Each year, we bring together renowned thought leaders, experts in the field of human services, and ECS participants to discuss the systemic issues prohibiting upward economic mobility for Philadelphians affected by intergenerational poverty.
This year we focus on the three major obstacles our participants face while navigating the harrowing cycle of poverty:
- The crucial battle for racial equity
- Pushing for a living wage
- Ending the “Benefits Cliff”
Led by esteemed panelists, you can engage five sessions targeting these challenges, with actionable insights to help you work for systemic change. There will also be a bonus session devoted to faith-based advocacy for those who want to pursue social justice, using the power of individuals and congregations to effect real change in our communities.
A sampler of this year’s featured speakers:
Dr. David Altig - Executive Vice President and Director of Research, Federal Reserve bank of Atlanta
Dr. David E. Altig is executive vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In addition to advising the Bank president on monetary policy and related matters, Dr. Altig oversees the Bank’s Research Division, which includes the Bank’s team of economists, the Regional Economic Information Network, and the Bank’s Community and Economic Development function. In this role, Dr. Altig leads the Atlanta Fed’s research and engagement portfolio on benefits cliffs. He also serves as a member of the Bank’s Management and Discount Committees and is the executive cosponsor of the Bank’s Working Families Employee Resource Network.
Dr. Altig is an adjunct professor of economics in the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He is currently the vice president-elect of the National Association for Business Economics, for which he served as director from 2016 to 2019. He is also a member of the advisory council of the Global Interdependence Center and serves on the board of the Konstanz Seminar on Monetary Theory and Policy. He has past and pending published research in several prominent professional journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of Monetary Economics, and the National Tax Journal.
Prior to joining the Atlanta Fed, Dr. Altig served as vice president and associate director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He joined the Cleveland Fed in 1991 as an economist before being promoted in 1997. Before joining the Cleveland Fed, Dr. Altig was a faculty member in the department of business economics and public policy at Indiana University. He has lectured at several other universities, including the Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, Duke University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Wisconsin, as well as in the Chinese Executive MBA program sponsored by the University of Minnesota and Lingnan College of Sun Yat-Sen University.
Dr. Altig graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from Brown University. He and his wife, Pam, have four children, six grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.
President & CEO, The Enterprise Center
Della Clark’s vision for minority entrepreneurship is not about counting the number of successful businesses but making businesses count. Since 1992, Clark has brought this vision to fruition as President of The Enterprise Center – an organization at the forefront of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, guided by the mission to cultivate and invest in minority entrepreneurs to inspire working together for economic growth in communities. The Enterprise Center accomplishes this by accelerating the capacity of minority business enterprises to compete in any marketplace through business education, access to capital, management support, and connections.
Motivated by her belief that businesses success is a team sport, Clark epitomizes the core values of collaboration and economic growth that drive the outcomes of The Enterprise Center. The organization operates an MBDA Business Center of Pennsylvania (MBC-PA), a DOT Small Business Transportation Resource Center, and a U.S. Small Business Administration Microloan Program. Under Clark’s leadership, businesses have obtained more than $631 million in contracts and $131 million in intermediary financing, while the MBC-PA has created more than 2,127 jobs in the last seven years. Additionally, minority- and women-owned businesses have secured over $13 million in loans to start, grow, and succeed through The Enterprise Center Capital Corporation.
In 2016, Clark received the Abe Venable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement for making a significant contribution to minority entrepreneurship from former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker. This award honors individuals with an integral role in the creative, technical, or professional progress of minority business development. Clark has received numerous recognitions, but her greatest pride is helping minority enterprises scale and create jobs.
PA State Senator
Art Haywood was raised by his mother, a public-school teacher, who instilled in him the value of hard work and getting a quality education. He began working at the age of nine as a newspaper delivery boy.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree and graduating Magna Cum Laude from Morehouse College, Art went on to attend the London School of Economics as a Marshall Scholar to complete his master’s degree, and then graduated from the University of Michigan Law school in 1985.
Art began working at Community Legal Services, saving families from home foreclosure. He also worked at Regional Housing Legal Services, and in private practice as a lawyer, assisting nonprofit organizations to revitalize neighborhoods. Art has previously served as legal counsel to Esperanza, a community development organization in the Hunting Park section of North Philadelphia.
In 2009, Art was inspired by President Barack Obama to run for township commissioner in Cheltenham. He won that election, and his work as commissioner included divesting pension money from gun-makers, starting the Sustainable Cheltenham initiative, and creating a non-discrimination ordinance for sexual orientation and gender identity. After serving as President of the Board of Commissioners in Cheltenham, he was elected State Senator for the 4th district in 2014.
