NLIHCForum23 and #HousingJustice #Onward

  • Day 1

    March 20, 2023 | 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm


    2:00 pm - 2:40 pm


    Welcome & Intros 

    • Shalonda Rivers, member, NAACP Miami Dade Branch; board member and resident caucus chair, National Low Income Housing Coalition; resident, Opa Locka, FL

    NLIHC’s Tenant Engagement Work, Opportunities & Roadblocks Ahead

    • Diane Yentel, president and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition
    • Renee Willis, senior vice president for racial equity, diversity and inclusion, National Low Income Housing Coalition

    Meet Tenant & Community Leaders Cohort (virtual cohort members)

    • Loraine Brown, president emeritus, 334 East 92nd Street Tenant Association; board member National Low Income Housing Coalition; resident, New York, NY Invited

    Meet Our Facilitator

    • Rebeccah Bennett, founder and principal of Emerging Wisdom

    Meet Each Other

    • Meet the people at your table (8-10 mins)

    2:40 pm - 3:50 pm

    Session 1 | 

    Community Healing as a Pathway to Liberation

    In a society addicted to supremacy and stratified by racial, economic and social caste systems, inclusion is a figment of our collective imagination without real work towards community healing. “Repressive behavior, sadistic power relations, competitive greed to exploit, dominate and humiliate– and our accommodations to these insults – are by now conditioned into the nervous systems of each member of our ‘civilized’ societies.” Whatever our stations, the ubiquity of our wounding is breathtakingly inescapable and manifests as the high prevalence of personal dis-ease and societal distress. Changing our current state requires an intentional focus on individual and community healing. After all, it’s transformed people who transform systems. Learn about an emerging framework for community healing that is arising from racial equity movement work, pandemic response initiatives and deep-seeded cultural practice. Rebeccah will share insights that help groups process social harm and build transformative resilience.

    Rebeccah Bennett, founder and principal of Emerging Wisdom

    3:50 pm - 4:00 pm


    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    Session 2 | 

    Reclaiming Land, Space, and Power | A Fireside Chat with Shirley Sherrod

    More than 50 years ago, Shirley Sherrod co-founded New Communities Land Trust as a safe haven for Black farmers thrown off their land during the civil rights movement.Today, New Communities–which is credited as the county’s first Community Land Trust (CLT)–continues to help Black farmer in southwest Georgia and serves as a model for solving the nation’s affordable housing crises. Hear the heroic stories of triumph and power in the face of individual and systemic racism; learn how Black resistance took shape in southwest Georgia and how it shows up in cities like Boston and Chicago; and explore how you can reclaim land, space, and power in your community.

    NLIHC Tenant & Community Cohort Leaders Kafi Dixon and Willie “JR” Fleming will lead us in a conversation with the renowned Shirley Sherrod.


    • Shirley Sherrod, co-founder, New Communities; president, Southwest Georgia Project
    • Kafi Dixon, founder, Common Good Cooperative; resident, Boston, MA
    • Willie “JR” Fleming, executive director, Chicago Anti Eviction Campaign, NFP; resident, Chicago, IL


    Arc of Justice Trailer (1:47): Here

    5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    Session 3 | 

    Tenant Protections | Conversation w/Biden-Harris Administration

    On January 25, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration released a Blueprint for a Renter Bill of Rights, which articulates key principles of resident-centered housing provision.

    These principles include:

    • Safe, quality, accessible, and affordable housing
    • Clear and fair leases
    • Education, enforcement, and enhancement of renter rights
    • The right to organize
    • Eviction prevention, diversion, and relief

    In addition to releasing this blueprint document, the Administration released several new actions that agencies will take to strengthen tenant protections and avoid unnecessary evictions and launched a Resident-Centered Housing Challenge to encourage Congress, state, local and Tribal policymakers, and private housing actors to enhance or adopt policies and practices that promote fairness and transparency in the rental market.

    Hear directly from the Administration on what you can expect from the White House and the agencies charged with implementing the strategies outlined in the Blueprint for a Renter Bill of Rights.This is your opportunity to let the Administration know what else must be done.

    Speakers Announced Soon 

    Resource(s): Fact Sheet

    Cohort Letter to Admin: Here

    6:00 pm - 6:15 pm

    Close (Day 1 Reflection)

    Facilitated by Rebeccah

    6:15 pm - 6:30 pm


    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm (Dinner/Performance)



    6:30 pm-

    8:00 pm

    Welcome to Tenant & STP Joint Dinner

    • Shalonda Rivers, member, NAACP Miami Dade Branch; board member and resident caucus chair, National Low Income Housing Coalition; resident, Opa Locka, FL
    • Cathy Alderman, chief communications and public policy officer, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless; board member and state and tribal partners caucus chair, National Low Income Housing Coalition

    Introduce Guest Performer

    • Bambie Hayes-Brown, president and CEO, Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc.; Board Member, National Low Income Housing Coalition; and resident, Atlanta, GA

    Music: The Heartbeat of Movements
    Performance & Story: Rutha Mae Harris

    Music has long been a source of solidarity in social movements and protests. Music can raise awareness of movements that aim to work towards social change, can drive political protests aimed to create solidarity between those who experience injustices, and bring attention to the harm done by those injustices. We will explore how music has served as a historical means to communicate progressive messages or demand social change; the role of music in uniting people as they move from free spaces to more contested ones; how one music icon has used her talents and gifts to move a nation.

  • Day 2

    7:30 am - 8:30 am 


    8:30 am - 9:00 am

    Welcome Back

    Facilitated by Rebeccah Bennett, founder and principal of Emerging Wisdom

    9:00 am - 9:45 am

    Session 4 |

    Tenant Power in Action

    In this session we spotlight tenant leaders who are using the power of media, organizing, and advocacy to effect change. Learn how tenant leaders from Washington, New York, Virginia, and Florida are preparing and empowering tenants to enter contested spaces; advocating for more effective housing programs and policies; and holding policymakers accountable to the communities they serve.


    • Danny Barber, president of the Citywide Council of Presidents, and resident, New York, NY
    • Geraldine Collins, executive director, National Alliance of HUD Tenants; board member, National Low Income Housing Coalition; and resident, New York, NY
    • Joy Johnson, founder and chair, Charlottesville, Public Housing Association of Residents; former board member, National Low Income Housing Coalition; resident, Charlottesville, VA
    • Rachel Johnson, member, Faces of HUD Housing Unity Project; executive director and co-founder, H.O.M.E.R Organizer, Florida Rising; resident, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • Mindy Woods (Moderator), member leader, Resident Action Project; board member, National Low Income Housing Coalition; resident, Seattle, WA

    9:45 am - 10:00 am


    10:00 am - 10:40 am

    Session 5 |

    Policy: It Ain’t Always Pretty…or Easy

    Learn the fundamentals of effectively influencing public policy and understanding your place in it. Join a seasoned advocate and a current hill staffer as they discuss the nuts-and-bolts of how to size-up the target audience up; how to influence politicians; how to access the strengths of your group’s messages and strategies; how to use the media to amplify your voice; and so much more.

    • Kiara Davis, Office of Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) 
    • TBD

    10:40 am - 11:40 am

    Session 6 | 

    Healing Session

    Facilitated: Rebeccah Bennett, founder and principal of Emerging Wisdom

    11:40 am - 11:50 am

    Interactive Session: “We Are the Ones”

    11:50 am - 12:00 pm

    Close (Reflection Day 2)

    Facilitated: Rebeccah Bennett, founder and principal of Emerging Wisdom

    12:00 pm - 12:45 pm

    Lunch w/ State & Tribal Partners