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

3.30-5pm: The Right to Welfare and an Adequate Standard of Living

Looking at the history of poor people’s organizing and the policy frameworks that have both influenced and been shaped by their struggles, with:

Anthony Prince is the General Counsel for the California Homeless Union/Statewide Organizing Council, an attorney in the state of California and the Co-Chair of the California Poor People’s Campaign. He was a founding and leading member of the National Union of the Homeless and its Chicago/Gary Indiana local chapter in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Anthony’s current work exemplifies the power of front line organizing the poor and homeless as a united and leading social force.

Dawn Plummer currently serves as the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, a collective impact organization of over 100 food systems entities across western Pennsylvania. She is a former staff member of the Kairos Center/Poverty Initiative and Friends of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) and a founding member of Put People First! Pennsylvania and the PA Poor People’s Campaign. 

Kenia Alcocer is a housing rights organizer with Union de Vecinos and Steering Committee Member of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Immigrating to Los Angeles as a small child, witnessing the 92’ riots after the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of Rodney King, and later navigating access to higher education as an undocumented person, have been some of the forces that have shaped Kenia Alcocer’s life and work. Kenia is currently the Co-Chair of the California Poor People’s Campaign. 

Kristin Colangelo is a formerly homeless mother of three and teaches social welfare policy analysis at Rutgers University.  She has organized poor and homeless families for the past 20 years. She is the Membership Director, the Organization Secretary and one of the regional organizers of the National Union of the Homeless, coordinator of the University of the Poor’s Homeless Union History Project and on the Steering Committee of Put People First – PA. She is a member of the New Jersey Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

Since 1993, Maureen Taylor has served as Chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, a union of public assistance recipients, low-income workers and the unemployed that organizes members to fight for their rights and to eliminate poverty in this country. Over the past several years, Maureen spearheaded several MWRO campaigns to protect low-income Detroiters against electricity, gas and water shut-offs.

Salaam Bhatti is a public benefits attorney at the Virginia Poverty Law Center and director of Virginia Hunger Solutions. He graduated from Touro Law School and worked in a variety of jobs before coming to Virginia and the Poverty Law Center in 2017. At VPLC, Salaam provides technical assistance and training and also handles legislative and administrative advocacy. He has been one of the key advocates to repeal the drug felon bans on public benefits and increase the TANF monthly assistance. When he’s not engaged in the struggle, Salaam enjoys spending time with his wife and very crafty son. You can follow Salaam on Twitter @salaam.

Shawn Fremstad is a Senior Policy Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy and Research. Fremstad has worked in direct service at the local level, policy advocacy at the state level, and policy research and analysis at the federal level. He has also worked as a Senior Policy Analyst and Deputy Director of Income Security at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School, he worked as a civil legal services lawyer in Minnesota for seven years.