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Sonoma County Leaders find solutions to poverty and social inequity


Sonoma County Leaders find solutions to poverty and social inequity

At a recent event convened by Los Cien/Sonoma County Latino Leaders, Stanford professor Dr. David Grusky repeated “There is no magic bullet” to solve poverty.

Perhaps not, but we have a strong arsenal available to improve conditions that both cause and result from poverty here in Sonoma County. Chief among them, according to experts, are the so-called Upstream Investments, including broad access to early childhood health and education. Many programs exist to address these needs, but not everyone who would benefit from them has the information they need to take full advantage.

More important, all programs could use more funding and other resources to function at their fullest.

Connecting funds with those who need them will be a main focus of A Call to Advance Social Equity: A Workshop of Inspiration and Impact to be offered on February 6th by the Leadership Institute at the Petaluma Sheraton from 7:30 AM until noon.

According to Institute board member and workshop organizer Peter Rumble, this will not be your usual workshop, and will not end with people leaving shaking their heads and wondering what to do next or feeling discouraged. “This event will connect every attendee with new ideas and, more critically, connect with others who are committed to making a positive change in our community. It isn’t enough to talk about these things, we need to take collective action,” Rumble said.

Speakers at the workshop will include Keynote Dr. Anthony Iton, Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment, and panelists Lucy Hernandez, Socorro Shiels, and Alfredo Perez. They will address topics such as micro-lending and asset building,  community schools, nurse-family partnerships, and universal pre-school.

Workshop details:

  • Hear keynote speaker Dr. Anthony Iton, PhD. address inequityand its consequences on communities in Sonoma County
  • Hear local experts explore existing opportunities that are proven to increase equity
  • Leverage the Leadership Institute's Fellows, and workshop participants, to implement successful strategies
  • Start a movement for greater equity that will continue and grow!

Panelists and breakout groups will address how to improve funding for, and expand:

  • Micro-lending and asset building to provide essential capital for low income households and local small businesses
  • Community Schools for greater access to an excellent education for the whole family
  • Nurse Family Partnership and universal preschool for the earliest possible support of families and children in need

Future workshops in 2015 will address other successful approaches to reducing poverty.

Visit for more information