(608) 244-4422 kberens@wiscap.org

Workshops

Workshop Session 1
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
9:30 to 10:45 a.m.

1.1 Practical Ways to Start the Board Conversation about Advocacy

Description:
Sometimes, in our efforts to uncover root causes of the problems our nonprofit seeks to address, we learn that there are existing laws, regulations or public and corporate policies that hurt the people we serve. We can then take action through advocacy to change or eliminate such laws, regulations and policies. But . . . . One of the biggest mistakes nonprofit board members make is deciding not to engage in advocacy because they believe they’re prohibited by law from doing so. This is simply not true. Advocacy is one of the most effective tools nonprofits and foundations can use to advance their mission and serve their communities. The term “advocacy” includes broader advocacy efforts, legislative lobbying and non-partisan, election-related activities. And the combination of advocacy and direct services can dramatically increase the mission impact of any nonprofit. Advocacy is all about your organization’s work and what it will take to advance it.

Frank Martinelli

Frank Martinelli

President/Senior Consultant

Frank Martinelli has over 35 years of work, training, consulting, and organizing experience with a variety of nonprofit and public sector organizations. He is president of the Center for Public Skills Training where he specializes in strategic planning, governing board development and community partnership and alliance building.

Click here to learn more

Frank served as a member of the national faculty of The Learning Institute, a joint venture of the Society for Nonprofit Organizations, PBS, United Way of America, and the University of Wisconsin-Extension designed to deliver training through a range of emerging technologies. The Learning Institute, faculty and partners were the recipient of the American Distance Education Consortium Award for the “Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management Satellite Series”. He has provided training and consultation to over 2000 organizations in the US including Peace Corps, Head Start, The Points of Light Foundation, Association of Volunteer Administration, the American Camping Association, Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Medical College of Wisconsin, Greater Milwaukee Committee, American Lung Association and others. From 1981-1992, Frank served as Coordinator of THE RESOURCE CENTER, a major provider of training to nonprofit groups in southeastern Wisconsin. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with an M.S. in Urban Affairs, Frank has done numerous workshops on nonprofit management topics with special emphasis on the leadership roles of the Board of Directors. Frank has written extensively about the management of nonprofit organizations and is a contributing author to the New Directions publication by Jossey-Bass, “Small Nonprofits: Strategies for Fund Raising Success.” Frank is the author of “Encouraging Visionary Board Leadership” appearing in You and Your Nonprofit Board: New Thinking from the Field’s Top Practitioners, Researchers and Provocateurs, published by Charity Channel Press (June 2013). Frank also publishes the Strategic Thinking and Planning Blog offering his reflections on strategic planning in the nonprofit sector. He has been trained by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation in the use of the Organizational Self-Assessment Tool. Frank has completed the Advanced Board Consultant Training Program offered by BoardSource. Frank has also completed the Distance Education Professional Development Certification Program offered at the University of Wisconsin and has developed a number of web-based and other distance learning offerings for nonprofits.
 

2.1 Should ‘Housing First’ Always be First?

Description:Although dating it origins to the early 1990s, Housing First has become an increasingly common approach since the Bush Administration adopted the model, in 2002, as part of its plan to “end chronic homelessness in 10 years.” The 2009 HEARTH Act further directed CoCs to utilize Housing First, and HUD has since used its rule making authority to impose related requirements. HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently stated that “the evidence then and now supports Housing First.” But what is this model? The basic premise of housing first is to provide housing with no or few conditions and voluntary support services. Proponents of this approach argue that securing permanent housing without prerequisites or conditions is the necessary first step out of homelessness That is, supportive services are more effective when a person chooses to engage. But there are also service providers, researchers, and advocates who are now questioning the efficacy of this model and asking whether its application is suitable for all homeless populations and all programs. This session will examine whether housing first is more a slogan or a compelling strategy, and whether it is an effective tool to “end” homelessness for all populations.

Mark Angelini

President, Mercy Housing Lakefront

Alexia Wood

Executive Director, St. John's Shelter

Joe Volk

Executive Director, Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness

Ruth White

Ruth White

Executive Director, National Center for Housing & Child Welfare

Ruth White is one of the nation’s leading experts on the nexus between housing policy and child welfare.  She is co-founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare and former director of Housing and Homelessness for the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA).  At the Child Welfare League, she co-edited the landmark issue of the League’s journal, Child Welfare, documenting the extent to which children are needlessly held in foster care because their parents lack decent housing.

Read More

Through White’s advocacy, over $100 million in new funding for the Family Unification Program has been made available for families and youth in child welfare since 2009.  Prior to working at CWLA, White managed the front-door family shelter and redesigned the homeless coordinated entry system in Columbus, OH, reducing shelter entries by over 60 percent.  White is also certified as an Assisted Housing Manger. White has a Master of Science Degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Ohio State University.  She is currently a Furfey Scholar, doctoral candidate, and professor of social work at the Catholic University of America.

3.1 Creating Opportunity through Strong Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Description: The topics covered in this presentation will be focused on small business development, using entrepreneurship as a means of eradicating poverty, and supporting local entrepreneurial ecosystems. We will explore different methods of outreach, grass roots economic development initiatives, and the benefits of forming partnerships with local government, main street organizations, chambers of commerce, and other local economic development groups. We’ll highlight Couleecap’s use of the CO.STARTERS Nine-Week Entrepreneurial Training Program, and Couleecap’s Co-Working Space to show how both can be used to help allow low-income individuals to create their own jobs, and make their own way in the market. We’ll also discuss the benefits of the relationships we’ve made with local partners in developing new programs that help increase access to entrepreneurship, and how these practices can be replicated and scaled in other communities. In a time where wages are stagnant, and where growth is especially stagnant in Wisconsin, entrepreneurship can help low-wage earners secure more prosperous means of income. In addition, local businesses recirculate almost half of every dollar made locally, which contributes to more opportunity in central commercial districts, and stronger neighborhoods. Finally, most of Wisconsin is facing a labor shortage as a result of an inability to attract young professionals and their families. Research continues to show that a key factor in being able to do so is a vibrant central commercial district. We’ll be able to use these practices and concepts to show how small business development can benefit communities on both micro and macro levels of development.

Aaron Reimler

Aaron Reimler

Business & Income Developer, Couleecap

Aaron Reimler serves as the Business & Income Developer for Couleecap, Inc. In that role, he helps create local solutions to local challenges, following the model that has made Community Action a success for the past 50 years. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and worked as an intern with the City of La Crosse Planning and Economic Development Department, and local economic development organization, The 7 Rivers Alliance, while in college.

