2016 News

Policy conference takes on race and inequality

More than 100 people converged on Washington University in St. Louis for Influencing Social Policy’s 2016 national conference, “Race and Inequality: Policy & Advocacy for Structural Change.”

“If we are going to fund equity, we have to stop funding diversions and diversity,” the Rev. Starsky Wilson, co-chair of the Ferguson Commission and president and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation, said during his speech. “We have to fund democracy and demonstration.”

Other plenary-session speakers at the June 2-4 conference were Lisa Carr, senior adviser at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Rosemary Chapin, founding director of the Center for Research on Aging and Disability Options and professor at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, Larry E. Davis, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and founder and director of the Center on Race and Social Problems, and Katharine V. Byers, a social work educator and founding member of Influencing Social Policy (ISP). ​

The ISP meeting also offered a Policy Teaching Institute, which focused on teaching about the history of social welfare, current policies and programs, social policy analysis and policy advocacy.

The full conference kicked off in the Clark-Fox Forum in Hillman Hall. Mary McKernan McKay, director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University and the incoming dean of the Brown School, delivered welcoming remarks. Carr then spoke about “Shaping Policy: Eliminating Health Disparities.” She directs faith outreach and education with a focus on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, and works closely with the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

The Center for Social Development and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute co-sponsored the conference.

A photo album of the conference is available.​