A6: How Politics Is Shaping Our Future and How to Navigate It

Area of Focus: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

In an ever-changing political climate, what is the role and responsibility of the social sector? Does the sector’s definition and practice of “health” adequately respond to the political agendas that shape the lives of the communities we serve? Are we aligned and united as a sector to address the politics affecting us all? Can we advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice without consideration of the political climate?

Ibram X. Kendi said, “Americans have long been trained to see deficiencies of people rather than policy. It’s a pretty easy mistake to make. People are in our faces. Policies are distant. We are particularly poor at seeing the policies lurking behind the struggles of people.”

This workshop seeks to create a candid conversation with a panel of experts. Does the mission and work of today’s human services sector encompass policy changes that address or remove root causes of poverty, mental and behavioral health issues, child maltreatment, and financial instability? Does it include responding to crises beyond offering thoughts, prayers and press releases? This session will explore ways to remain in a state of readiness for emerging crises as well as how to navigate the intersection of social justice issues and politics within your organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Intersection of politics and the social sector
  • Learn and share examples of how organizations are in a state of readiness to respond to societal/political crises, or how they are attempting to
  • How the political agenda frames the works we do and the communities we serve
  • Define the role of the sector and create examples of how we can effect change


Kim Peterson
Vice President of Change Management
Aviva Family and Children’s Services

Marlo Nash
Managing Director
Children’s Home Society of America

Undraye Howard
Vice President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement
Social Current

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