Washburn to host community conversation on poverty

Sam Zlotky

The Topeka Community Conversation on Poverty will be take place Tuesday, June 16 in Washburn University’s Memorial Union.

The even will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be structured using the un-conference model, a democratic style allowing the participants to set the agenda throughout the day. Participants are expected to engage in conversation and share ideas about alleviating poverty in the Topeka community.

“The topics for conversation will be chosen by the attendees,” said Washburn VISTA coordinator and TCCOP organizer Judy Nickelson. “The whole day will be driven by the people who come. This year we will have three break-out conversations, and a fourth break-out conversation that will be more of a planning workout.”

Nickelson encourages all individuals who attend to involve themselves as much as possible throughout the day in the discussions of poverty issues.

“Come prepared to list and share your own views and come prepared to work with other folks in Topeka,” Nickelson said.

Mikki Burcher, a lead TCCOP organizer, also encourages people to be passionate and to speak up about the issue of poverty. Burcher emphasizes that every single person can come to this event, and that titles are to be left at the door.

“Too often we feel people in poverty are left out of the conversation. Anyone and everyone can come,” Burcher said. She encourages high school and college students to participate to represent the young leaders of the community.

With 150 participants last year, both Nickelson and Burcher expect a promising turnout to this year’s TCCOP.

Registration for this event is free for those in need of financial assistance and $20 for everyone else.

If any transportation assistance is required, attendees can contact Mikki Burcher at [email protected]