On Wednesday Catholic Charities USA convened the third annual National Poverty Summit in Washington, D.C. This year we brought together top nonprofit and community leaders, key policymakers and other invested stakeholders to discuss the current state of the War on Poverty and how our approach can be improved. Representative James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Mark Shriver opened the conference with a discussion on the historical context of the War on Poverty and the on-going challenges facing the nation. The morning session also included a discussion, moderated by Major Garrett, with Representatives Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who cited the need for Congress to find common ground in order to reduce poverty. In the afternoon session we heard from nonprofit CEOs and spokespersons about the innovative ways we can collectively fight poverty. Others unable to make it to DC to watch the event in person stayed involved through the live webcast, as well as through the live tweeting of event highlights. Thanks to the engagement of both attendees and those participating remotely, the event’s hashtag #WarOnPoverty started trending as a conversation topic by midmorning. The day wrapped up with a keynote from Alliance for Children and Families’ CEO Susan Dreyfus who charged those in attendance to rethink our mindset on poverty by focusing on social change rather than just individual programs.
Read more about the Summit, and the innovative and insightful conversations that occurred. We are excited to continue our work with these influential organizations and look forward to seeing the changes it will make in the lives of so many.