Past Events

2016 Annual Conference “Toward Economic Equity” – May 12-13, 2016
Breakout Session PDFs

Ban the Box: A Look at Hiring Practices

Corporate Tax Breaks – Are They Worth It?

What the 1099 Economy Means for Workers – Presentation (Handout)

Ajo Works – Expanding Opportunity in an Isolated Community (Handout 1) (Handout 2) (Handout 3) (Handout 4) (Handout 5)

Financial Options for the Underserved, Underbanked, and Credit Challenged

IDAs: Building More than Savings

Supporting Employees While Moving Towards a Living Wage

The Impact of Poverty, Scarcity, and Stress

5 Steps to Being Financially Healthy (Handout 1) (Handout 2) (Handout 3) (Handout 4) (Handout 5) (Handout 6) (Handout 7)

Employment Law for Caseworkers

2015 Annual Conference – May 7-8
Breakout Session PDFs

Building Coalitions To Advocate for Change

Partnerships Against Hunger – Presentation PDF

Creative Community Development – Presentation PDF

Hanging on When Things Get Tough – Presentation PDF

Tackling Poverty Through Social Justice
July 30, 2014 – 5:30-8:30PM in Phoenix.

Throughout Arizona, communities are working diligently to solve poverty.  Yet it seems that we work against a rising tide.  If we are to stem the tide of rising poverty, we must expand our understanding of why poverty happens and we must engage new tools for bringing about social change.  Social justice is such a tool.  Centered on exploring the underlying causes of oppression, social justice brings a unique lens to the work of ending poverty.

ACAA invites you to join us in exploring how social justice can fundamentally change our approach to ending poverty.  This will be an active workshop where participants will learn the basic principles of social justice and come away with a new understanding of how to apply social justice to their work.


Celebrating-50-Years-Logo-RED for Website and NewsletterCelebrating 50 Years of Community Action: Arizona Community Action Association 2014 Annual Conference

ACAA’s Annual Conference is coming May 8-9, 2014
Embassy Suites Hotel
2577 West Greenway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85023

The 2014 ACAA Annual Conference, scheduled for May 8-9, 2014, will be a celebration of the work done over the past 50 years by Arizona Community Action Agencies to fulfill the promise of Community Action.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Greg Kaufmann is a Senior Fellow with the Half in Ten campaign at American Progress. Previously, he was the poverty correspondent for The Nation. Through his weekly column, “This Week in Poverty,” Greg sought to increase media coverage of poverty, share new research, elevate the voices of people living in poverty, and offer readers opportunities to get involved with organizations working to eradicate poverty. syndicated his column, and it won a 2012 Media Award from the National Association of Social Workers and the 2013 Cameron Duncan Media Award from RESULTS. Greg has spoken at numerous poverty-related conferences and has been a guest on MSNBC, PBS, NPR, and radio talk shows across the United States.
  • Elizabeth Kneebone a fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and co-author of Confronting Suburban Poverty in America (Brookings Institute Press, 2013). Her work primarily focuses on urban and suburban poverty, metropolitan demographics, and tax policies that support low-income workers and communities.
  • John Dorhauer serves as the Conference Minister for the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ and has received awards for his commitments to peace and justice. John’s doctoral work focused on white privilege and its effects. He is the author of Steeplejacking: How the Christian Right is Hijacking Mainstream Religion. He is an avowed pacifist, a committed anti-racist who believes that power and wealth are to be shared.

Confirmed Breakout Session topics include Housing, Avoiding Burnout While Working in Emotional Situations, Disability Justice, The Future of Weatherization, Theories and Tactics of Non-Violence, CSBG Organizational Standards and more!

Listed below are available presentations from conference presenters.

Keynote Presentation (Elizabeth Kneebone)
Disability Justice Powerpoint (Amina Donna Kruck)
Poverty Through the Lens of Social Justice (Luke Black)
Power to the People: Energy Assistance and Arizona’s Future (Panel lead by Kevin Hengehold)
Credit Score Resource List (Sulie Richardson)
Annual Credit Report Request Form (Sulie Richardson)
ACAA Understanding Credit (Sulie Richardson)

Community Leadership Awards

At each of ACAA’s Annual Conferences, we honor and celebrate those who have done great work in Community Action though out the year. The following  leadership awards were presented:

  • Lyndon B Johnson, Paladin of Community Action Award to Mr. Guy G. Mikkelsen
    Community Action is based on the principle that local control can best provide for sustainable community development. The Community Action Program dates back to 1964, when it was included in the Economic Opportunity Act under President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. In celebration of 50 years of Community Action, This one-time award will be given to one individual who has displayed long-term, exemplary work in Community Action. Recipients of this award are individuals who like President Lyndon B. Johnson, exhibit individual responsibility and the willingness to take action against injustices in their communities in both their professional life and personal life.
  • Margie Frost Champions Against Poverty Award to Mr. Steve Peru
    This is a highly prestigious award for an individual or organization that has become involved in the community or has demonstrated statewide efforts and has unselfishly made personal sacrifices to help others. This award will be given to an individual or organization whose life or mission reflects a dedication to fighting or eliminating poverty in his/her community or within the state of Arizona, and is truly an inspiration and role model in advocating against poverty.
  • Legislative Leadership Award to Representative Heater Carter
    This award will be given to a currently elected or former Legislator whose efforts reflect a statewide commitment to eliminating poverty and other associated issues, and who has made a significant and positive impact on the lives of those affected by poverty.
  • Media Leadership Award to Mr. Michael Chihak and Mr. Jack Gibson of Arizona Public Media
    This award will be given to any individual or organization that is associated with a newspaper, radio or television station that has increased public awareness. Through this awareness, there have been positive results for human service organizations and those they serve.
  • Beating the Odds Award to Mr. Paul Taylor
    This award recognizes an individual or family who, through their own hard work and the assistance of a CAP and/or other social service or community agency, beat the odds to overcome poverty and better their lives. This individual or family exemplifies the characteristics of economic self-sufficiency and has overcome the struggles of generational or situational poverty to remain self-sufficient and attain their own goals (i.e. going to school, moving into a home, getting out of debt, etc.).

Gathering-Justice-Logo-SmallGathering Justice

On Saturday, October 5th, Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA) hosted the Gathering Justice summit.  We brought together community experts from across Arizona.  Throughout the day we dove into many of the challenges Arizona faces and we spent time envisioning just and equitable solutions to these challenges.  In our visioning sessions, participants articulated an attainable vision of justice and laid out the steps we must take to realize justice in Arizona.  Gathering Justice concluded with an inspirational keynote from Dr. Matthew C. Whitaker, Director of the ASU Center for the study of Race and Democracy.  The day was inspiring and connected community members around justice. Here’s how we are looking forward to the future.

You can find the full report here: Gathering Justice Report