Eighth annual UGA African American Families Conference to focus on the politics of race and persiste

Athens, Ga. – The 2006 annual African American Families Conference at the University of Georgia is titled “The Politics of Race and Persistent Poverty: Impact on Families and Communities” and will be held on Friday, March 31 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The conference is cosponsored by the UGA School of Social Work, the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

“The eighth annual African American Families Conference will bring together a wide spectrum of grassroots organizers, students, scholars and practitioners to focus on tactics and strategies to address issues of persistent poverty in our communities,” said Maurice Daniels, dean of the School of Social Work. “In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said,  ‘the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity’ and more than forty years later, persistent poverty continues to plague individuals, families and communities in the richest and most powerful nation in the world.”

The keynote speaker at this year’s conference will be James A. Hefner, president emeritus of Tennessee State University. Hefner is an expert in urban and labor economics, minority economic development and the economics of education.

The luncheon speaker, Iris B. Carlton-LaNey, is a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on aging in rural communities and African American social welfare history.

Clarke County Superior Court Judge Steve C. Jones, who also chairs the group Partners for a Prosperous Athens, will present a workshop session titled “Lifting the Poor out of Poverty: Is Anything Working?”

Other presenters are scholars, social work practitioners and civic leaders including Linda Lloyd, Economic Justice Project; Sandra Robertson, Georgia Citizens Coalition on Hunger; Charlene Turner, Grady Health Systems; Diane Rowley, Morehouse College; Terri Earl Kulkosky, Fort Valley State University; J.R. Henderson, Georgia Department of Labor; and Jerome Morris, UGA College of Education.

All interested faculty, staff, students and community members are encouraged to attend. To register for the conference, call 706/542-2134 or 800/884-1381. The registration fee for students is $20 and for others is $60. The conference schedule can be viewed from a link on the School of Social Work website at www.ssw.uga.edu

The UGA School of Social Work has approved up to five core hours for social workers in Georgia who attend the conference in compliance with the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists.