testimonies from the Campaign for broader publication.


Janie Grice of Marion, South Carolina, is a Work-It Organizer with United for Respect. In this role, Ms. Grice assists Walmart associates with accessing and understanding Walmart’s corporate and human resources policies so that they can better advocate for themselves inside their respective stores. In addition, Ms. Grice serves as a direct line of support for Walmart associates, providing counsel and advice on all the unique day-to-day challenges frontline retail workers face, invaluable work that has become of all the more importance as the global community simultaneously grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and a drastic economic downturn.


Sheree Allen is a childcare worker who is currently unemployed due to the pandemic. She worked at a daycare as an independent contractor, with no sick days, no healthcare, and for less than minimum wage. Sheree has been a member in NC Raise Up/Fight for $15 and a Union for about 1.5 years and has gone on strike many times. She lives in Durham, NC.


Pauline Pisano is an artist, cultural worker, and community organizer in various campaigns throughout New York State. She recently obtained her MSW from Silberman School of Social Work (CUNY) class of 2020 and was awarded The Carmen Ortiz Hendrick Award for Excellence with a fellow classmate. Pauline is a coordinator for the New York State Arts and Culture Committee for The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, a movement seeking to address the interlocking issues of racism, militarism, poverty, and ecological devastation.