Keynote Addresses By:

Dr. Ralph da Costa Nunez

President and CEO, Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness


Dr. Matthew Desmond

Sociologist, Urban Ethnographer, Author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. Today, most poor renting families are spending more that half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. Dr. Desmond drew on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data to produce his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, which explores the relationship between poverty and housing in human terms.


John Bridgeland

Founder and CEO, Civic Enterprises

Author, producer, researcher, and lawyer, he has served as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and as a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He will focus on the research, policy implications, and advocacy work of “Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America’s Public Schools.”


Beth McCullough

Homeless Education Liaison, Adrian (MI) Public Schools

In “Finding Your Second Wind,” Ms. McCullough will talk about her innovative program that supports homeless students in graduating, and how advocacy/cheerleading gets results. She is a certified Montessori teacher, a limited license psychologist, former director of a domestic violence shelter, psychotherapist, and college instructor.


“Sapphire” (Ramona Lofton)

Sapphire is the author of two bestselling novels, The New York Times bestseller Push (which was adapted into the movie, “Precious”) and The Kid. They deal viscerally with illiteracy, brutality, poverty, violence, race, and the challenges of the social service system. She has also written two poetry collections. She speaks as compellingly as her characters.


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