February 12, 2018 – A March 12 symposium at Weber Retreat & Conference Center provides an extraordinary opportunity to hear what five national thought leaders in community development have learned is vital to creating and sustaining resilient communities. The event is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 12, 2018.
Speakers will talk about the role of vision, financial empowerment, racial equity and social justice, environmental justice, and collaboration in creating resiliency. Then attendees will break into small groups to participate in more in-depth discussions with the speakers. A panel conversation among the speakers, facilitated by Root, Inc. CEO Jim Haudan, will complete the dynamic day.
Creating and Sustaining the Vision
Nick Tilsen, a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and Executive Director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, has worked for 15 years with nonprofits and tribal nations on projects to create social change. By providing resources and support to leaders of positive social change in North American communities, he serves as a bridge between governmental and philanthropic partnerships.
Economic Empowerment as a Pathway to Resiliency
Janie Barrera, founding president and CEO of LiftFund, has received nationwide recognition for her work at this nonprofit micro- and small-business lender. Since its founding in 1994, LiftFund has disbursed more than 18,000 loans, totaling more than $222 million, with a 94 percent repayment rate. Because of her accomplishments, Janie was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Board on Financial Capability.
Resiliency Through a Racial Equity Lens
The Reverend Starsky D. Wilson is President and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation, a pastor, philanthropist, and activist pursuing God’s vision of community marked by justice, peace, and love. In 2014, Jay Nixon, Governor of Missouri, appointed him to lead the Ferguson Commission to study the underlying conditions and issues that brought about the tragic death of Michael Brown Jr. and to make public-policy recommendations to help the region progress through the issues involved in that tragedy.
Environmental Justice and the New Economy
As the U.S. and Canada Regional Coordinator with the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Ahmina Maxey works to support communities that oppose polluting industries and advocate for zero-waste alternatives. A 2011 Green for All Fellow and the 2014 recipient of the Sierra Club’s Bunyan Bryant Environmental Justice Award, she was included on Grist’s 2017 list of 50 emerging green leaders.
Partnering to Move Edgy Ideas to Mainstream Action
Michael Rozyne is the founder and “evangelist” of Red Tomato, a regional food hub based in Plainville, Massachusetts, that sources from 45 mid-ranged fruit and vegetable farms. In 1986, he co-founded Equal Exchange, a fair-trade coffee company and worker-owned cooperative. He began his work in the area of organic farming by working on conventional and organic farms in Maine and as buyer and marketing manager for Northeast Cooperatives, a natural-foods warehouse.
Registration for the March 12 Symposium – $45 per person, including lunch – is now available on the Weber Center website. Those who prefer registering by phone and those needing accommodations should call the Weber Center at 517-266-4000. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.
Weber Center is on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian.