Conference Will Explore Ideas To Create Vision of Justice

Gathering Justice, a full-day conference to explore issues, connect with partners and develop tools to create a “vision of justice in Arizona,” will bring together community members and families, experts and representatives from nonprofit social service agencies, local businesses, elected officials, and communities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Phoenix Marriott Mesa Hotel, 200 N Centennial Way in Mesa.

Registration is now open.  Cost is $30. Scholarship sponsors are being sought for individuals from low-income communities interested in attending.  To register or to become a sponsor, contact Luke Black at the Arizona Community Action Association at or call (602) 604-0640.

“Our liberation from poverty, exploitation, violence and fear is a journey built on justice,” said Black, the conference organizer and a member of the Arizona Community Action Association team.  “Our ultimate goal is to unite the voices of families and individuals who want to make change happen.  We want to provide opportunities to connect and name a vision of the values we want in Arizona.”

The conference will be divided into three sections:  Two sets of breakout sessions will focus on Naming Challenges to Justice and Building Sustainable Foundations for Justice Work and the third section, Crafting a Vision, will invite participants to work together to name the values to shape Arizona and make it a reality.

Dr. Matthew C. Whitaker, ASU Foundation Professor of History and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Arizona State University, will be the keynote speaker.  He will discuss his views of the systematic challenges Arizona faces and his vision of how we build a justice Arizona together.

Other conference topics include the environment, immigration, poverty, white privilege, prostitution and sex trafficking, non-violence, and community mobilization.  Speakers to date include:

·      West Cosgrove, Kino Border Initiative

·      John Dorhauer, United Church of Christ Southwest Conference

·      Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, MSW, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Social Work at Arizona State University and Jessica Smith, Project Rose (Reaching Out to the Sexually Exploited)

·      Bjorn Peterson, ArcWorks Consulting

·      Phoenix Non-Violence TruthForce

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