2016 Speakers & Breakout Sessions
The Poverty Conference will offer two one-hour sessions of breakouts and workshops. These workshops highlight relevant issues
that pertain to many of our community's poverty challenges and are led by nationalal and regional leaders and educators. 


Online registration for Breakout Sessions is now open!   Be sure to register quickly as sessions are reserved on a first come, first served basis. 


SESSION 1 BREAKOUTS

How to Bring Pay Day Lending Change to Your Community 
Presenters: Ann Baddoor (Texas Appleseed), Tara Roche (The PEW Charitable Trusts), Kerry Bashew (East Texas Council of Governments), Kristen Ishihara-(Longview City Council)
A discussion on the harm caused by predatory pay day lending practices and what alternatives there are for your community, changes to payday lending regulations and the impacts and consequences to the market and consumers.

  
State of Mental Health in East TX Through the Eyes of Young Clinicians 
Presenters: Judi Coyle, LPC (LeTourneau Univerisity Center for Counseling), Marcus Curry (LPC-Intern) and Kim Durham (LPC-Intern)
How do young clinicians view mental health needs and services in East Texas beyond their textbooks? From their perspective, how have their eyes been opened since graduating and what do they see? What have they learned about people? The mental health care system? Is it working? Are they hopeful?

  
Curing Poverty: What NOT To Do
Presenter: Tyler A. Watts, Assistant Professor of Economics (East Texas Baptist University)
Common sense and a growing body of academic research point to two basic cures for poverty: stable jobs and stable marriages. While there’s little, if anything, that government policy can do to generate the personal values needed to hold a job or keep a family together, economics does offer insight on the kinds of policies governments should avoid if they want to promote accessible employment opportunities across socio-economic strata.

Location! Location! Location! Re-thinking Incarnational Ministry to the Poor 
Presented by: Dr. Luke Tallon, Associate Professor of Theology (LeTourneau University)
If Jesus were in Longview, what would He do? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, comfort the mourner. Yes, and our compassion ministries should do the same. These actions alone, however, do not make our ministries “incarnational”. Guided by Christian teaching and drawing on the wisdom of the Christian Community Development Association (founded in 1989 by Dr. John Perkins), this session explores the shape and implications of incarnational ministry to the poor.

   
Engaging Fathers 
Presenter: Sean Goram-Welch, Fatherhood Program Coordinator for Project Hope (Buckner Children and Family Services)
Why are Fatherhood programs and engaging fathers important to agencies? Statistics support having a father involved is critical in a child’s life. Come learn how the Fatherhood Program is equipping men with the tools necessary to be part of their child’s life.
  

Family Pathways: Breaking the Cycle of Generational Poverty
Presenter: Kimberly Clough, Program Manager for Family Pathways (Buckner Children and Family Services)

This session will introduce Family Pathways and show studies that support the critical role of education and support in ending the cycle of poverty.

  
The New Federal Labor Overtime Rules: A Lift out of Poverty 
Presenter: Vik Verma, Regional Lead (Organizing for Action - East Texas)
In 2014 overtime regulations were updated to reflect the original intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act to simplify and modernize the rules so they are easier for workers and businesses to understand and apply. A final ruling has been issued that will put more money in the pockets of workers that can help lift their families out of poverty or create situations that make it easier for families to address their needs in ways they could not otherwise. This session will address the benefits of the new regulations for families struggling to get by and needing help- not just pertaining to wages, but an overall life perspective that can ease many challenges.


Homeless to Housed in East Texas 
Presenter: Karen Holt, Housing Navigator (Community Healthcore)

Finding affordable housing for low to extremely low income households can be a challenging maze. In this session you will learn about the housing crisis we face here in East Texas as well as the alarming trends facing our homeless population today. You will learn what housing options are available as well as how you can play a role in helping our homeless population in East Texas become housed!


    
How to Recognize the Signs of Sex-Trafficking 
Presenters: Holly Fuller and Sekettia Brantley (Partners in Prevention East Texas Anti-Trafficking Team),  Debra Stiles (Longview Police Department)
Sex and human trafficking is a much more prevalent problem than many of us realize. Hear from some professionals engaged in fighting against trafficking to find out how you can help and how to recognize the signs of sex-trafficking to help protect young people in your community.
  


SESSION 2 BREAKOUTS 

Poverty Simulation
Presenter: Lyndell McAllister, Partners in Prevention
Could you survive a month in poverty? Find out by attending the Poverty Simulation. The simulation is a role-playing training and processing tool
that engages participants in solving day-to-day problems often faced by people living in poverty. The poverty simulation experience is designed to help participants better understand the barriers that are often associated with living in poverty.
For instance, "How do you get to work if you don't have money for gas or a bus pass?"