Read More

Since starting his job at Couleecap, Aaron has worked on a multitude of local economic development initiatives such as the growth of the award winning CO.STARTERS Entrepreneurial Training Program throughout the organization’s service area, Pop Up Shop programs across a variety of central commercial districts, the development of new small business grant programs, as well as provided direct consultation to entrepreneurs and small business owners, operates a successful co-working space, and oversees the operation of the agency’s Skills Enhancement Program. Aaron has built strong partnerships with city and local government, Chambers of Commerce, Mainstreet Organizations, local financial institutions, and is a member of the Downtown Mainstreet Economic Vitality Committee in La Crosse which has allowed him to become such an active member of his local entrepreneurial support ecosystem.
 

Brian Fukuda

Brian Fukuda

Community Development Specialist, La Crosse County

Brian was born and raised in La Crosse, WI, and is proud to now be raising his children in beautiful La Crosse.  As the Community Development Specialist for La Crosse County, Brian enjoys spending his days working on a broad spectrum of projects – all with the end goal of creating a better community.  Brian received both a BS and MS from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  His MS in Real Estate and Urban Economics from the Graaskamp Center in the Wisconsin School of Business has provided him with a unique perspective in his work in local government.  

Read More

Prior to joining the team at La Crosse County, Brian was the Assistant Planner for the City of Onalaska.  He also has a history in the private sector in property management and commercial real estate appraisal. Brian was born and raised in La Crosse, WI, and is proud to now be raising his children in beautiful La Crosse. As the Community Development Specialist for La Crosse County, Brian enjoys spending his days working on a broad spectrum of projects – all with the end goal of creating a better community. Brian received both a BS and MS from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His MS in Real Estate and Urban Economics from the Graaskamp Center in the Wisconsin School of Business has provided him with a unique perspective in his work in local government. Prior to joining the team at La Crosse County, Brian was the Assistant Planner for the City of Onalaska. He also has a history in the private sector in property management and commercial real estate appraisal.
 

Nora Roughen-Schmidt

Nora Roughen-Schmidt

Executive Director, Viroqua Chamber Main Street

Nora Roughen-Schmidt is an Economic Development and Community Development consultant and Executive Director at the Viroqua Chamber Main Street. Her creative approach to community development, specifically the Pop-Up Shop initiative and the 54665 podcast has given the organization awards, visibility and recognition throughout the state and nation.  With a background in marketing and public relations and a BA from the University of Wisconsin Madison, she has developed strategies to make the efforts of the Viroqua Chamber Main Street visible, accessible and collaborative. When Nora isn’t wearing her Executive Director hat, she enjoys organic farming, being a wife and mother, and exploring the outdoors with her dog.

Robin Moses

Robin Moses

Executive Director, Downtown Mainstreet La Crosse

Robin Moses has been the Executive Director of Downtown Mainstreet, La Crosse since 2013. Downtown La Crosse is currently experiencing a transformation with over 400 million being invested in office spaces, retail, restaurants, educational facilities, convention space and hotel rooms.   Robin also previously worked for more than 20 years as a marketing and design professional working in Eau Claire with businesses, downtown organizations, and public agencies to enhance public image through graphic design, event planning, public relations, project coordination, and marketing strategies.

4.1 Black Lifelines: The Impact of Inter-Generational Inequities in Public Health

Description: We will delve into historical traumas and the ways in which they manifest in socio-economic systems today. Additionally, we will examine not only the oppressive systems that impact community outcomes, but also the ways in which resulting implicit biases perpetuate adverse outcomes in targeted communities. This highly interactive, workshop offers attendees the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of systemically oppressive systems, their origins and how to navigate them for the benefit of the families that they serve. Content includes academic research as well as a practical, real-life scenarios to apply and analyze, respectively. Attendees will explore poverty not as a individual problem, but instead as a symptom of a much larger issue, thus creating opportunity for more impactful resolution within marginalized communities.

Kisha Shanks

Kisha Shanks

President, Infinite Family Solutions

Kisha Shanks is the CEO of Infinite Family Solutions LLC, a community-based advocacy agency dedicated to trauma prevention and minimizing its effects during early childhood. Through education, outreach and advocacy, her agency focuses on building healthy relationships during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. She encourages a healthy lifestyle, family cohesiveness and socio-economic progression of the families that she works with through home visiting and family support programming. In addition to providing direct services to families, Ms. Shanks also offers professional consultation services in the areas of Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health, program/policy development and racial equity. 

Read More

Ms. Shanks holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Education from UW-Milwaukee and a Professional Certification in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health from UW-Madison and is pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health. Currently, Ms. Shanks serves on the Board of Directors for the Benedict Center. In addition to being an entrepreneur, Ms. Shanks is a single mother to an amazing 12-year-old girl and as such, understands the challenges that many Black mothers in Milwaukee frequently face. Being a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, her personal experiences are the driving force behind her work and the foundation for change that she seeks to bring to the world.
 

5.1 Literacy & Poverty

Description: How is literacy linked to poverty? How can we improve adult literacy in our communities, and what impact will that have on employment, health, incarceration rates, and children’s success in school? Presentation and handouts will cover:

  1. State and federal statistics that link low literacy with poverty, poor health, incarceration, and weak economies.
  2. 1.5 million adults in Wisconsin are low-literate. Why? How does this happen?
  3. How to further your agency’s mission and effectiveness by taking into account the literacy needs of your clients –and helping them improve their literacy.
  4. How to harness the power of volunteers to support adults who are low-literate.

Shawn Steen

Director of Volunteer Services, Literacy Network of Dane County

6.1 Defining a Veteran 
Description: What makes someone a veteran? Can someone be a veteran if they never saw combat? Are National Guard members veterans?  Do all veterans get all of the same benefits?  There are multiple definitions of a veteran but the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs will help you better understand the complicated identifier that is “veteran” and provide information about different benefits and services available including our Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program as well as a focus on assisting tribal veterans.  There will also be a crash course in military cultural competency to help attendees understand and empathize with veterans in a more meaningful way.

Shaun Stoeger

Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Tribal Liaison

Gerald Sieren

Veteran Outreach & Recovery Regional Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs

Workshop Session 2
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

1.2 Using ALICE: A Study of Financial Hardship in Wisconsin to Improve Outcomes

Description:United Way of Wisconsin first released ALICE: A Study of Financial Hardship in Wisconsin in the Summer of 2016. An update was released in the Fall of 2018 that sheds even more light on the struggles households face when their budgets are stretched thin. ALICE is an acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE represents the households with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living. The ALICE Report provides current research‐based data that quantifies who in Wisconsin is living on the edge of financial insecurity. Learn how United Ways and others are using the ALICE study which contains state, county and municipal level data to improve lives and strengthen local communities. This information is helping community stakeholders engage in productive dialogue to improve outcomes.

