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Communities across Virginia are facing pressing issues and there is much to do to prepare for the 2022 legislative session and beyond. Join community partners, advocates, nonprofit leaders, grassroots organizers, and other leading voices on policy, advocacy, and self-care in support of this work.

TCI’s 2021 Policy Summit is free and each session will include simultaneous Spanish interpretation.

Sessions

Wednesday, Dec. 8
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Opening Keynote

Steve Phillips — author and founder of Democracy in Color, a media organization dedicated to race, politics and the multicultural progressive New American Majority — will open up our annual Policy Summit by speaking to the ways in which racist policy choices in the past have shaped our present and how present-day decisions —  that center impacted people and are championed by multi-racial coalitions — can help shape our future.

A panel discussion of community leaders will follow and will highlight how people-centered policy-making has impacted Virginia recently and help us to identify opportunities that lie ahead.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Protecting the Resources that Fund Thriving Communities and Building an Economy that Works for All of Us

Virginia has made important progress in recent years to increase funding for vital public services and foster a more inclusive economy. In the upcoming year, advocates must call on policymakers to protect these gains and avoid the mistakes of the past. Panelists will discuss protecting services from harmful cuts and why we need to fight for an economy that works for everyone.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Virginia Has Union History, And We’re Going to Make More

With the ban on local governments allowing collective bargaining recently lifted, working people across Virginia are making progress in amplifying their collective voice. Panelists will discuss highlights from Virginia union history, today’s work to make the most of new opportunities for local public employees, and setting the groundwork for dismantling the ban on collective bargaining for state employees and advancing rights for private-sector workers

Thursday, Dec. 9
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Self-Care in the Midst of COVID, Racial Injustice, and Election Fatigue

People are feeling the emotional weight of the COVID pandemic, heightened demand for racial justice, and Virginia’s recent election cycle. The calls to action surrounding these events require much time and energy. As a result, we often sacrifice the self-care that is so crucial when facing these challenges. A panel of therapists will provide insights on mental and emotional well-being in order to sustain ourselves and our advocacy.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Key Opportunities to Advance High-Quality Education for Every Virginia Student

In recent years, we’ve made progress in strengthening K-12 funding — in both adequacy and equity. Yet the pandemic has highlighted existing challenges and created new ones that impact students, parents, and the entire public school system. Our best response to these challenges is to focus on solutions and preserve public school funding. Policy experts and advocates will discuss ways to break down barriers and bring us closer to making sure that every student has access to a high-quality education.

Friday, Dec. 10
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Being Specific: Talking About How Past and Present Policy Choices Have Shaped the Lives of Individuals and Communities

Current-day policy has a race lineage. For those of us who have chosen to be a part of addressing the impacts of that history, it’s important to understand and practice talking about it both through a policy and personal lens. We’ll explore this by looking at some policies through a race lens, personalizing that through the personal/family experiences of advocates in the room, and talking about what it means for our policy work together.

Session will use small breakout groups and requires advance registration.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Investing in a Healthier Tomorrow: Reviewing Recent State and Federal Actions & Discussing Next Steps

Recent federal recovery packages (American Rescue Plan Act and Build Back Better) include several important changes to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and other health provisions. This session will review how these changes, along with recent state actions, will impact Virginia families. We will also discuss what we expect in state health policy for the upcoming legislative session.

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