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Annual Legislative Conference

Engage, Educate & Empower​

April 26 - 28, 2018

Crowne Plaza

3000 S. Dirksen Pkwy

Springfield, IL 62703

217 529 -7777

Conference Workshops

Health Track

How the Affordable Care Act and the State of Medicaid Managed Care Has Changed the Healthcare Landscape

Panelists will take a deeper dive into this topic to explain what the healthcare landscape was like in Illinois before the Affordable Care Act, how it changed, and what tax payers, governments and providers stand to lose without it. Also, what happens if we lose Medicaid expansion?


Social Determinants of Health: The Tipping Points of Healthcare

This panel of experts will discuss the implications of the ‘Social Determinants of Health’ and groundbreaking activities to transform our healthcare system from one that is encounter driven (output) to one that is impact driven (outcomes).

Opioid vs. Crack Addiction: Racial Double Standards in American Epidemics

Currently, legislators and government agencies are moving quickly to slow the progress of the opioid epidemic. But at the same time, little concern has been shown for sufferers of crack cocaine. Panelists will discuss the vastly different perspective, as well as lack of empathy, from law makers and law enforcement in the past during the crack epidemic.

Taking Charge of Your Health: Developing a Healthy Lifestyle to Prevent Chronic Disease

A panel of health experts will share beneficial advice, guidance and tips to attendees to help them take control of their health with preventative care to maintain a healthy lifestyle to combat chronic disease and life-threatening health issues.


Education Track

Is There a War on Public Education?             

With numerous CPS closings, funding cuts and limited resources, public education may be under siege.  Are charter schools taking a greater share of taxpayer funds that might have been used to rescue struggling schools?

New Collar Jobs: Alternative Trends in Job Readiness and Workforce Training

Panelists will discuss alternative career paths that don’t require a college degree. Participants will learn about apprenticeships and careers in fields such as manufacturing, robotics and coding.

Responding to the Teacher Shortage: Educator Recruitment & Retention

Teacher shortages have been increasing nationally; reaching crisis proportions in science, mathematics and special education. This panel of education experts will explore this deficit while sharing effective policies for attracting and retaining strong educators.

Criminal Justice Track

Building Trust: Improving Community Relations between Law Enforcement and the Black Community

Due to numerous tragic situations involving police and minorities, there are desperate calls for unity and understanding in the community. Participants will learn best practices to build trust and empathy between citizens and law enforcement.

The Criminalization of Black Youth and the Rise of Restorative Justice

Racial profiling and other legal harassment, such as ‘stop and frisk’, has become a reality for African American youth. Numerous tragic stories prove the immediate need to discuss the harsh and unjust treatment toward black children. Our panelists will further explore how some schools have been criminalizing youth instead of educating them.

Who’s to Blame? Eradicating Implicit Bias and Racial Disparities in Sentencing

Evidence shows that black males receive harsher treatment from decision makers at each stage of the criminal justice process. The media, the public and law enforcement officials are becoming more aware of the research on unconscious bias and what it means for our criminal justice system. How can we turn the awareness into action? This panel will explore various causes of racial disparities as well as best practices for reducing these unjust disparities.


Energy Track

Innovative Advances in Energy: The Future of Grid Technology

Experts in energy expect that grid-connected distributed solar power will be fully cost competitive by the end of the decade. In this workshop, participants will learn how this disruptive technology will help them experience improved reliability, better service and greater control over electricity use.

Power Jobs: Is Going Green the New Black?

Renewable energy has been one of the bright spots in a struggling economy. This workshop will explore various careers in clean energy.   


The Next Frontier in Energy: What is the potential for Artificial Intelligence?

Making energy clean, affordable and reliable will be essential to fight poverty and climate change. Artificial Intelligence is poised to revolutionize the way we produce, transmit and consume energy. AI can be used to make smart electric grids more efficient in delivering energy, can predict when batteries and other equipment will fail and can also help make energy exploration easier and economical.   This panel will explore how AI will benefit the energy sector.

Energy Democracy: Impact of Energy on the Global Economy and Communities of Color

Decisions on how to use and create energy that is local and renewable should be made by all citizens who have a role to play, including people of color. Policies, capacity-building and engagement around energy solutions must support diverse communities to ensure meaningful innovation so that these solutions can be scaled for more impact. Guest panelists will discuss how to prevent communities of color from being left behind in a clean energy transition.


Civic Engagement Track

Making Your Voice Heard: Strategies and Lessons in Grassroots Advocacy

Advocacy is one of the key ways citizens support issues they are passionate about. Grassroots advocacy relies on specific skills and strategies that are used in a systemic way. This workshop will show you how to effectively communicate to policy makers what their constituents and voters think about an issue. Participants will also learn key strategies such as building winning coalitions and partnerships to gain more power and influence to effectively achieve their goal and affect change.

When Big Data Becomes Bad Data: The Potential Dangers of Discrimination

This workshop will expose how the collection of information, such as your phone, computer, and Alexa/Okay Google/Siri, impact your everyday life and perpetuate many of society’s discriminatory practices.

What Happens Now: Politics or Protest in Post Obama Era

In the current administration, we must look internally to develop new solutions to solve the problems faced in the black community. Should the black community create their own political party? This panel will be interactive and share strategies on how to make our voice heard and resist unjust policies and practices.

Legalization of Marijuana for Recreational Use

Lawmakers are now pushing for recreational cannabis legalization. This election year, the question of legalization will even appear on the ballot. Panelists will discuss the benefits and challenges of recreational legalization and how it will affect the black community.

Download our

2018 Registration Form

Download our

2018 Sponsorship Package

For more info, please contact Monica Gordon at


Please mail checks to:

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation:

614 S. College St,

Springfield, IL 62704

Download our

2018 Registration Form

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