Our Stories

LISC Talks

At our 2016 National Leadership Conference, a roster of knowledgeable, thought-provoking speakers framed our convening, posing questions and ideas to inspire ongoing discourse and problem-solving. The 10-minute presentations were each followed by a question and answer period. Watch the "LISC Talks" below.


Family Income & Wealth Building
A job alone is not enough to lift people out of poverty, especially when household expenses and high debt outstrip income. Below, Juan Salgado, from Instituto del Progreso Latino, explores the proven tools that help people get to financial stability, build assets and weather set-backs.

Read Salgado's Community Wise blog post on financial stability.

Juan Salgado
Juan Salgado is an influential voice for the educational, political, and economic advancement of the Latino community. Juan has been president and CEO of the Chicago-based Instituto del Progreso Latino (Instituto) since 2001, leading national best-practice educational and workforce models. In 2011 the White House recognized Juan as one of 13 Champions of Change for social innovation in their communities. Most recently, Juan was selected to join the prestigious MacArthur Fellows class of 2015 recognizing his strong community leadership and his innovative approach to education in the Latino immigrant community.



Education is often touted as an economic equalizer. Sherece West-Scantlebury, from Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, discusses why this doesn’t hold true for all students and how the “two-generation” approach to education can offer a way out of chronic poverty.

Read West-Scantlebury's Community Wise blog post on grassroots solutions to rural poverty.

Sherece West-Scantlebury
Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury is president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, a private, independent foundation whose mission is to improve the lives of all Arkansans in three interrelated areas: economic development; education; and economic, racial, and social justice. Involved in philanthropy for more than 20 years, Dr. West-Scantlebury previously served as CEO at the Foundation for Louisiana and as a program associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Her professional career includes nearly 30 years of experience in community development, public policy and advocacy, and public service.



Economic Development
Low-income neighborhoods have become increasingly isolated from the larger economy. Joe Bowling, from Englewood Community Development Corporation, examines how disinvested communities can reclaim a meaningful role in the regional marketplace.

Read Bowling's Community Wise blog post on economic development.

Joe Bowling
Joe Bowling currently serves as the Director of the East Washington Street Partnership and as Co-Director for Englewood Community Development Corporation. The Partnership is a collaborative effort to foster sustainable economic development and revitalization along one of three LISC Indianapolis Industrial Reuse FOCUS corridors. As part of the IndyEast Promise Zone effort, Bowling serves as the Co-Chair of the Work IndyEast Committee, maintaining a focus on job creation activities. Englewood CDC is also the lead organization for the comprehensive redevelopment of Englewood Village, an initiative of LISC Indianapolis through Great Places 2020.



Affordable Housing
Sharon Lee, from Low Income Housing Institute, considers how lack of quality, affordable housing exacerbates poverty and erodes household stability and neighborhoods. She also discusses practical solutions, grounded in resident activism, for our nation’s housing crisis.

Read Lee's Community Wise blog post on affordable housing.

Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee is executive director of the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), a non-profit organization based in Seattle. LIHI develops and operates housing for low-income and homeless people. It also provides supportive service programs that help tenants maintain stable housing and increasing self-sufficiency. She holds a Master of Architecture degree and a Master of City Planning from M.I.T. and a B.A. with honors from the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Wilkes University for her work on ending homelessness.




Every year, the US spends $4 trillion on healthcare, but chronic illness in low income neighborhoods is on the rise. Ana Novais, from the Rhode Island Department of Health, explores linkages between poverty and poor health, and describes some unprecedented solutions for improving health in impoverished places.

Read Novais' Community Wise blog post on achieving health equity.

Ana Novais
Ana P. Novais has spent 30 years working in public health, both in the U.S. and abroad. She is executive director of health for the Rhode Island Department of Health. Since March 2006, she has served as the executive director of health for the Division of Community, Family Health and Equity and led the department’s efforts to achieve health equity. She helped develop and implement the Rhode Island Health Equity Framework--a plan of action to achieve health equity at the state and at local level through the state’s Health Equity Zones initiative. Her role was expanded to executive director of health for the full department last year, overseeing strategic priorities.




Crime and Safety
Ben McBride, from Empower Initative, examines strategies for building trust and connection between law enforcement and low-income communities of color as an imperative part of upending crime and justice system biases.

Read McBride's Community Wise blog post on police-community partnerships.

Ben McBride
Ben McBride is a long-time activist for peace and justice in the Bay Area. He currently serves as deputy director for PICO California, a state’s largest faith-based community organizing network. In 2014, he founded Empower Initiative, which provides community-based, technical assistance around public safety issues, and he formerly served as executive director of Cityteam Oakland, a non-profit focused on the needs of vulnerable populations. Ben has been instrumental in Oakland’s Operation Ceasefire, co-authored “Principled Policing Training with the Department of Justice-California.” and was recently appointed by Attorney General Kamala Harris to the Racial & Identity Profiling Advisory Board for California.