The 16th Annual Multicultural Breakfast will offer a vibrant and inclusive environment for guests. This year’s theme, “Reframing DEI: Breaking Barriers to Improve Economic Mobility,” promises to ignite insightful discussions and foster greater awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Join us for a morning of enlightenment and collaboration, as we explore the innovative ways four local non-profit agencies are breaking down barriers and enhancing economic mobility for all. The 16th Annual Multicultural Breakfast is an opportunity to come together, learn, and take meaningful steps toward a more inclusive future.
Don’t miss this chance to be part of an inspiring discussion that has the potential to reshape our understanding of diversity and its impact on our communities. We look forward to seeing you on November 1st at 7:30 a.m. at The Guest House at Graceland.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Elena Delavega
Dr. Elena Delavega, PhD, MSW, will be the keynote speaker for the 16th Annual Multicultural Breakfast. Elena Delavega, PhD, MSW is Professor of Social Work at the University of Memphis, where she teaches and researches poverty and social welfare policy. Dr. Delavega’s areas of expertise involve poverty, its causes, measurement, and remediation. Dr. Delavega has created a body of work consisting of over 33 peer-reviewed publications; over 100 reports, newspaper/magazine articles, book chapters, fact sheets, and translations; close to 200 presentations, including international presentations, keynote addresses, and a TEDx Talk focused on the Blame Index, which she developed in 2017 and is the focus of her future interests. She has produced the Memphis Poverty Factsheet, updated yearly, since 2012. She has also given close to 200 media interviews locally, nationally, and worldwide. Additionally, she serves on the board the Memphis Coalition for the Homeless, and on the board of Impact Tennessee. She is a research collaborator of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis and has edited Volumes II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII of the Hooks Policy Papers. In 2018, she collaborated with the National Civil Rights Museum to produce the report on the state of Black Shelby County, Memphis Poverty Report: Memphis Since MLK, in conjunction with the commemorative activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. With her profound expertise in social work and a Ph.D. to her name, Dr. Delavega will undoubtedly provide valuable insights into the pressing issues surrounding DEI, as she announces the results of the 2023 Memphis Poverty Report. She will then facilitate a panel of executives from our Spotlight Agencies: Agape Child & Family Services, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis, Mid-South Food Bank, MIFA, and United Way of the Mid-South. Click here to find more information on Dr. Delavega on her bio page on the University of Memphis website.
David Jordan received a Bachelor of Arts degree from David Lipscomb University and a Master of Science degree in social work from the University of Tennessee. In 1992, he received licensure as a clinical social worker. He has served in the social service field for 35 years. Jordan knew early on in life he wanted to help others, especially children and families. Under his leadership, Agape has experienced continued progress as they seek God’s heart for our great city.
David and his wife Theresa have been married since 1987 and have been blessed with three fabulous children and three grandsons. He and his family attend White Station Church of Christ where David has served as an elder from 2006 – 2021. Theresa, who formerly served as a GED/HiSet teacher at HopeWorks, currently serves as a children’s minister.
Dwayne Spencer has worked in nonprofit management for 30 years and led Memphis Habitat since 2001. He has extensive experience working with a wide range of community constituencies to create strategic partnerships and impactful collaborations. Since joining Memphis Habitat, Spencer has grown the organization from a 9-member staff to more than 60 employees, from a $1 million budget to $18 million, and from serving 15-20 families a year to approximately 250-plus annually through the launch of the Aging In Place program. Today, Memphis Habitat ranks in the top 45 home producing Habitat for Humanity affiliates and in the top five for home repairs out of more than 1,100 in the U.S. Spencer holds a master’s degree in public administration from The University of Memphis.
Prior to moving to Mid-South Food Bank in August 2019, Cathy Pope had been President & CEO of Feeding the Gulf Coast since August 2016. Before that, she was the Executive Director for Meals on Wheels of Middle Georgia. Cathy also has nonprofit experience with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, as well as the Fuller Center for Housing in Macon, Georgia. Cathy received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Georgia Southwestern State University, a Master of Arts in Political Science from Georgia State University, and an MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University. She has four grown children.
Cathy currently holds numerous positions on volunteer boards. She is a member of Feeding America’s Policy Engagement and Advocacy Committee (PEAC) where she works to address domestic hunger and related issues to policymakers. Cathy also serves on BancorpSouth’s Corporate Community Advisory Council. She is a member of both the Safety Net Collaborative and the Food Insecurity and Food Accessibility Collaborative, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Sally Jones Heinz came to MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association) in 2007 as Vice President of Development. She became Executive Director in 2011, only the sixth person to hold that position in MIFA’s 55-year history. The organization’s mission is supporting the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis through high-impact programs.
Sally’s roots are in Memphis—she grew up in Midtown, went to Evergreen Presbyterian Church, attended Snowden School, Central High, and Rhodes College (’81), and settled down with her husband Brad a few blocks from her childhood home. And service is in her genes. Her father, Jameson Jones, was dean of Rhodes College and president of Memphis College of Art; and her uncle, Dr. Paul Tudor Jones, was pastor of Idlewild Presbyterian Church and a founder of MIFA. She received an M.A. in American Studies from The University of Texas in Austin before returning to Memphis in 1983. Before coming to MIFA, Sally served as Executive Director at Memphis Heritage; Director of Marketing and Vice President for Publications at Robert F. Sharpe and Co.; Director of Alumni, Acting Director of Communications, and Director of Publications at Rhodes College; and Associate Director of Development and Director of Development at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
Dr. Kenneth S. Robinson became the President/CEO of United Way of the Mid-South in February 2015, yet his volunteer and board-level leadership with United Way of the Mid-South extends nearly 25 years.
Dr. Robinson’s bi-professional synthesis of medicine and ministry has made him a strong leader in the areas of public policy, health and healthcare, and community development at the highest levels of local, state and national impact. He served in the Governor’s Cabinet as Tennessee’s Commissioner of Health (2003-2007), guiding significant contracting and grant-making authority within his Department’s $548 million budget. Prior to joining United Way, he was the consultant and public health policy advisor to the Mayor of Shelby County (2008-2015) and Chair of “Healthy Shelby,” which was highlighted by United Way Worldwide as a replicable model of public/private collective impact.
For 25 years (1991-2016), Dr. Robinson also served as Pastor and CEO of St. Andrew AME Church in Memphis; developing health and human services, high-quality childcare, Pre-K and K-5 education, and economic development initiatives. He founded an associated CDC, The Works, Inc., a very effective nonprofit that partners with United Way to impact lives locally. The entire St. Andrew Enterprise has become a major stakeholder in creating a healthy, sustainable community; responsible for over $22 million of new investment in South Memphis.
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