Yes We Can: Learn How To Influence Leaders, Change Government

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Free public symposium at Rutgers on March 6 will explain how to effect change

(Newark, N.J., Feb. 24, 2009)  – Barack Obama has inspired Americans to go out and change the country; a March 6 symposium will explain ways to accomplish that change. The free public forum, hosted at Rutgers University in Newark and co-sponsored by the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NJ),  is open to anyone interested in becoming an active participant in government and helping to shape public policy.

“The 2009 Symposium on Influencing Government Policy” will examine ways to use political and social action to effectively impact government leaders and government policies.  The program will begin at 9 a.m. (registration begins at 8:15 a.m.), and conclude at 1: 30 p.m. with remarks from event organizer Paul Shane, a professor in the Social Work Department of Rutgers in Newark. The program will take place in the Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  Agenda and list of speakers follows.



9 a.m., Panel Discussion: Influencing State and Local Policy, featuring Assemblywoman Mila Jasey – NJ District 27;Walter Kalman – NASW-NJ; Ev Leibman – New Jersey Citizen Action; Jean Sinzdak – The Center for American Women and Politics

Breakout sessions (begin at approximately 11 a.m.)

Anti-poverty policy measures in NJ, Serena Rice (Legal Services of NJ/Anti-Poverty Network)


The Olmstead Decision and NJ response, Lowell Arye (Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities)


NJ Budgetary issues and the impact on DHS budget, Ray Castro (NJ Policy Perspective)


The NJ Elder Economic Security Index, Grace Egan (NJ Foundation for Aging)


Abbott v Burke and the School Funding Reform Act of 2008, Cynthia Rice (Assoc. for Children of NJ)


The program is co-sponsored by the Rutgers Social Work Department in Newark, the Social Work Student Organization at Rutgers in Newark, the National Association of Social Workers –New Jersey Chapter (NASW-NJ), and the New Jersey Baccalaureate Social Work Education Association.     



The Paul Robeson Campus Center is wheelchair-accessible, as is the Rutgers University-Newark campus. Rutgers can be reached by New Jersey Transit buses and trains, the PATH train and Amtrak from New York City, and by Newark Light Rail. Metered parking is available on University Avenue and at Rutgers’ public parking garage, at 200 University Ave.  Printable campus maps and driving directions are available online at:




Media Contact: Jeff Feldman

Contact: Paul Shane
E-mail: pgshane@andromeda.rutgers

Contact: Carla Capizzi