Charlene Mouille

Charlene Mouille

Executive Director, United Way of Wisconsin

Charlene Mouille is the Executive Director of United Way of Wisconsin, which is dedicated to support and enrich a strong statewide United Way network that maximizes the capacity of local United Ways to address human needs and improve lives across Wisconsin. United Way goes beyond temporary fixes to create lasting change in communities throughout Wisconsin. By bringing people and organizations together around innovative solutions United Ways across Wisconsin fight for the health, education and financial stability of all people. In 2015, Charlene was asked to also lead 2-1-1 Wisconsin which coordinates the eight Wisconsin contact centers that provide call, text and web services to connect people to community health and human services and operates the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline.

Read More

Previously, she served as Vice President at New Ways to Work, a national training and technical assistance organization. At New Ways, Charlene directed multiple state and national initiatives focused on improving the lives of young adults and building community partnerships. In addition, Charlene has consulted with local, regional, state, and national coalitions in urban and rural settings to design and implement programs aimed and improving the common good. Charlene serves on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Community Health Fund, New Ways to Work and Rush Wisconsin.
 

 

2.2 Transportation Solutions

Description:This transportation workshop will be presented by a panel of Mobility Managers from both urban and rural areas. We will present information on a variety of successful existing and pilot transportation programs that provide opportunity for economic growth. We will also discuss implementation of programs as well as available funding sources. There will be opportunity for open discussion and idea sharing throughout the session.

Lori Jacobson

Lori Jacobson

Assistant Transportation Director, Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program (SWCAP)

Lori graduated in 1983 with a degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. Lori has a  Adminastrators Credetial though UW Platteville and holds Certifications in Mobility Managment, Community Transit Supervision, and in Community Leadership. Lori is on the board of  the Wisconsin Association of Mobility Managers and serve as the representative for WAMM on the Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association board. She is a member of the Iowa County Homeless Coalition, Wisconsin Public Transit Association, and the Southwest WisconsinTransit Team. Lori supervises the LIFT program which is a transportation referral agency that also provides door through door transportation using volunteer drivers and specialized medical vehicles. LIFT offers transportation for medical, nutritional, social, work, school, and personal needs. Serving Iowa, Grant, Green, Richland, Lafayette and surrounding counties.

Jeff Segebrecht

Jeff Segebrecht

Transportation Director, Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program (SWCAP)

Jeff Segebrecht was a former small business owner. For 18 years, he owned and operated Segebrecht Milk Service.  He came to work in his current position by accident (ran over by a semi-tractor).  Jeff was successful in getting grants to start the Work-n-Wheels car loan program, as well as the implementation and development of this program.  He also worked with the Southwest Transit Team on the Grant Application to start the Lift Program and is currently the Director of both programs. Jeff was the first certified Mobility Manager in Wisconsin. He was involved in the start-up and incorporation of WAMM and is currently on the Board of Directors and serves as the Treasurer of WAMM.

Nick Musson

Nick Musson

Associate Transportation Planner, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

Nick is a graduate of University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, in which he earned his Bachelor of Science in Philosophy, Geography and Public Administration with an emphasis in Urban Planning and GIS. He began his career in 2008 with Southwest Michigan Regional Planning Commission as a transportation planner in which he worked directly with the Niles, Cass, Buchanan Area Transportation Study and Twin Cities Area Transportation Study developing and managing their Long Range Transportation Plans, Transportation Improvement Programs and Unified Work Programs. 

Read More

After about three years (2010) Nick took his current position as a transportation planner at East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. He provides planning assistance for transit agencies within East Central’s region including: Valley Transit, Go Transit and Fond du Lac Transit. Nick also works with participating counties in managing their county human service transportation coordination plans. Along with other transportation staff Nick, provides planning assistance for three metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), which include the Fox Cities, Oshkosh, and Fond du Lac Urbanized Areas. He also serves on an array of local/county/regional specialized transportation/transit boards, committees, and councils. In 2014, Nick received a promotion to Associate Transportation Planner and in 2018 received a promotion to Princial Transportation Planner. Nick continues to learn and expand his skill set to become a valued partner to those around him.
 

Holly Keenan

Holly Keenan

Mobility Manager, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin

Holly is a certified Mobility Manager and has been with Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan since May 2004 since the inception of the program called Make The Ride Happen.  Holly has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Care Administration from UW-Eau Claire.  She began her career with in Skilled Nursing Facilities as a Nursing Home Administrator in several facilities in Wisconsin.  She knew then that she had a desire to work with older adults and individual with disabilities. Holly is married (30 +years) and has 2 adult sons who live and work in the Fox Cities. 

3.2 Introduction to Wisconsin Works (W-2) Emergency Assistance

Description: Wisconsin Works (W-2) Emergency Assistance is a one-time payment that can help low-income parents pay an emergency housing or utility-related expense. The introductory course is intended to provide a basic outline of the Emergency Assistance application process and eligibility criteria. The workshop will address how to apply, who can receive Emergency Assistance, and what the Emergency Assistance payment can be used for. Participants will learn the basic eligibility and application rules and leave with a thorough understanding of how to connect individuals who are experiencing housing instability to this state funded resource.

Samantha Wendt

Samantha Wendt

Leadership & Development Consultant, Parallel Services, LLC.

Serving those who serve, Samantha is a consultant to nonprofits, businesses and government agencies.  Prior to founding Parallel Services, LLC in 2015 she was a leader for private non-profit and for-profit workforce development agencies, for Dodge County Human Services & Health Department and for the State of WI Department of Children and Families.  She possesses a thorough statewide perspective on workforce development, public policy and welfare reform. 

Read More

She has over 12 years’ experience facilitating training and has grown her consulting business  through a passion to develop and mentor leaders in the workforce development industry. She’s a certified LEAN Government facilitator and possesses a certificate in Non-Profit Management from UW Eau Claire and a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from UW Oshkosh. Samantha serves as the President for the Community Action Coalition for South Central WI Board of Directors and is a current member of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP), the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM), the WI Employment & Training Association (WETA) and the Wisconsin Social Services Association (WSSA).
 

4.2 A State of Play: Update on Medicaid Expansion & Health Care: Opportunities in the Biennial Budget

Description: The Affordable Care Act brought insurance coverage to many. While the uninsured rates for both adults and  children have decreased significantly over the past decade, there are  still wide disparities among whites and Black, Latinx, and Native  American residents. For Latinx and Native American Wisconsinites, the  uninsured rate is more than three times the rate for white people. There’s still a lot of work to do ensure access to quality, affordable health care and coverage for all.  For the first time in many years, Wisconsin has a realistic opportunity to significantly reduce that problem and save hundreds of millions of state dollars by fully expanding Medicaid through BadgerCare, which would extend access to about 80,000 low-wage workers in Wisconsin. Governor Evers has proposed a robust health care budget that fully expands Medicaid and invests in increased provider rates, maternal and infant health (with a specific emphasis on decreasing racial disparities), access to dental services, a community health initiative, and more funding for behavioral health providers. However, opponents of Medicaid expansion have control over both houses of the Wisconsin legislature. Join William Parke-Sutherland, health policy engagement coordinator for Kids Forward, to get an update on the status of the 2019-2021 budget for health care, including the prospects for Medicaid expansion and other investments in health care and coverage for kids and families.

William Parke-Sutherland

William Parke-Sutherland

Health Policy Engagement Coordinator

William Parke-Sutherland is the health policy engagement coordinator for Kids Forward. William facilitates the WI Health Matters coalition and leads in Medicaid expansion, ACA defense, and Medicaid’s diagnostic and treatment benefit for kids (known as HealthCheck in WI). He serves on the board of Health Watch Wisconsin, the steering committee for the Dane County Health Watch, Access workgroup for the Office of Children’s Mental Health, and WI American Academy of Pediatrics Public Policy Council.

5.2 Project Recovery

Description: In the summer of 2018, many parts of Wisconsin were devastated by severe storms, flooding, landslides, straight-line winds, and tornadoes. In response to this devastation and through resources available to the state through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Project Recovery was brought to Wisconsin. This community-based program provides outreach, crisis counseling and support for flood and severe storm victims. Due to the devastation spanning nine counties (Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon) the network of community action was uniquely positioned to host Project Recovery and address this widespread need. In this session, you’ll learn how an effective partnership between federal and state assistance with regional and community coordination, provided flood affected areas with high-quality, accessible, and well-managed support services and strategies in the wake of the crisis.

Amanda Warthesen

Amanda Warthesen

Project Recovery Director, Couleecap

Kim Sines

Project Recovery Team Lead West, Couleecap

6.2 A Realistic Look at Veteran Mental Health

Description:Veterans face mental health challenges such as PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma, among others. Understanding and helping veterans to address those challenges takes a team effort. What can we do to ensure that veterans suffering from homelessness, mental health, and substance use challenges receive the care they may need? Hear one veteran’s story about his struggles with mental health and how he is now helping his fellow veterans. Learn how the Motivational Interviewing Method within a Trauma Informed framework can assist and support veterans in a recovery lifestyle. Join us for this open discussion about mental health, behavioral health, and ways we can join together to help veterans get on a path to continual growth and improvement in one’s health and wellness.

Gina Patovisti

Veteran Outreach & Recovery Program Clinician, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs

Gerald Sieren

Veteran Outreach & Recovery Regional Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs

Workshop Session 3
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
1:45 to 3:00 p.m.

1.3 Predatory Lending & Financial Practices: How to Protect Yourself

Description: This presentation will give an overview of predatory financial practices that put many Wisconsinites at risk, including payday and car title lending, predatory debt collection, and financial scams. Participants will learn what makes these practices predatory, how they can identify more responsible alternatives, and where to turn for help if they or someone they know have been impacted. The presentation will also cover policy solutions and advocacy opportunities to strengthen consumer protections.

Peter Skopec

Peter Skopec

Director, Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG)

Peter Skopec has been WISPIRG’s director since February of 2015. WISPIRG, the Wisconsin Public Interest Research group, is a nonpartisan, grassroots-based nonprofit that organizes and advocates for public health, a fair economy, and the well-being of all Wisconsinites. Peter came to Wisconsin after two years with New Jersey PIRG, where he campaigned with community and student leaders to get Big Money out of politics. Peter previously held Associate Researcher positions at the Fondation Robert Schuman and at the Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l’Ecole Militaire, both in Paris, France. He studied Political Science, International Studies and French at Northwestern University, where he also got his start in organizing and advocacy, working on an environmental justice effort in Chicago.

2.3 Federal Policy Update

Description:This session will provide information on a range of federal programs of interest to community action agencies and other anti-poverty organizations. We will discuss a range of policy, program, and funding issues, primarily within HHS and HUD’s portfolio. The session will include an update on the proposed Community Services Block Grant reauthorization, the Homeless Children and Youth Act, and the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act. Session participants will be provided with concrete action steps to help advocate for increased funding and improved program design.

Brad Paul

Executive Director, WISCAP

Ruth White

Ruth White

Executive Director, National Center for Housing & Child Welfare

Ruth White is one of the nation’s leading experts on the nexus between housing policy and child welfare.  She is co-founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare and former director of Housing and Homelessness for the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA).  At the Child Welfare League, she co-edited the landmark issue of the League’s journal, Child Welfare, documenting the extent to which children are needlessly held in foster care because their parents lack decent housing. 

Read More

Through White’s advocacy, over $100 million in new funding for the Family Unification Program has been made available for families and youth in child welfare since 2009.  Prior to working at CWLA, White managed the front-door family shelter and redesigned the homeless coordinated entry system in Columbus, OH, reducing shelter entries by over 60 percent.  White is also certified as an Assisted Housing Manger. White has a Master of Science Degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Ohio State University.  She is currently a Furfey Scholar, doctoral candidate, and professor of social work at the Catholic University of America.

3.3 Healthy Housing Initiative

Presenters: Mike Bare, Research & Program Coordinator, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute

Description: Participants will better understand the acute and direct connection between housing and health, and will be briefed on potential public policy solutions to improve housing affordability, quality and stability. This presentation will help shape norms and narratives around housing policy, and how collective action can solve problems related to housing affordability, quality and stability.

Mike Bare

Research & Program Coordinator, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute

4.3 Overcoming Barriers to Mammogram: Persistence Pays Off

Description: Since 2016, Family Health Center of Marshfield and American Cancer Society have offered a rural mammogram outreach project for vulnerable populations. Assistance is provided in overcoming the social, financial or emotional barriers to getting a mammogram. Components include: an introductory mailing, follow-up phone calls, assistance with barriers, making the appointment, follow-up to assure person went to appointment and if not outreach begins again, documentation of mammogram results, and if patient refuses or is unable to reach they are contacted again in 6 months.

Eva Scheppa

Eva Scheppa

Director of Health Services, Family Health Center of Marshfield

Eva is a Bachelor’s prepared nurse who has spent her career caring and advocating for the underserved. Satisfying her social justice passion, Eva started as a nurse in public health and now works in Family Health Center, Inc. a federally qualified health center. Serving at local, state and national levels, Eva advocates for health care for all with legislators, and presents on the topic of poverty to high schoolers as well as professionals. Eva feels it is a privilege to contribute towards a world that has a kinder understanding of the underserved.

5.3 2‐1‐1: A Partner to Improve Connection to Services in Wisconsin

Description:
United Way of Wisconsin, the managing partner of 2‐1‐1 Wisconsin will share how 2‐1‐1 is being used through call, chat, text and a searchable data base throughout Wisconsin to improve health, education and financial stability outcomes. Each year more than 200,000 contacts are handled by 2‐1‐1 centers in Wisconsin, the needs of these callers help us understand community challenges. 2‐1‐1 also powers the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline. Participants will be engaged in a conversation that will explore how 2‐1‐1 can be used to improve access to services.

