The University of New Mexico Continuing Education and the Association of Community Partners hosts the first statewide Community Action Conference Wednesday-Friday, June 4-6 at the UNM Continuing Education building. The theme of the conference is Lessons from Poverty: Communities Working Together.

Poverty is a stubborn problem in the state. Census Bureau estimates show more than 20 percent of New Mexicans currently live in poverty. The conference is aimed at assisting more than 400 non-profits, service agencies and concerned individuals who focus on poverty issues in New Mexico discuss and search for solutions.

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham will give opening remarks, while Central New Mexico Community College President Dr. Kathie Winograd will give the keynote address.

To register, visit the conference page on the UNM Continuing Education website.

“There are hundreds of nonprofit agencies in the Albuquerque area that are working to address some aspect of poverty,” said conference organizer Sherry TenClay. “The non-profits have a passion for helping the people they serve, but they don’t always have time to think about how to handle their own management challenges.”

This conference will offer nonprofits a way to improve the way they handle their own payrolls, how they deal with the Internal Revenue Service, how to market themselves, and how to improve their services to the people who need them the most.

TenClay says in addition to the specific workshops that will address management and administrative challenges for the non-profits, the conference will offer ways to help them shape and manage their message and to help them move forward.  She adds although nonprofits are best known as the segment that is the primary driver of service on behalf of the public good, they are also places for employees and volunteers to use their gifts and skills and can be economic drivers.