MCC Spring Seminar: Washington, D.C.

Race and Public Policy: Exploring an Anabaptist Approach

April 14-16, 2002 (Sun. evening -- Tues. afternoon)

A seminar to evaluate six years of welfare "reform" prepare for advocacy on anti-poverty legislation in 2002 (TANF Reauthorization), and examine community responsibilities in overcoming domestic poverty.
Sunday, April 14, 2002

6:00 Registration
6:30 Gathering, welcome, introductions
7:00 Good News for the Poor:
     A Faith-Based Perspective
	Dr. Ronald Sider  President,
	Evangelicals for Social Action
8:00 Refreshments             

Monday, April 15, 2002

8:05a  Breakfast
8:40   Worship - MCC Washington Office staff
9:00   Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): 
       A Congressional Perspective on Reauthorization
       Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-MN), invited.
10:00     Break
10:30     Workshops  Session I          
    	Welfare Reform and Communities of Color
	  What have policy changes meant for communities 
          of color? What further changes need to be made?
	   Particular focus will be on Native Americans.
	   David M. Whettstone  MCC Staff
    	Charitable Choice: What's the Big Deal?!
	  An explanation of efforts to expand government 
	  funding for faith-based social service providers, 
	  and an exploration of An abaptist responses.
	  Elisabeth T Harder  MCC staff
    	One State's Experience with Welfare Reform
	  An examination of several perspectives on the "success" 
	  of welfare reform in Ohio.
	  Betty D. Sommer  Social Work Prof., Bluffton College
12:00n Lunch 

1:00	"TANF Reauthorization: An Overview"
	Ms. Danise Jones-Dorsey  National 
	  anti-poverty activist, invited
2:00	Break
2:15	Workshops  Session II
     	Food for Thought
	  How do we ensure that low-income people have
	  access to healthy, fresh food in their communities?
	  A look at community food security and the role of
	  federal food programs.
	  Rachelle Schlabach  MCC Staff
     	One Person's Experience with Welfare Reform
	  Featuring perspectives on upcoming legislation 
	  through the eyes of personal experience.
	  Guest  Welfare Made a Difference Campaign
     	U.S. Policy and World Poverty
	  An exploration of how U.S. trade policies
	  disadvantage poor countries and pit poor people in 
          the U.S. against poor communities around the world.
	Martin Shupack  MCC staff

3:30	Tour of Capitol Hill
5:00	Dinner  On your own
7:00	Preparation for visits to Congressional offices

Tuesday  April 16, 2002
8:05a	Breakfast
8:40	Worship  MCC Washington Office staff
9:00	"Perspectives on TANF"
	  Panel Discussion  Diverse presenters will share
	  views on the effects of and potential for government
	  assistance to persons in poverty.
10:15	Break
10:30	"Anabaptist Advocacy on Domestic Poverty"
	Group Discussion  An opportunity to "bring it all
	  together." What have we learned, what will we speak to 
          government, and what are we committed to do after 
          we leave Washington?
l2:00n	Lunch
1:00	Advocacy visits on Capitol Hill
2:30	Debriefing  Evaluation








Please indicate your preference of workshops below:

Session I  _____________________________                                                            

Session II _____________________________                                                            
Check all that apply:
__$60 Early Registration enclosed (before Mar. 15)
__$75 Regular Registration enclosed (after Mar. 15)
__$60 Lodging at William Penn House for April 14-15
__I will be making other lodging arrangements

Enclosed is my check for $_______________
(Make check out to MCC)

Please send this panel and registration fee to:
     MCC Washington Office
     110 Maryland Avenue NE, #502
     Washington, DC  20002

or e-mail to:


Registration fee includes two lunches, snacks and all seminar materials, but not lodging.

Registration on or before March 15, 2000 is $60. Late registration, after this date, is $75. Need- based scholarships are available.


We have reserved rooms at the William Penn House for those who need lodging. The Penn House is a Quaker hospitality center on Capitol Hill several blocks from the Methodist Building where seminar sessions will be held. Cost for two nights lodging -- April 14 and 15 -- is $60 (continental breakfasts included). Space is limited to the first 25 to sign-up.

The seminar is designed for youth (11th grade and older) and adults. No particular political or theological expertise is necessary. For those interested in Washington's many tourist activities, we recommend adding an extra day or two to your stay.


MCC Washington Office is a Mennonite and Brethren in Christ presence on Capitol Hill providing and encouraging prophetic witness to the way of Christ on matters of U.S. public policy.
. For further information, contact the MCC Washington Office:
  Mennonite Central Committee
  Washington Office
  110 Maryland Avenue NE, #502
  Washington, D.C.  20002
  Phone: (202)544-6564    FAX: (202)544-2820

RESOURCES for further study

Washington's New Poor Law, a book that tracks repeated failures to "reform" welfare from 1935 to 2001, including the current crisis over the reauthorization of TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). Authors Sheila D. Collins and Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg are cofounders of the National Jobs for All Coalition.
The book may be ordered from Apex Press ($29.95 softcover, 51.95 hardcover) at 1-800-316-2739,, or [For a limited time softcover edition may be ordered from NCC at 212-870-2299 or for $20.]

brief articles by the same authors:

TANF Information

There are many web resources for TANF information. Here is a sample of Pennsylvania resources. (TANF program details vary from state to state.)

Contact webmaster:
Last Updated: 03/24/02