The 2019 RESULTS International Conference – Highlights
“We have never lived in a world where there isn’t poverty, but we know that this world is possible.” It was the third day of the RESULTS International Conference in Washington DC, and keynote speaker DeRay Mckesson was addressing a packed room of advocates from around the world.
DeRay, host of Pod Save the People, continued. “Equality is not the same as equity. Diversity is not the same as inclusion. Accountability is not the same as justice. Our values cannot just live in statements on a page. We want a justice that we can feel and touch.”
Throughout the conference, attendees tackled the challenge of putting ideas of equity into concrete action. Over the course of three days, they participated in sessions ranging from intensive workshops on leadership and powerful speaking, to interactive activities on the racial wealth gap and income inequality. They studied policy, practiced for lobby meetings, and connected with other advocates from more than 25 countries and around the United States.
Speakers encouraged the advocates to keep going in their work to end poverty. RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter said, “You’re making change happen with your fearlessness. You are not shying away from being bold, even when the prevailing wisdom says otherwise.”
On Advocacy Day, the fourth and final day of the conference, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) fired up advocates by reminding them that building relationships with Congress works. “You are the best citizens’ lobby group, period. What you are so good at is taking on issues that not a lot of other people are paying attention to. You do it better than anybody.”
Advocates held close to 250 meetings that day on Capitol Hill and at the World Bank. They asked for support for affordable housing, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, critical tax credits, and more.
They demonstrated the power of persistence. After submitting many meeting requests from constituents all over the state, the California delegation was delighted to finally meet with their senator for the first time in 22 years.
They showed stamina and determination. Kristen C. zigzagged all over the Hill on Advocacy Day, participating in no less than 9 meetings with congressional offices for both Alabama and Texas.
They spoke truth to power. LaShon Sincerea Marshall, one of RESULTS’ Experts on Poverty, shared her personal story about housing with staff at Rep. Price’s office. Rep. Price is the chair of the appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, making him the top decider in the House on funding for housing each year.
At the Advocacy Day reception, the final event of the conference, attendees heard closing remarks from members of Congress. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) gave a rousing speech about civic engagement, ending with: “Never underestimate yourself.”
Check out photos from the conference here. Follow #Voices4RESULTS on Twitter for more photos and stories from the conference. We’ll see you in person next summer where we’ll be celebrating our 40th anniversary!