Through his leadership as a State Senator, Art has worked to reduce homelessness through expansion of the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Act, passed requirements to test for lead in water in Pennsylvania schools, and successfully championed legislation to relocate domestic violence survivors living in public housing.
Art completed his Poverty Listening Tour in 2019 and issued a report with 20 recommendations to reduce poverty in every community of Pennsylvania. In 2020, he fought for $193 million in federal CARES Act funds to be allocated to prevent evictions, foreclosures, and homelessness in Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2020, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency awarded Art the Award of Excellence for his advocacy for affordable and fair housing and homelessness prevention.
Art is the author of Campaigns for COMPASSION: A Story of Community Change, published in January 2021. The Arc of Pennsylvania honored him with their 2021 “Legislator of the Year” award for demonstrating exceptional leadership in addressing the needs of Pennsylvanians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In February 2021, Governor Tom Wolf appointed Art to his COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force to improve the vaccine distribution in Pennsylvania. City & State Magazine listed him on the Pennsylvania Healthcare Power 100 List in their July 2021 issue for his work as the minority chair of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and member of the task force.
Most recently, Art organized with African American college students to end campus racism at Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education universities. He was instrumental in the state legislature passing $200 million for PASSHE, which includes funding for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This will ensure the safety and success of Black, Brown, and White students on the 14 college campuses.
Art has three adult children and resides in Wyncote with his wife for 30 years, Julie.
Bishop Dwayne Royster
Founder of the Society for Faith and Justice
Bishop Dwayne D. Royster is the National Political Director of Faith in Action (formerly the PICO National Network) and the Designated Pastor of Faith United Church of Christ in Washington, DC as well as the Senior Pastor/Founder Emeritus of the Living Water United Church of Christ in Philadelphia, PA. He has extensive organizing, advocacy, political and faith leadership experience. He is the former Executive Director of the POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild), a former councilman at large for the Municipality of Norristown. Bishop Royster serves as the Founder of the Society for Faith and Justice. The Society is an ecumenical religious order committed to a charism of social justice as spiritual discipline and spiritual practice.
Anne Bovaird Nevins
President of PIDC
Anne Bovaird Nevins serves as President of PIDC where she is responsible for the organization’s efforts to develop and implement collaborative strategies designed to drive economic growth to every corner of Philadelphia. In this role, Anne leads PIDC’s efforts to strengthen relationships with the public, private and philanthropic sectors to promote business growth, investment and development across the city and throughout its economy. She also directs internal activities around business development, capitalization, impact assessment, and the development and delivery of real estate and financing products that fill project financing gaps for neighborhood and large-scale commercial, industrial and mixed-use developments, deliver capital to growing businesses, and energize the development of the city’s workplaces of the future.
Prior to her appointment as President in January of 2020, Anne served as PIDC’s Chief Strategy and Communications Officer, a key member of the executive team where she oversaw capitalization, product development, strategic communications, and partnerships. Prior to this role, Nevins served as PIDC’s Senior Vice President for Marketing and Business Development for six years where she led a team that transformed PIDC’s brand identity, developed new lending products, and generated 360 loans to small, diverse, and growing businesses investing over $117 million dollars located in 94% of Philadelphia’s zip codes. Anne has served on the Mayor’s Refinery Advisory Group for the City of Philadelphia, co-managed Philadelphia’s Amazon HQ2 bid, and has created and led PIDC and ULI Philadelphia’s partnership advisory committee on the future of work and its impact on industrial and commercial land.
From 1999 to 2001, Anne served in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs, which is responsible for coordination between the President and all cabinet agencies. She then joined the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and managed the logistical and hospitality arrangements for all U.S. dignitaries attending the Olympics. Anne then managed corporate sponsorships for the Kimmel Center, the regional performing arts center in Philadelphia. She next served as Director of Development for Historic Philadelphia, Inc. and raised substantial funds to renovate Franklin Square, an 8-acre urban park in the center of Philadelphia’s historic district. Anne has a Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her family in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia and serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Bache-Martin, supporting the neighborhood public school.
Former chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University and chief economist to the AFL-CIO
William Spriggs is a professor in, and former Chair of, the Department of Economics at Howard University and serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO. In his role with the AFL-CIO he chairs the Economic Policy Working Group for the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and serves on the board of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is currently on the Advisory Board to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute, and on the editorial boards for Public Administration Review and the Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research (of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation). He previously served on the joint National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Public Administration Committee on the Fiscal Future for the United States.
He was the 2016 recipient of the National Academy of Social Insurance’s Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance and the 2014 NAACP Benjamin L. Hooks’ Keeper of the Flame Award.
