Conference in Commack to Address Poverty

Several nonprofit organizations plan a daylong conference Friday to talk about poverty and its causes.

The “Don’t Blame Poor People: A Conference Addressing the Structural Causes of Poverty on Long Island and in New York State” will be held at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack, from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. It is sponsored by Abraham’s Table of Long Island.

More than 100 specialists who serve poor people, advocates for economic justice and poor people themselves will gather to address the structural causes of poverty on Long Island.

Each breakout session will have co-presenters, one a specialist in the field, the other an impacted poor person.

The specialists include top executives in agencies that serve low-income people or advocate for economic and social justice  including: Family and Children’s Association; Erase Racism; Long Island Housing Services; Housing Help; the Law Office of Frederick K. Brewington;  Association for Mental Health and Wellness; Child Care Council of Suffolk; Health and Welfare Council of Long Island; Long Island Jobs with Justice; Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County; Suffolk County Department of Social Services; SEPA Mujer; Huntington Township Housing Coalition; 32BJ union; 1199 SEIU union; Empire Justice Center; LI Progressive Coalition; Brookhaven Landfill and Remediation Group; National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

The conference,will conclude with an address by Rabbi Lina Zerbarini, Kehillath Shalom Synagogue, Cold Spring Harbor and a member of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission on why advocacy to address the structural causes of poverty must accompany charitable efforts to help poor people. A panel of advocates will respond to the rabbi’s remarks on what action steps are needed to address structural poverty on Long Island and in New York State.

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