The Oregon League of Minority Voters (OLMV) convenes the 2009 Poverty Summit, a statewide forum of elected officials, agency administrators, service providers, nonprofit agencies, and minority community leaders.
The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30 at the Salem Conference Center, 200 Commercial Street SE in Salem.
OLMV Poverty Summit expects more than 100 leaders from different communities and organizations to work together to improve systems and discuss policy approaches to health, access to education and affordable housing, disproportional representation of minorities in the criminal justice system, immigration reform, and focus on economic development.
"Our country is experiencing one of worst economic crises in history. Thirty-seven million people live below the poverty line, and minority populations are adversely impacted. The OLMV Poverty Summit strives to amplify minority community perspectives on issues surrounding poverty," said Maria Rubio, Poverty Summit Committee Chair. Maria also serves as Vice Chair of the OLMV Board of Directors.
The opening plenary will feature leaders from diverse communities who are well-versed on the challenges faced by communities of color in Oregon. Jo Ann Bowman, Executive Director of Oregon Action, will speak about health equity in racial, tribal and ethnic communities.
Gale Castillo, president of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber, will discuss small business and economic development among minority communities. Dr. Phyllis Lee, founding director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Oregon State University, will address disparities in K-12 and higher education among minority students. She also is a board member of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon.
At the end of the day, the goal is to establish a set of policy priorities that will be developed collaboratively with individuals and statewide organizations, says Randall Edwards, OLMV co-chair.
"We will weave together several strands of our current broad poverty initiatives into one inclusive narrative that responds to our current systems' inequities with new facts and ideas. We also want to address issues of systems inequity and its impact on poverty," he says.
For more information about OLMV, visit http://www.oregonlmv.org