A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

2019 Poverty Matters! Conference – WISCAP

Wisconsin Community Action Program Association

2019 Poverty Matters! Conference

Securing Opportunity in Wisconsin

September 11-12 in Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Conference web page

Conference Overview

Over the course of the conference, participants are challenged to examine the national, regional and local systems at play and consider how these shape policy and our collective response.  By drawing attention to the structural underpinnings of poverty, we believe a well-informed and intellectually honest discussion can take place. This ultimately leads to moral choices and more effective anti-poverty policies and strategies.

The conference theme is Securing Opportunity in Wisconsin and offers an exhibit hall, 4 plenary sessions and more than 30 workshops.

Plenary Sessions

  • Breakfast Plenary Sessions (Wednesday and Thursday)
  • Lunch Plenary: Union of Painters and Allied Trades General President Kenneth Rigmaiden (Wednesday)
  • Poverty Matters Awards and Lunch Plenary: Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin State Treasurer (Thursday)


See conference workshops for workshop descriptions and speakers.  Workshops fall under the following tracks: Community Action & Everyday Forms of Assistance, Housing, Transportation, Job & Income Supports, Access to Health Care, and Research.

Wednesday Morning, September 11

  • 1.1 Practical Ways to Start the Board Conversation about Advocacy
  • 2.1 Should ‘Housing First’ Always be First?
  • 3.1 Creating Opportunity through Strong Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
  • 4.1 Black Lifelines: The Impact of Inter-Generational Inequities in Public Health
  • 5.1 Literacy & Poverty
  • 6.1 Defining a Veteran
  • 1.2 Using ALICE: A Study of Financial Hardship in Wisconsin to Improve Outcomes
  • 2.2 Transportation Solutions
  • 3.2 Introduction to Wisconsin Works (W-2) Emergency Assistance
  • 4.2 A State of Play: Update on Medicaid Expansion & Health Care: Opportunities in the Biennial Budget
  • 5.2 Project Recovery
  • 6.2 A Realistic Look at Veteran Mental Health

Wednesday Afternoon, September 11

  • 1.3 Predatory Lending & Financial Practices: How to Protect Yourself
  • 2.3 Federal Policy Update
  • 3.3 Healthy Housing Initiative
  • 4.3 Overcoming Barriers to Mammogram: Persistence Pays Off
  • 5.3 2‐1‐1: A Partner to Improve Connection to Services in Wisconsin
  • 6.3: Path to Apprenticeship
  • 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
  • 2.4 Keeping Housing is Often Harder than Getting Housing: Maintaining Gains & Moving Forward
  • 3.4 Self-Employment: Pathway to Self-Sufficiency
  • 4.4 S.A.V.E.
  • 5.4 Dismantling the Minority Myth: Investing the Success of Hmong Families
  • 6.4 Veteran Benefits Forum

Thursday Morning, September 12

  • 1.5 2019 Wisconsin Poverty Report
  • 2.5: Changing the Culture of Construction
  • 3.5 Private Transportation Providers’ Role in Fighting Poverty
  • 4.5 The Skills Enhancement Program–Opening Doors to Opportunity
  • 5.5 Toxic Stress of Homelessness: Unraveling the Impact from Infancy throughout the Lifespan
  • 6.5 Reforming the Child Support Program for Those who get Behind
  • 1.6: Halving Child Poverty in 10 Years: The 2019 National Academy of Sciences Report
  • 2.6: Eviction Defense Project
  • 3.6 Utilizing Stories for Awareness & Advocacy — A Strategic Approach
  • 4.6 Taking on the Child Care Crisis through Innovation –Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network Launches
  • 5.6 School Lunch Shaming: Ensuring Equity in School Meals for Kids
  • 6.6 The Curse and The Opportunity of Poverty & Climate Change


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