Pathways to Economic Security


The Academy and its partners are excited to present a range of workshops for conference participants, offering deep dives on new research, strategy and advocacy training, and networking opportunities.

Contact Jay Patel, Research Assistant for Income Security, with questions about the workshop sessions.

DAY 1 | March 2, 2021 | 2:00 pm ET

Theme: What does economic insecurity mean? Where are the holes and gaps in our social safety net?

Economic Security for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children

This workshop provides an overview of the challenges and strengths of grandfamilies and highlight available supports and gaps in benefits and services. It will feature presentations from grandparent caregivers speaking directly about their own experiences and provide an opportunity to discuss solutions.

Hosted by: Generations United

Taking Stock of Retirement Challenges and Opportunities

Retirement is a core part of the American dream.  This session will lay out the major retirement challenges that Americans face in an increasingly ‘do-it-yourself’ environment.  The risks and trends presented by health, long term care and housing costs make retirement with inadequate risk-pooling extremely challenging.  Meanwhile, younger generations will need more resources to produce the same outcomes with inferior plan offerings and massive gaps in access to workplace plans.  For today’s retirees, retirement income continues growing more expensive.  The discussion will focus on ways to build adequate resources and efficient systems in a user-friendly way.  

Hosted by: National Institute on Retirement Security

Why Women are the Center of America’s Post-COVID Recovery and Growth

Attendees of this workshop focusing on pathways of mobility for women workers will gain an understanding of the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, especially low-income women of color, gain actionable insights of a #JustEconomy, where women drive economic growth and recovery, and identify solutions and actionable strategies for fostering a women-centered recovery.

Hosted by: SaverLife

Studying the role of the safety net through people’s self-assessments of their financial well-being

This session will discuss the value of examining the role of the safety net through people’s self-assessments of their financial well-being. Participants will learn how financial well-being is defined in the US and how it, as measured by the CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale, compares to specific objective measures such as income, savings, and credit scores. Further research will be presented on the relationship between financial well-being and common economic risks that people face, and the implications for the safety net.

Hosted by: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Multidimensional Aspects of Pushed to the Bottom: The experience of poverty in the United States

This workshop will share strategies on how to perform poverty research respectfully and ethically through the findings of the Multidimensional Aspects of Poverty (MAP) participatory research project. MAP was conducted in partnership with academics, practitioners, and activists – people with a direct experience of poverty, who we believe are the real experts- as co-researchers to determine the dimensions of poverty in the U.S. Participants will gain insights into what poverty is like in the U.S. for people who live it every day, what the social and cultural factors which cause and perpetuate poverty, how the dimensions of poverty interact, how to design meaningful dialogue/ decision making where power is equally distributed around the table, the importance of mindful language, and general tips for facilitators.

Hosted by: Fourth World Movement

Grounding Improvements to the UI System in the Lived Experiences of Jobless Workers

This workshop aids attendees in centering the lived experience of unemployed workers in the development and reporting of Unemployment Insurance.

Hosted by: Center for Popular Democracy

DAY 2 | March 3, 2021 | 2:20 pm ET

Theme: Policy priorities moving forward

Advancing a broad and inclusive child allowance

A strong child allowance is a pathway toward economic security with broad support from national, state, and local advocates as well as the public. This workshop will focus on strategies and messaging for turning recent short-term improvements to the Child Tax Credit into a robust, permanent child allowance. Participants will learn about the temporary CTC improvements included in Congress’s most recent COVID-relief bill, present strategies for educating the public and lawmakers and building public support, and have an opportunity to discuss competing visions for the design of long-term child allowance.


  • Emma Mehrabi, Children’s Defense Fund
  • Elisa Minoff, Center for the Study of Social Policy
  • Zach Tilly, Children’s Defense Fund

From the Civilian Conservation Corps to Today: The Role of Subsidized Employment in Achieving Economic Security

Join to learn about the role of subsidized employment as a key pathway to economic security from its New Deal roots to modern federal jobs programs. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss what strategies and arguments are most likely to persuade the public, press, think-tanks, academicians, and federal policymakers to support and enact subsidized employment legislation. Particular attention will be given to racial and gender equity, which the data show is a strong point in favor of subsidized employment.


  • Indi Dutta-Gupta, Georgetown Law; Center on Poverty and Inequality
  • June Hopkins, Armstrong State University
  • David Riemer, Social Security Works

Policy Priorities Moving Forward: Investing in Child Care As A Public Good

This workshop will share research and analysis that show the costs of prior failures to invest in child care as a public good, and the benefits of reinventing the child care system to move beyond COVID relief to an equitable recovery – and ultimately, economic stability for women of color and women more generally.


  • Moderator: Amy Matsui, National Women’s Law Center
  • Claire Ewing-Nelson, National Women’s Law Center
  • Tiffany Ferrette, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
  • Kyra Miller, National Women’s Law Center

Working towards ensuring the economic security of the agricultural sector

In this networking workshop, panelists will first share key research and policy insights into economic security issues across the agricultural sector and how these issues connect to broader rural development needs and opportunities. Then the panelists will facilitate a conversation with the audience to collectively identify and discuss: 1) policy reforms to prioritize, 2) particularities of farmers and farm workers that need to be considered when designing and refining policies and 3) potential collaborations among researchers, agricultural organizations, and non-agricultural organizations focusing on similar issues.

Hosted by: National Farm Medicine Center

Results from the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED)

The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) was the first mayor-led guaranteed income demonstration in the United States. For 24 months, 125 Stocktonians received $500 a month in unconditional, no-strings-attached cash. Join Sukhi Samra, director of SEED, and SEED researcher Erin Coltrera, as they present findings from the first year of data. Moderated by Madeline Neighly of the Economic Security Project, this workshop will also provide an overview of current guaranteed income pilots around the country.

Hosted by: Economic Security Project

A Collapsing Unemployment Insurance Program

This workshop unpacks how the current UI system is not fulfilling its primary purpose of paying adequate benefits and provides a forum for discussion on reform proposals.

Hosted by: Robert Pavosevich, Member of the Academy’s Task Force on Unemployment Insurance

DAY 3 | March 4, 2021 | 2:00 pm ET

Theme: Building coalitions to bring change

Modernizing Long Term Care

The workshop will provide an overview of recent long-term care legislative efforts and strategize about how advocates can coordinate to advance these proposals.


  • Bethany Lilly, The Arc of the United States
  • Judy Feder, Georgetown University
  • Namatie Mansaray, Caring Across Generations

Addressing Economic Insecurity through Fines and Fees Reform

This workshop shares national, state, and local strategy to eliminate the harms of fines and fees in the justice system. Participants will learn about the elements of successful campaigns in different political environments, and how local reforms can be used to advocate for systemic changes across the country using the Fines and Fees Justice Center’s campaign to end debt based driver’s license suspensions as a case study.


  • Joanna Weiss, Fines and Fees Justice Center
  • Wesley Dozier, Fines and Fees Justice Center

Building Economic Security for Low-Income Older Adults of Color

This workshop will involve a discussion of the needs of low-income older adults, particularly older adults of color, including concurrent beneficiaries receiving both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income.


  • Tracey Gronniger, Justice in Aging
  • Kate Lang, Justice in Aging
  • Trinh Phan, Justice in Aging

Framing and Coalition-Building Around Universal Family Care: Lessons from Three States

Building on the Academy’s UFC report and work with Caring Across Generations and other organizations, innovative legislative approaches to caregiving have been advanced in several states. Advocates from several states, including CA and MN, will discuss their efforts to build coalitions to support this work spanning from early childhood through LTSS. Participants will gain insights into effective strategies and options for advancing these efforts in their states.


  • Debra Fitzpatrick, Children’s Defense Fund
  • Kristina Bas Hamilton, KBH Advocacy
  • Benjamin Veghte, LTSS Trust, Washington State

Hosted by: National Academy of Social Insurance