United Way Hosts Children Living in Poverty Summit

News Release
For Immediate Release
1/22/2015

What: Children Living in Poverty Summit
When: Thursday, January 29th, 8:30-11:30am (Registration starts at 8:00am)
Where: Embassy Suites in Rogers

Lowell, ARK. – Since 2013, United Way of Northwest Arkansas has been engaged in a strategic planning process to identify areas of need within our community and has selected an issue for which we believe that public, private, and government partners can collectively impact meaningful change with measurable results. The issue? Children living in poverty.

As a state, the number of children living in poverty and high-poverty areas in Arkansas worsened from 2005 to 2014. Today, nearly a quarter of children in Northwest Arkansas under the age of 18 live in poverty – that’s 26,000 children. The implications of one in four children growing up in poverty in our community are significant and require our collective attention.

United Way has committed to address the issue of children living in poverty with the goal that every child in Northwest Arkansas will be provided with a pathway out of poverty. As part of this commitment, we are partnering with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and Bank of America to host a Children Living in Poverty Summit on January 29th at the Embassy Suites in Rogers. The summit’s purpose is strictly educational – there will be no ask for donations. The goal is to educate the community of Northwest Arkansas on the issue of child poverty in our area and how they can play a part in changing the statistics in our community.

The summit’s keynote speaker is Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury, PH.D., President & Chief Executive Officer of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. A state-wide leader on the issue of poverty, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has a “bold, strategic, and sustained plan over the next five years…to help move the needle to prosperity in Arkansas”. Attendees will also hear from Brenda Zedlitz (Director of Children’s Services, EOA Children’s House), Laura Kellams (Northwest Arkansas Director, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families), and Mike Malone (President and CEO, Northwest Arkansas Council).

This is an issue that will need the entire community’s collective attention in order to make meaningful impact. For more information on the event, contact United Way NWA’s Marketing & Communications Manager Alexa McGriff at amcgriff@unitedwaynwa.org or 479.303.4410.

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