By the conclusion of this session, attendees will be able to:
1. Use 2‐1‐1 data to understand the needs of their community
2. Understand how 2‐1‐1 can help nonprofit and community programs reach their intended audience
3. Share examples of how communities are partnering with 2‐1‐1 and the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline.
4. Understand how to access 2‐1‐1 services through multiple communication channels.

Charlene Mouille

Charlene Mouille

Executive Director, United Way of Wisconsin

Charlene Mouille is the Executive Director of United Way of Wisconsin, which is dedicated to support and enrich a strong statewide United Way network that maximizes the capacity of local United Ways to address human needs and improve lives across Wisconsin. United Way goes beyond temporary fixes to create lasting change in communities throughout Wisconsin. By bringing people and organizations together around innovative solutions United Ways across Wisconsin fight for the health, education and financial stability of all people. In 2015, Charlene was asked to also lead 2-1-1 Wisconsin which coordinates the eight Wisconsin contact centers that provide call, text and web services to connect people to community health and human services and operates the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline.

Read More

Previously, she served as Vice President at New Ways to Work, a national training and technical assistance organization. At New Ways, Charlene directed multiple state and national initiatives focused on improving the lives of young adults and building community partnerships. In addition, Charlene has consulted with local, regional, state, and national coalitions in urban and rural settings to design and implement programs aimed and improving the common good. Charlene serves on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Community Health Fund, New Ways to Work and Rush Wisconsin.
 

6.3: Path to Apprenticeship

Description: In today’s competitive economy, highly trained workers are in demand. Highly skilled workers command higher pay and better benefits than unskilled workers. Highly skilled workers are safer on the job and have fewer job-related accidents than do unskilled workers. IUPAT is committed to meeting the demands of employers for a productive, skilled workforce by providing unsurpassed training and education opportunities for all of our members. IUPAT DC 7 offers education and training programs that make our members the most knowledgeable and accomplished craft workers in North America. This presentation will talk about career opportunities within our apprenticeship programs, how they work, and how they provide family supporting jobs within our communities.

Adam Holmes

Adam Holmes

Director of Training, IUPAT District 7

Mr. Holmes is the Director of Training for the Painters union representing Wisconsin and the U.P of Michigan. He has served in that capacity for the last 14 years and has been a proud member of IUPAT Local 781 for over 27 years. Adam completed his apprenticeship as a painter/decorator in 1996 and received that years Apprentice of the Year Award from the Milwaukee Area Painters and Drywall Finishers JAC.

In his current job, he is responsible for overseeing the apprenticeship programs for the Painters, Drywall Finishers and Glaziers. In addition to the work he does with the JAC’s and apprentices, Mr. Holmes is also in charge of the safety training and journeymen upgrading classes for IUPAT DC 7. In 2014, Mr. Holmes received his B.A. from the National Labor College with a double major in Labor Studies and Labor Safety and Health.

Jeff Mehrhoff

Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer, IUPAT District 7

Workshop Session 4
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
3:15 to 4:30 p.m.

1.4 When Good is not Good Enough: Why We Need to Reposition the Community-based Nonprofit Sector as a Powerful Force for Deep Systems Change

Description: In spite of the valiant efforts of many caring people and organizations over many years, life has not improved for countless Wisconsinites. If things are going to really change, we need to shift attention from modest service goals that provide temporary relief for some, to courageous actions that challenge and change the economic, social and political systems that are the root cause of the many problems we face. For this shift to occur, we must reassess our work in the nonprofit sector — especially those nonprofits working in low-income communities. Nonprofits need to direct more efforts at actually changing the underlying systems. Good is not good enough: While we continue to provide services to individuals in desperate need, we must now reposition the community-based nonprofit sector as a powerful force for social change at the underlying systems level.

Frank Martinelli

Frank Martinelli

President/Senior Consultant

Frank Martinelli has over 35 years of work, training, consulting, and organizing experience with a variety of nonprofit and public sector organizations. He is president of the Center for Public Skills Training where he specializes in strategic planning, governing board development and community partnership and alliance building.

Click here to learn more

Frank served as a member of the national faculty of The Learning Institute, a joint venture of the Society for Nonprofit Organizations, PBS, United Way of America, and the University of Wisconsin-Extension designed to deliver training through a range of emerging technologies. The Learning Institute, faculty and partners were the recipient of the American Distance Education Consortium Award for the “Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management Satellite Series”. He has provided training and consultation to over 2000 organizations in the US including Peace Corps, Head Start, The Points of Light Foundation, Association of Volunteer Administration, the American Camping Association, Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Medical College of Wisconsin, Greater Milwaukee Committee, American Lung Association and others. From 1981-1992, Frank served as Coordinator of THE RESOURCE CENTER, a major provider of training to nonprofit groups in southeastern Wisconsin. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with an M.S. in Urban Affairs, Frank has done numerous workshops on nonprofit management topics with special emphasis on the leadership roles of the Board of Directors. Frank has written extensively about the management of nonprofit organizations and is a contributing author to the New Directions publication by Jossey-Bass, “Small Nonprofits: Strategies for Fund Raising Success.” Frank is the author of “Encouraging Visionary Board Leadership” appearing in You and Your Nonprofit Board: New Thinking from the Field’s Top Practitioners, Researchers and Provocateurs, published by Charity Channel Press (June 2013). Frank also publishes the Strategic Thinking and Planning Blog offering his reflections on strategic planning in the nonprofit sector. He has been trained by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation in the use of the Organizational Self-Assessment Tool. Frank has completed the Advanced Board Consultant Training Program offered by BoardSource. Frank has also completed the Distance Education Professional Development Certification Program offered at the University of Wisconsin and has developed a number of web-based and other distance learning offerings for nonprofits.
 

2.4 Keeping Housing is Often Harder than Getting Housing: Maintaining Gains & Moving Forward

Description: For individuals experiencing homelessness or with housing fragility, a worker can often assist with a goal-centered process that leads to the individual securing housing. However, in the case management process, there is often little attention paid to the work needed for the individual/family to hold on to the housing in the long term, and many families have trouble holding on to their housing for a year or longer. In this workshop, participants will learn about the factors that get in the way of longer-term stability and discuss the options for helping individuals meet these challenges. Approaches for helping individuals reframe their current situation and for anticipating common roadblocks to housing permanence will be presented and discussed. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to apply learning from this workshop to their own organization.

Jim Winship

Jim Winship

Owner, Beechwood True LLC

A long-time social work educator, Jim Winship has worked with families experiencing homelessness in Southeastern Wisconsin and has provided training in case management in Wisconsin and Georgia. Currently, he is consulting with The Salvation Army in this eleven-state area in developing and implementing an online case management certification program.

3.4 Self-Employment: Pathway to Self-Sufficiency

Description:Learn about key business development resources available for women, minorities and low-income entrepreneurs to start or expand small businesses in Wisconsin. This workshop will include interesting presentations from staff and business owners who are successfully self-employed. This includes WISCAP’s unique Job & Business Development Program (JBD), operated by 8 Community Action Agencies, that has helped low-income entrepreneurs start over 2,200 small businesses & create over 6,000 jobs since it began.

Jonathan Bader

Director of Programs & Public Policy

4.4 S.A.V.E.

Description:The goal of the S.A.V.E training is to provide education on how to identify the warning signs of suicide and ways to intervene and help someone in crisis. We recognize that many of the clients WISCAP members and allies serve, experience a variety of life stressors, some could even cause him/her to consider suicide. While the information provided will focus on unique risk factors in the Veteran community (many that may be accessing your services), the information will be applicable to all individuals and families enrolled in your programs. We will cover: Veterans and the VA, facts about suicide, myths & realities about suicide, how to identify and help a veteran at risk for suicide, how to address a crisis situation, the steps of S.A.V.E., and other resources and references.

Darlene Ezman

Darlene Ezman

Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

Darlene Ezman, LCSW, CEAP, is a Suicide Prevention Coordinator, at the Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital and has been with the VA for more than 11 years. Darlene has over 20 years of clinical experience working with individuals, families, and businesses to address mental health issues. In addition, she has worked in the field of communications including as Communications Director at CAP Services Inc. There is a need for suicide prevention efforts in economically disadvantaged communities. Everyone needs to know how to identify the warning signs of suicide and ways to intervene and help someone in crisis.

5.4 Dismantling the Minority Myth: Investing the Success of Hmong Families

Description: This workshop will provide an insight to the root causes of why some minority groups, particularly the Hmong community, struggle to become successful. The workshop will provide a brief history of the Hmong journey, look at research data on the minority myth and how the Hmong UPLIFT Program has lifted this community. Hmong UPLIFT is a multi-generational approach for strengthening families by bridging the gaps to improve their lives. UPLIFT assists Hmong parents in setting goals and gaining the skills and knowledge to advance while modeling the importance of education to their children. The program embraces parenting education, adult education, and early childhood education, as well as inter-generational activities.

Phong Vang

Phong Vang

Hmong UPLIFT Coordinator

Nyob Zoo or hi, my name is Phong Vang and I work for CAP Services as the Hmong UPLIFT Program Coordinator and Interpreter Coordinator.  I was born in the Refugee Camps in Thailand because of the Secret War in Vietnam.  My family and I came to the United States in 1980 when I was only 3 years old.  Growing up my passion has always been helping my family and people who are underserved.  I have worked with the Hmong Community for over 20 years.

Jim Vang

UPLIFT Family Development Manager

6.4 Veteran Benefits Forum

Description: TBD

John Grennan

Workshop Session 5
Thursday, September 12, 2019
9:30 to 10:45 a.m.

1.5 2019 Wisconsin Poverty Report

Description: The Wisconsin Poverty Project came into being in late 2008, when a group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) sought to gain a more accurate and timely assessment of poverty throughout the state as the worst recession in the postwar era was gripping the nation. The researchers’ efforts, which align with broader efforts including federal development of the Supplemental Poverty Measure, sought to inform policy with up-to-date and place-specific data that go beyond the official statistics for Wisconsin. The project, which each year produces a Wisconsin Poverty Report joins other endeavors by University of Wisconsin System faculty and staff to improve the lives of people throughout the state in the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea. Simply put, the Wisconsin Poverty Project model reflects IRP’s commitment to informing public policy with research findings and, consistent with this idea, one of our main goals in developing the Wisconsin Poverty Measure is to serve as a model for other states and localities seeking to craft their own more meaningful measures of poverty. In this session, the findings of the 2019 Wisconsin Poverty Report will be presented.

Tim Smeeding

Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics, LaFollette School of Public Affairs

2.5: Changing the Culture of Construction

Description:Working in the building and construction trades is a challenging career. There are high productivity demands on the workforce to meet deadlines, as well as working conditions that can often be an extreme danger if strict safety guidelines aren’t followed. Yet, there are other risks construction workers face in the industry that many don’t want to talk about – Substance Use Disorder and Suicide Prevention. This presentation will try to give the attendees the understanding and knowledge they need to deal with family and friends who are suffering with these issues.

Adam Holmes

Adam Holmes

Director of Training, IUPAT District 7

Mr. Holmes is the Director of Training for the Painters union representing Wisconsin and the U.P of Michigan. He has served in that capacity for the last 14 years and has been a proud member of IUPAT Local 781 for over 27 years. Adam completed his apprenticeship as a painter/decorator in 1996 and received that years Apprentice of the Year Award from the Milwaukee Area Painters and Drywall Finishers JAC.

In his current job, he is responsible for overseeing the apprenticeship programs for the Painters, Drywall Finishers and Glaziers. In addition to the work he does with the JAC’s and apprentices, Mr. Holmes is also in charge of the safety training and journeymen upgrading classes for IUPAT DC 7. In 2014, Mr. Holmes received his B.A. from the National Labor College with a double major in Labor Studies and Labor Safety and Health.

Jeff Mehrhoff

Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer, IUPAT District 7

3.5 Private Transportation Providers’ Role in Fighting Poverty

Description: This session will explore the private transportation provider network in Wisconsin and its role in fighting poverty.  How shared ride systems, NEMT, paratransit and workforce development contacts are a factor in helping improve the economic strength of Wisconsin’s citizens.

4.5 The Skills Enhancement Program–Opening Doors to Opportunity

Description: In this workshop we will share information on this dynamic, community based program that provides opportunity for low income individuals to access education and training. Through financial assistance and case management support many barriers can be overcome, allowing low wage workers to access training and gain skills they need to qualify for higher paying jobs, access to benefits and better opportunities for their future. We will share our 28 years of experiences, challenges and successes with this program. We will talk about some common barriers our participants face. We will discuss strategies for funding, marketing and creating community connections, as well as current program trends and adaptations we are implementing to address the needs of specific populations within our program. This workshop will address a solution to poverty through education which leads to increased wages, greater economic opportunity, and more financial security.

