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Audio Conference: Insights from the Ideas for Action Awards

Audio Conference Series Sponsored by
the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, the Northwest Area Foundation, the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Spotlight on Poverty & Opportunity is teaming up once again with the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, the Northwest Area Foundation, and the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs to host a series of audio conferences highlighting innovative, ground-breaking anti-poverty programs from around the country that have earned this year’s Ideas for Action Award.

Each ascent out of poverty has its own story and its own circumstances, and in turn each organization fighting poverty must adapt unique tailored approaches to the populations that need them most.

July 23: Fighting Poverty with Strategy and Story

This audio conference explores two programs that focus on giving people the tools and means to lift themselves out of poverty. Speakers discuss their successes in helping individuals and their families move toward economic security through targeted interventions, direct support services, technology, and the power of storytelling. These award-winning programs include immediate homelessness prevention that provides at-risk families with short-term financial assistance, employment services, and stable housing; and a crowd-sourcing tool that enables individuals to tell their personal stories of living in poverty and connects them to microdonations that help them overcome economic hurdles.

Speakers include:

  • David Harrison, Senior Lecturer of Public Affairs, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington
  • Megan Kashner, Founder & CEO, Benevolent
  • Mikkel Beckmen, Director, The Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness


Listen to the Audio Conference click here 


Read a transcript of the call click here July 23 Transcript.pdf



July 30: Targeting Strategies for Financial Success


This audio conference will explore two exemplary programs that help distinct populations (at-risk students and American Indians) build financial assets. Speakers will discuss best practices for achieving financial stability and present examples of unique approaches. These include building on existing Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites that serve American Indian communities, linking participating households to a broad range asset building services and public benefit programs; and a micro aid program that gives students small loans to deal with financial difficulties that might otherwise lead them to drop out of school.

Speakers include:

  • David Harrison, Senior Lecturer of Public Affairs, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington
  • Patsy Schramm, Program Consultant, First Nations Development Institute
  • Robin Brule, Vice President of Community Relations and Special Assistant to the President & CEO, New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union


Listen to the audio conference click here 


Read a transcript of the call click here July 30 Transcript.pdf