This break-out session will last for a full two hours. Participants who select this break out session will only attend this for the afternoon.


The Impact of School Based Service Programs on Children of Poverty
 
Presenter: Lisa M. Seeley, PhD- Director of Global Education and the Great Commission Center (East Texas Baptist University)
Many low income schools are negatively impacted by a lack of funds and a shortage of personnel. It is at this critical juncture in the lives of children that volunteers can make a significant impact on the learning outcomes in these at-risk schools. The utilization of volunteers as mentors and tutors not only positively impacts the children but has a lasting effect on the volunteers themselves. These volunteers may come from any number of places including service organizations such as Elks, Lions Club, American Legion, and VFW to college and university students seeking to fulfill service requirements of their degrees to high school student council leaders trying to give back to their community.

Serving as a mentor and role model to children in poverty helps to give them a vision for the possibilities life may offer them. This session will discuss the possibilities for service, the challenge of volunteer accountability and the long term implications for the community.
  

Understanding Depression and What Can Be Done 
Presenter: Dr. Jeffery Matthews, Associate Professor & Section Chief of Psychiatry, Residency Training Program Director (UT Health NorthEast)
What is depression? What causes it? What helps it? How does depression affect individuals and families living in poverty?

  
How to Bring Pay Day Lending Change to Your Community 
Presenters: Ann Baddoor (Texas Appleseed), Tara Roche (The PEW Charitable Trusts), Kerry Bashew (East Texas Council of Governments), Kristen Ishihara-(Longview City Council)
A discussion on the harm caused by predatory pay day lending practices and what alternatives there are for your community, changes to payday lending regulations and the impacts and consequences to the market and consumers.


Curing Poverty: What NOT To Do
Presenter: Tyler A. Watts, Assistant Professor of Economics (East Texas Baptist University)
Common sense and a growing body of academic research point to two basic cures for poverty: stable jobs and stable marriages. While there’s little, if anything, that government policy can do to generate the personal values needed to hold a job or keep a family together, economics does offer insight on the kinds of policies governments should avoid if they want to promote accessible employment opportunities across socio-economic strata.


Engaging Fathers 
Presenter: Sean Goram-Welch, Fatherhood Program Coordinator for Project Hope (Buckner Children and Family Services)
Why are Fatherhood programs and engaging fathers important to agencies? Statistics support having a father involved is critical in a child’s life. Come learn how the Fatherhood Program is equipping men with the tools necessary to be part of their child’s life.


Family Pathways: Breaking the Cycle of Generational Poverty
Presenter: Kimberly Clough, Program Manager for Family Pathways (Buckner Children and Family Services)
This session will introduce Family Pathways and show studies that support the critical role of education and support in ending the cycle of poverty.

  
Alternatives to Violence: The Promise of Peace in the Structural and Direct Violence of Poverty
Presenter: Bob Benefield, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Criminal Justice (East Texas Baptist University) and Lead Facilitator (Crack in the Matrix)
This presentation will examine the impact of structural and direct violence on persons living in poverty in America. The possible cultural reactions to structural violence and the impact of direct violence on vicitims living in poverty will be delineated. The negative impact of the crimes of the drug culture and family violence will be highlighted. The impact of chronic institutional and direct violence on children will be highlighted. Possible solutions from research on resilience and restorative justice programs (including the Alternatives to Violence Project) will be discussed.


Poverty Through the Eyes of Scripture
Presenter: Dr. Wilson Cunha, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies (LeTourneau University)
This lecture will address some of the main problems that poverty creates, namely, that of social exclusion. The lecture will attempt to demonstrate that both the “legal codes” of the Old Testament and the prophetic calls for social justice militate against the exclusion of the poor in society. As a test case, the lecture will also address the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in the Corinthian church and its significance for the inclusion of the poor as part of the people of God.


Homeless to Housed in East Texas 
Presenter: Karen Holt, Housing Navigator (Community Healthcore)
Finding affordable housing for low to extremely low income households can be a challenging maze. In this session you will learn about the housing crisis we face here in East Texas as well as the alarming trends facing our homeless population today. You will learn what housing options are available as well as how you can play a role in helping our homeless population in East Texas become housed!
  

How to Recognize the Signs of Sex-Trafficking 

Presenters: Holly Fuller and Sekettia Brantley (Partners in Prevention East Texas Anti-Trafficking Team),  Debra Stiles (Longview Police Department)

Sex and human trafficking is a much more prevalent problem than many of us realize. Hear from some professionals engaged in fighting against trafficking to find out how you can help and how to recognize the signs of sex-trafficking to help protect young people in your community.