Kim Calmes

Skills Enhancement Program Coordinator, CAP Services

Nicole Harrison

CAP Services

5.5 Toxic Stress of Homelessness: Unraveling the Impact from Infancy throughout the Lifespan

Description: Individuals and families experiencing homelessness are often invisible to us, even though we may encounter them every day. The rate of homelessness is on a steady rise and its impact hits all ages of the lifespan. The life expectancy of an individual experiencing homelessness is 44, compared to 77 years of age for the remainder of the population. Participants in this interactive workshop will gain an understanding of the toxic stress of homelessness and how it affects the individual’s physical, emotional and mental health and how that stress may manifest itself through the various stages of life. The barriers created by homelessness, on all ages, will be addressed, with an interactive discussion on how programming may reduce those barriers. The participant will learn how behavioral and verbal responses may be triggered by stressors which may have been experienced daily and learn practical approaches that will improve interactions.

Jeanne Erickson

Jeanne Erickson

Program Assistant, Coaltion of Wisconsin Aging & Health Groups (CWAG)

Jeanne F. Erickson is the Program Assistant with The Coalition of Wisconsin Aging & Health Groups,
Elder Financial Empowerment Project. Jeanne brings to this position a varied background in working with
and for the elderly, in numerous life situations. Employed as a licensed nurse in the state of Wisconsin from 1976 to 2001, primarily in geriatric nursing. Ms. Erickson worked as head charge nurse in a skilled nursing facility for the bulk of her 25 years in active nursing. 

Read More

Jeanne’s nursing background led her to pursuing social work as a second career. In 1997, following a policy internship at the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (now Kids Forward) through the UW – Whitewater School of Social Work, Jeanne joined the staff of WCCF. In 1998 she began working as a Childhood Brain Development Project Specialist for the WCCF Brain Project: Great Beginnings: First Years Last Forever Initiative and the Better Badger Baby Brain Bus Tour. In addition to presenting at numerous state-wide conferences, workshops, presentations and trainings, Ms. Erickson assisted in the development of training materials for the “train-the –trainer” annual trainings across the state. These training materials focus on the impact of extraordinary events on the biology of the brain as well the impact of environmental toxins, such as lead, substance and trauma-induced alterations in the neurotransmitters of the brain. Jeanne works directly with families experiencing homelessness, through her volunteer support of Today Not Tomorrow – Project Babies. She presses to raise the awareness on the impact of poverty on brain development from prenatal and across the life span, including the aging brain. She is asked to speak regularly at conferences, addressing the impact of poverty, as well as brain development and literacy; the impact of trauma and abuse on brain development and the toxic stress of homelessness.
 

6.5 Reforming the Child Support Program for Those who get Behind

Description:The National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED), launched by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and including two sites in Wisconsin, was designed to test the effectiveness of a child support-led program combining case management, enhanced child support, employment, and parenting services for noncustodial parents. CSPED’s goal was to increase the reliable payment of child support by noncustodial parents with barriers to payment, in order to improve child well-being and avoid public costs. In this session we will discuss the results of CSPED, what the results suggest, and challenges and opportunities moving forward.

Daniel Meyer

Professor, Institute for Research on Poverty, UW-Madison

Workshop Session 6
Thursday, September 12, 2019
11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

1.6: Halving Child Poverty in 10 Years: The 2019 National Academy of Sciences Report

Description:We all know that millions of American children live in families with incomes below the poverty line. Most Poverty Matters! Conference participants work with the poor on a daily basis. Could legislation at the federal level make all of our work easier? Recognizing the poverty challenge to America’s future, congress asked the National Academies of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive study of the cost of child poverty in the United States, and to identify evidence-based programs and policies for reducing the number of children living in poverty by half within 10 years. The National Academies appointed a committee with expertise in economics, psychology, cognitive science, public policy, education, sociology, and pediatrics to conduct the study and issue a report. The committee’s report, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, identifies packages of policies and programs that could reduce child poverty in the United States by half within 10 years, at a cost far lower than the costs the nation currently bears as the result of child poverty.

Tim Smeeding

Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics, LaFollette School of Public Affairs

2.6: Eviction Defense Project

Description:This presentation will provide attendees with information about Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Eviction Defense Project (EDP) and the services that EDP provides. We will detail the Project’s history and the various community partners that helped make the Project possible and successful. From a practical perspective, we will discuss common strategies to help tenants avoid eviction and how to defend against eviction. We will also address laws and recent legislative updates that advocates and social services providers should know when advising tenants in eviction prevention.

Sofia Ascorbe

Sofia Ascorbe

Attorney, Legal Action of Wisconsin

Sofia Ascorbe is a public interest attorney at Legal Action of Wisconsin, where she creates and facilitates pro bono programming as a member of the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Sofia joined the Eviction Defense Project, a courthouse based project that provides same-day representation of low-income tenants facing eviction court, last September. She trains students, attorneys, and community partners on housing law and eviction defense, and provides legal guidance to volunteer attorneys on select project days. Sofia is an active community member, serving on two Milwaukee area nonprofit boards, and serving as a mentor to youth in the community. Prior to joining Legal Action, Sofia attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University after a long and sunny upbringing in Miami, Florida.

3.6 Utilizing Stories for Awareness & Advocacy — A Strategic Approach

Description: 
A long-time social work educator, Jim Winship has designed and produced digital stories for awareness around family homelessness. He currently writes on how to effectively use stories for advocacy, awareness, and to generate support and works with human service organizations in designing strategic story communication.

Jim Winship

Jim Winship

Owner, Beechwood True LLC

4.6 Taking on the Child Care Crisis through Innovation –Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network Launches

Description:We’ve launched the Wisconsin Shared Services Network (WEESSN)! Come learn how it can help stabilize child care businesses, keeping providers’ doors open to serve their communities and increase revenues to address low wages in early care and education. Participants will understand how Shared Services works, and how WEESSN is using Shared Services strategies to support child care businesses. Lack of child care creates a significant barrier to employment. Increasing high quality, stable child care provides many benefits to a community. Also, providing a service like WEESSN which removes barriers to providing care can increase the number of providers, which also increases employment and the tax base for a community. Stories of our WEESSN work spans both urban and rural settings.

Kelly Matthews

Kelly Matthews

Shared Services Coordinator, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association

Kelly Matthews is the Shared Services Coordinator with WECA. She presents on child care business practices, pedagogical leadership, and reflective practices through her consulting business, A Place For You Consulting, and also adjuncts with the Wisconsin Technical College System. She recently created an inspired and aligned curriculum for the Family Child Care Credential in Wisconsin. She earned her M.A. (Human Development) from Pacific Oaks College, with dual specializations in Leadership in Education and Human Services [sub-specialization: Teaching Adults] and Early Childhood Education.  She is exceptionally proud of this learning, grounded in social justice and meaningful, contextualized practice.

