2022 - From Poverty to Possibilities Summit

Dr. Karen Johnson to Keynote From Poverty to Possibilities

United Way of Pierce County’s 6th Annual Summit on Poverty


From Poverty to Possibilities (P2P) is Pierce County’s signature economic equity summit. This year we’re returning to an in-person event at the Hotel Murano. We expect over 250 community leaders and community members to attend.  

Now in its sixth year, P2P brings the community together to disrupt poverty at its roots. This summit creates a safe space for the community to dismantle the systems of exclusion. From these relationships a new narrative will evolve, and systems will change.  

At this year’s summit, we will focus on how we talk about poverty and ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained. Employed) to build a more fair, caring and resilient community. We ask, how do we move as a community to reframe the conversation around poverty, equity and race? What is keeping us from being a more caring and resilient community? Can we create a community in which we all prosper? 

Our keynote speaker is Dr. Karen Johnson. Dr. Johnson is an inspiring and authentic leader who keeps it real. She has decades of in the non-profit sector and in federal and state government. She is the inaugural Director of the Washington State Office of Equity.

We have reached capacity for From Poverty to Possibilities, Pierce County’s signature economic equity summit. Please contact Heidi at heidih@uwpc.org

  • If you would like us to add you to our waiting list.
  • If you are registered but can no longer attend, please let us know so someone else can take your place.
  • If you are not sure if you are on the registration list.

We will make a video of the summit available after the event if you cannot attend.

If you ARE registered for From Poverty to Possibilities, 
We're looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at Hotel Murano, located at 1320 Broadway, Tacoma, WA, 98402. 

Doors open at 7:15 am, and we will serve a Continental Breakfast. The program will begin promptly at 8:00 am, so please allow plenty of time to park, get some food and find a seat. 

Our generous sponsors are covering the Hotel Murano parking fees, and Diamond Parking attendants will be onsite from 7:15 am - 8:15 am, directing you to park in the hotel lots. 

If the lots are full, parking is available at Republic Parking Northwest at 1531 Fawcett Ave and 1500 Broadway Street.


Welcome/Setting the Stage

  • Dona Ponepinto, President & CEO, United Way of Pierce County
  • Jim Walton, Community Volunteer, United Way Board Member, Co-Chair of United Way Centennial Campaign
  • Derek Kilmer, U.S. Congressman
  • Marilyn Strickland, U.S. Congresswoman
  • Bruce Dammeier, County Executive
  • Carol C. Mitchell, J.D., Founder, Institute for Black Justice

Keynote Speaker 
Dr. Karen A. Johnson, Ph.D., Director, Washington State Office of Equity
Panel Discussion
Carol C. Mitchell, J.D., Founder, Institute for Black Justice
Dr. Karen A. Johnson, Ph.D., Director, Washington State Office of Equity
Dr. Lori Pfingst, Ph.D., Senior Director, Economic Services Administrator, Washington State Department of Health & Human Services
Melannie Cunningham, Director, Multicultural Outreach and Engagement, Pacific Lutheran University
Carlos Ortiz, Writer/Director/Producer, Zeta-Maya Entertainment, Co-Founder and Chairman of LUNA
Adam Stein, Columbia Bank, VP, CRA & HMDA Compliance Manager, CRCM
Debbie Wilkerson, GRIT (Growing Resilience in Tacoma) Recipient
Changing the Narrative Workshop
Dr. Divya McMillin, Ph.D., Professor of Global Media Studies, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation & Global Engagement, UWT

Please contact Heidi at heidih@uwpc.org with any questions.