TANF Reauthorization and Reforming Welfare
Join us for our sixth webinar on pathways to greater economic security for women and their families. In presenting this webinar series, we aim to stimulate research ideas, identify areas for partnerships among researchers and members of the policy and advocacy community, and set an agenda towards greater social investments for low-income women and their families.
Sarita Gupta, Jobs with Justice
Diana Spatz, LIFETIME (Low-Income Families’ Empowerment through Education)
Shyama Venkateswar, National Council for Research on Women (moderator)
Sarita Gupta will examine how low-income communities navigate the terrain of government benefit programs and the kind of deep investments these communities need in order to achieve economic security. Diana Spatz will discuss how Congress can expand postsecondary education and training opportunities and create pathways out of poverty for low-income families under TANF reauthorization.
Sarita Gupta is the Executive Director of Jobs with Justice (JwJ). JwJ is building a strong, progressive labor movement that works in coalition with community, faith, and student organizations to build a broader global movement for economic and social justice. In over 45 communities in 25 states, JwJ local coalitions are organizing to address issues impacting working families. Sarita served as the national field director from 2004-2007, overseeing the national field program and leading on strategic programs such as health care justice, organizing and collective bargaining rights campaigns, and immigrant workers’ rights. Prior to joining the national JwJ staff in 2002 as a regional field organizer, Sarita served as the Executive Director of Chicago Jobs with Justice (JwJ) for four years, where she helped build the coalition to over 70 member organizations and unions. Sarita began organizing as a student on campus at Mount Holyoke College. She was elected President of the U.S. Student Association (USSA), the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots legislative student organization, in 1996. While working at USSA, she was instrumental in the development of the Student Labor Action Project, a project of JwJ and USSA. She serves on the following boards and Steering Committees: International Labor Rights Forum, National Organizers Forum, the National Planning Committee of the U.S. Social Forum, the Inter-Alliance Dialogue, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Other Worlds is Possible Giving Circle, and The Discount Foundation Board of Trustees.
Diana Spatz is the founding director of Low-Income Families’ Empowerment through Education (LIFETIME), a statewide organization of low-income parents pursuing postsecondary education and training as their pathway out of poverty. As a single mother on welfare, Diana founded LIFETIME in 1996 after graduating with honors from the University of California Berkeley with a BA in Political Economies of Industrialized Societies and being awarded the Echoing Green Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs. An award-winning author and advocate for low-income families, Diana’s awards include the I.F. Stone Award for Journalism by The Nation for “Welfare Reform Skips School,” her article on the role of higher education in welfare reform, and the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World award, and a commendation by the California State Senate. Diana has served on several state and national boards, including the Joint Legislative Committee to End Poverty in California (EPIC) and the TANF Stakeholders Advisory Committee to the California Department of Social Services. She lives in Oakland, California with her daughter, Eden, a student at Laney College in Oakland.