5.6 School Lunch Shaming: Ensuring Equity in School Meals for Kids

Description: Annually, over 100 million school meals are served in Wisconsin. Students either pay full price, a reduced price or receive a free meal depending on their family’s income. Parents typically load money onto a card that the student swipes to purchase their meal. Often, the money runs out. School Nutrition Association estimates that 75% of school districts are dealing with unpaid student meal debt. Figuring out how to fix unpaid debt has been a challenge for years. Recently, this issue made national headlines as reports surfaced of schools instituting student-shaming policies like throwing out meals or stamping a child’s hand. In Wisconsin, school policies vary but some include: requiring the child to call parents and ask them to pay lunch bill; providing bill to student in the lunch line, restricting graduation for students with lunch debt and providing an alternate meal to students without funds. The alternate meal often consists of a cheese sandwich or cheese crackers instead of a hot lunch. Some states have begun to take legislative steps to prohibit shaming practices. This presentation provides a review on state-based legislation to prevent future lunch shaming and common-sense policy solutions that school administrators may use to eliminate all meal debt, removing the need to chase down parents who are past due. Broad peer-reviewed research demonstrates children have better outcomes when they eat school meals. Singling out or withholding food from children with insufficient funds does not help school staff or students. Wisconsin can learn from other state-based policies to craft a better solution for our schools and our students.

Matt Stienstra

Matt Stienstra

Advocacy Campaign Manager, Hunger Task Force

As Hunger Task Force’s Advocacy Campaign Manager, Matt Stienstra creates and implements local and statewide campaigns to strengthen nutrition policy. In 2016 these campaigns connected nearly 4,000 more children from low-income families to a daily school breakfast. Matt has built a career around connecting citizens and stakeholders to policy solutions at the local, state and federal level. He uses both online and offline strategies to elevate citizen voices to elected officials and the media. Matt resides in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin with his wife, 3 year old and 6 month old daughters, and two dogs.

Leen Bnyat

Leen Bnyat

Child Nutrition Program Organizer, Hunger Task Force

As the Child Nutrition Program Organizer, Leen Bnyat helps connect schools, community organizations, and families to vital nutrition programs that impact childhood hunger in Wisconsin. Since joining Hunger Task Force in January of 2019, Leen Bnyat has helped introduce new summer and afterschool meals sites throughout Wisconsin and produced the annual Wisconsin School Breakfast Report. Additionally, with a strong background in youth organizing, Leen works with various student groups to mobilize around improving school meals in Milwaukee County. Having a passion for social justice, Leen also works to incorporate equity into her professional and personal life. In her free time, Leen enjoys cooking dishes from her birth place of Damascus, Syria.

6.6 The Curse and The Opportunity of Poverty & Climate Change

Description: This workshop illustrates the existence and direct relationship of poverty and climate change. It is a what, how, who, and when of turning CAP programs into ‘voluntary carbon offsets,’ their value in the market, and potential for significant new external revenue. Market research already indicates significant investor interest for thousands of metric tons of CAP related offsets that provide ‘socially equitable, deep decarbonization’.

Take-aways include:
1) Latest analysis of correlations between poverty, social equity & climate change impact;
2) Understanding of fundamentals of carbon offsets, additionality, and market conditions;
3) Familiarization with the only WZN carbon offset protocol currently in use in the USA; &
4) Ideas on how to leverage WZN offsets to the benefit of one’s own local economy.

Peter Kilde

Peter Kilde

Executive Director, West CAP

Peter Kilde has been executive director of the West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency, Inc, (West CAP), since 1995.  West CAP has developed and manages multiple low-income housing projects, and operates homelessness intervention programs, weatherization, food security, the JumpStart car ownership program and various sustainable community initiatives. He serves on the national Community Action Partnership Board of Directors, where he co-chairs the Strategic Visions Committee which focuses on how poverty can be most effectively addressed in 21st Century America.

Recipient of the 2013 Charles M. Hill Sr. Award for Housing Excellence, Mr. Kilde is widely recognized for his leadership in affordable housing innovation and energy conservation. 

Read More

Peter also serves on the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) Board, the regional Workforce Development Board, and is vice chair and “chair apparent” on the board of Slipstream, a newly named and expanded Wisconsin-based national nonprofit linking energy conservation and social equity. He is also an almost founder and former chair of the St. Croix Valley Foundation Board.  Prior to coming to West CAP, Mr. Kilde worked for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation of St. Paul, Minnesota where for 10 years he was operations director of Wilder Forest, a 1,200-acre conference and education center linking social and environmental concerns. Peter Kilde lives with his daughters on a small farm near Spring Valley, Wisconsin.
 

 

Kelly Cain

Kelly Cain

Founder/CEO, St. Croix Institute

Dr. Cain is Emeritus Professor in Environmental Science / Management & Land Use Planning at UW-River Falls. Kelly joined the faculty in 1986, with responsibility for undergraduate and graduate curriculum development and teaching across a wide variety of sustainability-based courses. He also served as the first Director of Campus Sustainability, and founding Director of the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, both from 2007 to 2014.

Kelly’s community outreach on behalf of UWRF ranged from multiple projects for the Aspen Institute’s Community Strategies Group in DC, to primary partnership and conceptual design of the St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity EcoVillage in River Falls, WI, to multiple National Wildlife Refuge projects in Hawaii, Oregon, and elsewhere for the US Fish & Wildlife Service, to ecotourism development for the China Exploration & Research Society on the Tibetan Plateau. 

Read More

Kelly served in numerous local government positions: City of River Falls Planning Commission, Parks & Recreation Board, and Extra-Territorial Zoning; Pierce County Comprehensive Plan Advisory; Town of River Falls Town Board; and other. Kelly left UWRF in 2014 and negotiated to take the St. Croix Institute into private business as a limited liability corporation with offices in Stillwater and Ely, MN. The St. Croix Institute (SCI) is now a full-service corporate and community consulting company with a ‘carbon negative,’ quadruple-bottom-line approach for ‘getting beyond sustainability.’ SCI recently launched LICO2e (gbc) – dba ‘Locally Invested Carbon Offsets’ – a new ‘public benefit corporation’ focused on voluntary carbon offset products, services, and partnerships at the community and regional levels. Current exemplary clients and projects include: an annual Sustainability Faculty Development Workshop for Colorado College, in Colorado Springs; Corporate Social Responsibility and Supply Chain auditing for the Ciranda Corporation in Hudson, WI; Circular Economy Program Manager for the Uponor Corporation headquartered in Helsinki, Finland; Board of Directors and Chair of the Business & Program Development Committee for the WI Energy Conservation Corporation in Madison; Comprehensive Plan re-writing assistance for the City of Prescott, WI; and President of the Board at Refuge Friends, Inc., MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington, MN. Kelly lives with his wife Ruth, various orbiting children, grandchildren, dogs, cats, goats, chickens (and the spirit of “Rex, the Rooster from Hell”), 40,000 bees (give or take a few thousand), and various other critters on a 5-acre permaculture farm within an 80-acre intentional community that he and Ruth established in 1990 outside of River Falls.