HOUSTON – A standing-room only crowd of about 200 people gathered to hear from local and national experts from all faiths at the kNOw Poverty Summit on January 16, 2020, presented by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Professionals from nonprofit, government and the private sector joined together to discuss innovative strategies to help families move from poverty to economic sustainability.
Keynote speaker Dr. Donna M. Beegle, president and founder of Communication Across Barriers, shared her personal experience growing up in poverty and led an interactive session to help summit attendees break poverty-related stereotypes. Dr. Beegle was born into a migrant labor family and married at 15, the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated. By age 25, she earned her GED and within 10 years received her doctorate degree.
“We believe we can accomplish more to alleviate poverty when we work together,” said Cynthia N. Colbert, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “With more than one in five people in Houston living in poverty, this topic is of high importance to our region and to Greater Houston’s faith communities.”
Other panelists and speakers included:
- Anna M. Babin, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Houston
- Kim Burgo, Vice President, Disaster Operations, Catholic Charities USA
- Cynthia N. Colbert, President and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
- Jarad Davis, Director, Wrap Around Services, Houston Independent School District
- Dr. Christine D. Ford, Educational Specialist, UTHealth
- Curtis McMinn, Senior Manager, Mission and Strategy, United Way of Greater Houston
- Precious Parks, Director of Academy, Generation One
- Dr. Larry Payne, President, Civic Engagement and Critical Conversations, Houston Public Library; Producer/Host Dialogue Houston, HCC-TV
- Kathy Payton, President and CEO, Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation
- Dr. Diane Santa Maria, Dean, Ad Interim, Cizik School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
- Natalie Wood, Senior Vice Presidents of Programs, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Nonprofit partners for the event included ACAM (Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries), Children At Risk, Generation One, Houston Public Library, Jewish Family Service, Society of St. Vincent de Paul and United Way of Greater Houston.