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Ending Poverty in California: A Movement, A Plan, A More Equitable Future

April 18 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Banner for End Poverty in California

What would a California without poverty look like? How would ending economic hardship advance freedom and well-being for all? This is a prospect that has captured the imaginations of activists, reformers, and everyday people for decades, ever since Upton Sinclair made it the centerpiece of his near successful gubernatorial campaign in 1934. Today, it animates the work of a new generation of community-based leaders who have come together in End Poverty in California (EPIC), an organization devoted to elevating the voices of people experiencing economic hardship, creating and implementing policies rooted in their needs, and advancing a state agenda focused on equal opportunity for all. Since 2022, EPIC has been building grassroots support through its statewide listening tour and coalition-building activities, captured in the acclaimed documentary film Poverty and Power. Featuring excerpts from the film and a conversation with EPIC President Devon Gray, Chief Advisor for Storytelling and Narrative Greg Kaufmann, and Director of Organizing and Community Engagement Jasmine Dellafosse, this discussion, moderated by Professor Alice O’Connor, will focus on a movement that aims to change the narrative about poverty—and California’s economic future.

                                       Event held on Thursday, April 18th at 4pm in HSSB 6020 (McCune Conference Room)

Devon Gray is President of End Poverty in California. He aligns EPIC’s organization’s priorities across issue areas to make a lasting impact for Californians. Prior to joining EPIC, he was a director with Evergreen Strategy Group, where he advised gun violence prevention organizations on policy and strategy. Gray previously served in the Newsom Administration as Special Advisor to the Governor’s Chief of Staff and is an alumnus of national and statewide political campaigns.

Greg Kaufmann is EPIC Chief Advisor for Storytelling and Narrative. He leads EPIC’s storytelling and narrative strategy, creating platforms for people in poverty to share their experiences, ideas, and insights so that we change the story about poverty in California. Prior to joining EPIC, Kaufmann was poverty correspondent at The Nation where his column was syndicated by Bill Moyers and Melissa Harris-Perry called him “one of the most consistent voices on poverty in America.”

Jasmine Dellafosse is Director of Organizing and Community Engagement at EPIC. She leads EPIC’s organizing and community engagement work to help build a movement that creates equal opportunity and ends poverty in California, affirming the dignity of all people. Dellafosse has confronted systemic racism for almost a decade—first as a youth organizer in her hometown of Stockton, CA, where she helped urban development projects such as bringing food desert areas access to fresh produce.

Alice O’Connor is Professor of History and Director of the Blum Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy at UCSB.

Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Imagining California series, the Blum Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy, and the Department of History


HSSB 6020 (McCune Room)
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106 United States
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