CEO, Founder and Product Lead, Leap Fund
Cynthia R. Muse
Cynthia R. Muse MA, MS
Cynthia R. Muse, a retired educator, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Community Services and a member of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. Mrs. Muse is a reading specialist and served as a supervisor for curriculum and instruction, K-12, for the School District of Philadelphia, in University City. She has also served as a literacy coach, a literacy consultant, and presented workshops for the International Reading Association. In her spare time Cynthia loves visiting with her grandchildren, reading, walking, and working on the Social Action Committee of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Rev. Jarrett Kerbel
The Rev. Jarrett Kerbel (he/him) was educated at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He was ordained Priest in 1995 in Danville, Pennsylvania where he worked as a Hospital Chaplain and a Head Start teacher. Pastoral positions followed at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Flossmoor, Illinois, St. Paul and the Redeemer in Chicago, and then Rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. After following his wife, the Rev. Dr. Alison Boden, to her new position in Princeton, New Jersey, he was called to be the Executive Director of the Crisis Ministry of Mercer County. The largest food pantry and the gateway agency for Homelessness Prevention services in Mercer County, the Crisis Ministry also runs a Welfare to Work program and an innovative free farmers market. Jarrett became Rector of St. Martin’s in February 2011. He formerly served as the co-chair of Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER). Jarrett serves as Dean of the Wissahickon Deanery and is an Associate of the Order of the Holy Cross. He is an Adjunct Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary where he co-teaches a regular class on Faith Based Community Organizing, Theology and Practice. Jarrett has been published in Sojourners, the Huffington Post, Yours the Power, and the Journal of Public Theology. He is the father of two children, Timothy and Martha.
Monday, October 18
New York Times columnist and author Charles Blow sets the stage for our six-part conversation by revealing the deep connection between poverty and race in a conversation moderated by WHYY’s Cherri Gregg. ECS’ visionary Chief Inclusion & Advocacy Officer, Victoria Bennett will help frame the critical issues, and you’ll hear from ECS participants who know poverty from the inside. We’ll help you see the issues clearly so you can make positive changes in your life—and work for fairness and equity in your community.
Tuesday, October 19
Don’t miss this important conversation moderated by Keva White, entrepreneur and lecturer at Rutgers University’s School of Social Work. If you ever wonder whether racism can be successfully challenged, plan to attend this session with three enlightening participants: Sharmain Matlock-Turner, Dr. Ayla Stanford, and Dr. Mark Tyler. Urban Affairs Coalition President & CEO Sharmain Matlock-Turner leads a coalition of organizations and committed individuals who are disrupting and dismantling systems plagued by racial inequity in Philadelphia. Dr. Ayla Stanford, a pediatric surgeon and the founder of Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium (BDCC) is working to bring testing and vaccines to more than 75,000 residents of Philadelphia’s minority neighborhoods. Dr. Mark Tyler, Pastor, Mother Bethel AME Church, serves as the co-director of the POWER Live Free campaign, focusing on criminal justice reform/renewal. Find out how you can join their good work.
Wednesday, October 20
For people working hard to move out of poverty, the “Benefits Cliff” is a big problem. It’s when a slight increase in a worker’s income results in a sudden loss of public benefits, like childcare or supplemental food, which is worth far more than the income increase itself. You fall off the cliff. It’s a huge disincentive to accept a promotion, get to the next level. National experts David Altig, Executive Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and Karen Schoellkopf, Founder of Leap Fund, share research and solutions that everyone can understand and implement.
Thursday, October 21
The federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the 1965 wage ratio of CEO-to-typical workers was 21-to-1. In 2019 the ratio was 320-to-1. If that strikes you as just wrong, join us for an engaging hour with Bill Spriggs, Professor and former Chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University, and Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO. The conversation will be moderated by Ashley Putnam, Director of the Economic Growth & Mobility Project at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. You’ll find out the real issues and how you can help press for a decent wage for working families.
Thursday, October 21
Many congregations have tired of only setting up soup kitchens and food pantries. They are ready to ask, why? We’ve convened national and local faith leaders for this enlightening hour: Bishop Dwayne Royster, Executive Director of POWER; Martin Trimble, Co-Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation; Frances Upshaw, a member of Calvary St. Augustine; and The Rev. Jarrett Kerbel, rector of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Together we’ll discover the power of individuals and congregations to raise awareness on key issues, generate scale and momentum, and effect real change in our communities.
Friday, October 22
After a week of learning, questioning, and understanding, it’s time to take action. What will you do to bring fairness and equity to your community? In this rousing wrap-up session, you’ll hear from Philadelphia influencers who are ready to go: Art Haywood, PA State Senator; Della Clark, President of the Enterprise Center; Anne Nevins, President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC); and our own David Griffith, Executive Director of ECS. They’ll be detailing their commitments in the next 12 months to help reduce barriers to economic mobility and offering each of us a range of opportunities for courageous involvement.