Two weeks ago, our friend and colleague Richard Thal (Executive Director of JPNDC and LISC Boston Local Advisory Board member) joined us at the LISC National Leadership a Conference in Houston, Texas. He was joined by his colleague Donayda Salomon, a LISC Boston AmeriCorps alum. Here are Richard's thoughts on the conference:
I was invited since I am the CDC representative to the Boston LISC local advisory board. LISC's national office chose 10 exemplary alumnae of their AmeriCorps program and we should be proud (though not surprised!) that they included Donayda in that select group. She and I joined approximately 250 people from around the country at the conference.
Two themes were most prominent during the two days we spent together. The first was transition, both with the prospect of a new President of the United States and with the recent arrival of a new CEO to LISC, replacing the person who had served 17 years in that position. Everyone who ventured an opinion agreed that our country will be facing a period of great uncertainty in the coming months and numerous participants expressed concern about policy and budget priorities that could harm many people in the communities we serve. (Parenthetically, you may be heartened by poll data that a well-known national pollster shared at Wednesday's closing session- when asked what should happen to undocumented immigrants, 70% of Americans favored setting in a motion a process to grant them legal status, while 25% favored deporting them to their home countries.)