Marquette University to co-sponsor SDC Summit on Poverty, Oct. 19-21

Oct. 18, 2021

SDC Summit on Poverty logoMILWAUKEE — Marquette University will co-sponsor and feature many presenters at the 2021 Summit on Poverty hosted by the Social Development Commission on Tuesday, Oct. 19, until Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Every year, the Summit on Poverty looks at poverty from different perspectives. Participants explore ways to knock down the four barriers that keep people in poverty: trauma, cognitive dissonance, isms, and policy and systems.

The theme of the 2021 Summit on Poverty will be “Realities, Reflections, & Recovery: Surviving & Thriving Through the Year 2020.” Last year demonstrated how the four barriers contribute to social injustice, health disparities, and economic inequality that many will continue to experience for years. Registration for attending in-person or virtually is available online.

Marquette President Michael R. Lovell is scheduled to take part in a welcoming plenary address on Tuesday, while Marquette presenters will be featured throughout several workshops, including:

  • Dr. Noelle Brigden, associate professor of political science and recipient of a President's Challenge 2021 – Racial Justice and Equity Response Grant, and research team members Dr. Heather R. Hlavka, associate professor of social and cultural sciences, and Dr. Jennifer M. Ohlendorf, assistant professor of nursing, will discuss “Restorative Justice in Movement: Trauma-Informed Athletic Practice Partnership,” which promotes embodied empowerment for women from communities disproportionately impacted by incarceration.
  • Faculty and staff from the Education Preparedness Program will present on their initiative to prepare and support currently and formerly incarcerated students by creating a prison-to-school pipeline. A research team led by Dr. Robert Smith, Harry G. John Professor of History and the director of the Center for Urban Research, Teaching, and Outreach (CURTO), received a $754,000 award for the program in 2020. He will be joined by Dr. Darren Wheelock, associate professor of social and cultural sciences; Dr. Theresa Tobin, associate professor of philosophy; Marisola Xhelili Ciaccio, the program’s associate director, and Sha-Ron Buie, community liaison for this program and CURTO.
  • CURTO also produced the first “State of the Ecosystem” report, which includes a developing map of networks of support available to Black and Latino/a students within the Greater Milwaukee area. The report was prepared by Dr. Gabriel Velez, assistant professor of educational policy and leadership, and Saúl Lopez and Verónica Mancheno, graduate students in the College of Education.
  • Dr. Aleksandra Snowden, associate professor of social and cultural studies, will present “Poverty Matters: Crime, Alcohol, and Concentrated Disadvantage.”
  • Dr. Emily Mazzulla, chief trauma and resilience psychologist in the Marquette President’s Office, will discuss the “Impact of COVID on the Workplace Community: A Shared Traumatic Reality.”
  • Dr. Kathy Coffey-Guenther, senior mission and Ignatian leadership specialist in University Advancement, will participate in a conversation on “Faith Communities and Racism: Moving from Charity to Beloved Community.”
  • Dr. Daniel Bergen, executive director for community engagement, will be a part of a panel on “Exploring an Engagement of Hope.”

A complete agenda for the SDC Summit on Poverty is available on the event website and includes a complete schedule and link to workshop and speaker information.

For over 50 years, the SDC has served as a planner, coordinator and provider of human service programs for low-income individuals and families in Milwaukee County. In 1963, the SDC was established as an intergovernmental Public Commission and, in 1964, the SDC became the Community Action Agency for Milwaukee County. The SDC serves the most vulnerable populations, giving them a voice, inspiring hope, and helping them to achieve stability by providing pathways from poverty to success.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or