Junior League of Lansing Postpones Poverty Conference

As we are sure most of you have heard, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services held a press conference on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. A state of emergency has been declared in Michigan along with a recommendation to cancel or postpone large gatherings, conferences and sporting events (e.g., greater than 100 people in a shared space).

As the Junior of Lansing Poverty Conference, originally scheduled for March 13, 2020, has more than 100 attendees and JLL aims to be respectful of the position many of our community partners are in as they are involved in and responding to this developing situation, we feel it is best to do our part and postpone the Poverty Conference to a future date.

We are working out the logistics with the venue and presenters and will post updates here as new information becomes available. Additionally, as we are able, we will be donating any food already purchased for the event to local organizations.

When the new date is known, tickets/registration will automatically carry over and a new registration window will open.

If you have questions, please send a message to planning@jllansing.org.

When pressed, many of us can come up with a technical definition of poverty. But the experience of living in poverty and the day-to-day choices and sacrifices that must be made is difficult to understand.

Join the Junior League of Lansing to learn about what poverty means to our community (per note above, new date will be updated as soon as it is available). Our day begins at 9 a.m. with an interactive poverty workshop, where each attendee will have the chance to experience the difficult decisions that someone in poverty faces.

Could you survive a month in poverty?

Millions of Americans, many of whom are children under the age of 18, live in poverty every day. Many more have incomes above the poverty line, but their incomes are still low enough to qualify for programs like Food Stamps and Medicaid.

It is difficult for those of us who have enough to truly understand the situations that families living in poverty experience every day – the decisions they have to make, and the fears and frustrations they feel. That is why we are inviting you to walk a mile in the shoes of those facing poverty by participating in the Community Action Poverty Simulation.

The Simulation provides participants with the opportunity to assume the role of a low-income family member living on a limited budget. The experience is divided into four, 15-minute sessions, each of which represents one week in which you must provide for your family and maintain your home. As one past participant commented, “This poverty simulation dramatically demonstrates how much time and energy many families have to give just to survive from day to day. It quickly dispels the myth “that people would do fine if they would only go out and get a job!”

Lunch will be provided from noon to 1 p.m. Following lunch, there will be breakout forums where community partners will answer moderator and attendee questions to start the discussion about what poverty looks like in our area. Panelists and moderators have been secured from the following organizations:

Capital Area Michigan Works!
Child & Family Charities
Cristo Rey Community Center
The Davies Project
Greater Lansing Food Bank
Habitat for Humanity
Haven House
Lansing School District
Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Michigan Public Health Institute
MSU Student Food Bank
Michigan Public Health Institute
Weekend Survival Kits
Women’s Center of Greater Lansing

To end the day, Terie Dreussi Smith, one of the authors of “Bridges Out of Poverty” and a national poverty advocate will help us bring everything together into a cohesive framework on the best practices to combat poverty. The event will conclude at 4 p.m.

Tickets are $30 each and parking is free at LCC for the event. Continental breakfast and lunch provided, along with a copy of the “Bridges Out of Poverty” book.