SPECIAL KEYNOTE ADDRESS
THE TIME IS NOW:
HOW TO ENGAGE WITH DEMOCRACY AND EMPOWER YOUR COMMUNITY
Join Lincoln Calling for Keynote speaker Ana Maria Archila and her co-executive director Jennifer Epps-Addison for a discussion about why it’s important to engage with democracy, how to empower your community to engage and connect, how communities can come together to navigate the pathways of government to effect positive change, and why engagement and voting is so critical.
ANA MARIA ARCHILA
Co-Executive Director, Center for Popular Democracy
Ana María emigrated to the U.S. from Colombia at the age of 17 and has become a leading voice for racial justice, economic justice and immigrant rights in New York and nationally, first as co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York (MRNY), and now as co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD).
During Ana María’s 13 years at MRNY and its predecessor organization, the Latin American Integration Center, Ana Maria helped build the organization into a powerful force for change in New York and nationally. The 16,000+ members of Make the Road New York, mostly working class Latino immigrants, have led some of the most transformative victories for low-income New Yorkers over the last decade: With their determination and strong advocacy, members of MRNY have helped put millions of dollars in the pockets of low-wage workers by winning increases to the minimum wage, paid sick days, and strong protections from wage-theft; and they have led the ambitious campaigns to win public policies that make New York City one of the leading Sanctuary Cities in the country. By organizing in neighborhoods across New York City and Long Island, MRNY members are bringing the experiences of immigrants to the forefront of the public debate and are shaping public policy on housing, education, health care, policing, civil rights and more.
In 2014, Ana María stepped into a new role as Co-Executive Director at the Center for Popular Democracy, and helped build it into one of the largest community organizing networks in the country, with 45 affiliate organizations in 32 states. CPD and its affiliates represent a powerful multi-racial alliance of immigrants, African Americans and white working class communities working to advance an agenda of racial and economic justice, and a vibrant democracy. CPD and its affiliates have played a major role in the national movement to raise the minimum wage and win family-sustaining jobs, resulting in raises for close to 11 million workers. Working with local progressive elected officials, the CPD network has helped elevate the role of cities as places for policy innovation that advances immigrant rights, workplace justice, and economic opportunity for communities of color.
Co-Executive Director, Center for Popular Democracy
Jennifer Epps-Addison serves as the President and Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy and CPD Action’s network of partner organizations throughout the country. As President, Jennifer leads CPD’s racial justice campaigns and works closely with its network of local affiliates. Jennifer boasts over 20 years of community organizing experience, advancing systems-change campaigns for economic and racial justice.
Prior to joining CPD, Epps-Addison was the Chief Program Officer for the Liberty Hill Foundation, a social justice foundation in Los Angeles that funds grassroots community organizing campaigns for social change. A native of Milwaukee, WI, Epps-Addison helped coordinate the Fight for $15 campaign as the Executive Director of Wisconsin Jobs Now. Epps-Addison is the recipient of the 2013 Edna Award from the Berger-Marks Foundation, which honors an outstanding young woman each year for her leadership in fueling social change. In the same year, she was named an ‘Activist to Watch’ by Bill Moyers.
She earned her BA in Political Science and Women’s Studies and her JD from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to her return to organizing, Jennifer was a trial attorney in the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office. Jennifer sits on the board of directors for the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, United For Respect, Be A Hero PAC and Step Up Louisiana. Epps-Addison, a leader who has deep experience building power in communities from the ground up, joins the Center for Popular Democracy at a time when local community voices matter more than ever in creating a nation-wide movement to fight for dignity and opportunity for all people.
She brings with her a commitment to supporting and growing black-led organizations, strengthening investments in power-building efforts in communities of color, and deepening organizing strategies that build power with the white working-class by addressing racism head-on and building authentic alliances based on shared interests and shared values.
WHILE I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION:
ARTISTS AS ACTIVISTS
Learn from powerful industry voices as they discuss using their art for good.
Madame Gandhi is an artist and activist whose mission is to celebrate gender liberation. She has toured drumming for M.I.A, Thievery Corporation and most recently Oprah on her 2020 Vision Stadium Tour with morning dance party Daybreaker. She has been listed as a Forbes 30 Under 30 member and is a 2020 TED Fellow. Her uplifting music and talks have been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, Billboard, NPR and more.
Mx. Dominique Morgan, born in Omaha, Nebraska, is a Black, queer, non-binary community activist, educator, organizer, musician, and the National Director of Black and Pink. After the end of an 8-year incarceration in 2009, Morgan emerged from prison with a renewed sense of passion for life and fighting oppression, and is now one of Omaha’s most celebrated R&B recording artists and community activists.
Mykki Blanco is an internationally renowned musician, performing artist and LGBTQ+ activist. The multi-faceted star continues to crossover from the rap underground having toured with the likes of Bjork, Major Lazer and Death Grips while working with such diverse musicians as Princess Nokia, Kathleen Hanna, and Woodkid.
Mesonjixx (pronounced mi-sahn-jix) is the nom de plume of songstress Mary Elizabeth Jo Dixon Pelenaise Kapiolani Lawson of Lincoln, Nebraska. Her music is grounded in the soulful traditions of R&B and jazz, but her style, much like her name, is an exciting fusion of its own. She writes songs to find deeper truths in her own life, and hopes to inspire others to do the same. All the while, faithfully finding love even in moments of struggle and chaos. Her performances are sure to liberate your spine and mind.
BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT
“My name is Katherine Paul and I am Black Belt Eagle Scout. I grew up on the Swinomish Indian Reservation in NW Washington state, learning to play piano, guitar and drums in my adolescent years. The very first form of music that I can remember experiencing was the sound of my dad singing native chants to coo me to sleep as a baby. I grew up around powwows and the songs my grandfather and grandmother sang with my family in their drum group. This is what shapes how I create music: with passion and from the heart.”
LINCOLN’S GRASSROOTS ORGANIZERS:
WHAT’S NEXT, WHAT’S ON THE LINE, AND HOW TO ENGAGE
Join Lincoln Calling’s Calling for Change Series for a discussion with local activists Nicholette Seigfried, Kieran Wilson, and Kinzie Mabon for a discussion about local grassroots organizing movements, engaging community members, and how you can connect on the local level.
Moderated by Erin Poor
Nicholette Seigfreid serves as the Human Resources Manager for Civic Nebraska. In this role, she works closely with all members of our administrative team and plays a key role in ensuring a positive and successful work environment for the organization’s growing staff.
An alumna of the University of Arkansas, where she earned degrees in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies, Nicholette is currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration degree from Harvard University.
She has lived in Lincoln for 17 years and considers it home. In addition to her work at Civic Nebraska, Nicholette is an administrator at the Lincoln Jewish Community School, President of the South Street Temple and a contractor with Inclusive Communities. Nicholette is drawn to nonprofit work by the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, which is working to heal the world through justice. This work, of course, is a collective task – we are all healers of the world. It’s not only about making huge changes but also focusing on the world that touches you, that’s around you.
Nebraska Civic Engagement Table
Kinzie is a Nebraska native who has always been passionate about civic engagement and activism.
She has been organizing for over 7 years in Nebraska and California on a multitude of issues in different communities. In their time as an organizer, they found great joy in engaging young people and training up and coming organizers through NCET’s Organizer School program each year.
At the Nebraska Table she works to help nonprofits across the state build organizing programs that will ensure that each Nebraskan’s voice is heard.
Kieran is a visual artist and activist whose passions are motivated by a need to contribute to the valuation and dignity of people, places, and things. Through a lens of humanism and a realist-idealist ideology, Kieran hopes to help bend the arc of the moral universe a little sharper.