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ABNY Talks: Unemployment, Underemployment and Gainful Employment

February 29 @ 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Free Want a discount? Become a member!

ABNY Network

Join us on Thursday, February 29 at 8:30 a.m., for ABNY Talks: Unemployment, Underemployment and Gainful Employment, a conversation on how to ensure economic mobility and opportunity forward for Black New Yorkers. Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of FPWA, will moderate this panel discussion with three policy experts who will share their perspectives on how to understand high levels of underemployment and unemployment in New York’s Black communities and the opportunities within non-traditional workforces, thriving businesses and worker cooperatives ahead.

Doors Open: 8:30 a.m., Program Begins: 9:00 a.m.

A state-issued ID is required upon entry.

Speaker and Moderator Bios

Jennifer Jones Austin
A fourth-generation leader of faith and social justice, Jennifer Jones Austin fights for equity. As CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy organization with 170 member agencies and faith partners, she has led and secured monumental changes in social policy to strengthen and empower the disenfranchised and marginalized. Jennifer brings to her work a profound understanding of the link between race, poverty, law and social policy in America, and the role religion plays. READ MORE

Valerie White
As Senior Executive Director of LISC NY, Valerie is responsible for leading the expansion strategy to promote LISC’s statewide efforts to create an economic and community development ecosystem that addresses deep rooted systemic inequities. Through the usage of capital investment, policy and legislative advocacy, and programmatic initiative design and delivery, she elevates LISC’s role as a key voice among legislative, government, private sector, philanthropic, and nonprofit/community partner stakeholders across New York. Valerie also oversees the LISC NYC and LISC WNY local offices. READ MORE

Lauren Melodia
Lauren brings over 15 years of experience in policy advocacy, economic research, organizing, and coalition-building to her role at the Center. Prior to joining the Center, she worked at the Roosevelt Institute, providing research and data analysis on the Covid-19 economic recovery, inflation, and fiscal and monetary policy at the national level. Lauren is a fellow at the Groundwork Collaborative and has presented her work to the US Joint Economic Committee, the House Financial Services Committee, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Her writings on the state of the economy have been published in the Washington Post, The Nation, and Ms. Magazine. She has also organized criminal justice campaigns in New York State, including a successful end to New York’s exploitative prison telephone contract, and has designed and promoted regional economic development infrastructure projects to create and maintain jobs in rural areas. Lauren holds a BS in foreign service from Georgetown University and an MA in economics from CUNY John Jay College. She grew up in Seattle, WA, where her first job was helping her mother run a family childcare center in their home.

Marjorie Parker
Marjorie serves as the President and CEO of JobsFirstNYC. Marjorie has more than 25 years of experience overseeing adult and youth services initiatives and consulting for nonprofit organizations. Marjorie served as Deputy Executive Director before assuming leadership of JobsFirstNYC in 2017. Prior to joining JobsFirstNYC, she was the Deputy Executive Director of programs at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. Marjorie has also held positions at the CUNY Research Foundation and New York City Department of Youth and Community Development. She serves as the current Board Chair of Reconnect NYC. Marjorie holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, a master’s in public administration from New York University, a Certificate in Executive Education from the Senior Leaders Program at Columbia Business School, and a Certificate in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School. Marjorie was named one of Robin Hood’s 2022 Power Fund Leaders and has recently been honored as a Crain’s New York Business 2023 Notable Black Leader.


February 29
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Free Want a discount? Become a member!
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45 Hubert Street
New York, 10013
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