The Forum will bring together some of the brightest local and national minds working to challenge poverty. Drawing a crowd of social change activists, nonprofit professionals, students, and volunteers alike, attendees will learn:

Why the research-based coaching method Mobility Mentoring® is being recognized internationally for creating significantly improved outcomes in earnings, educational attainment, and family stability for extremely low-income families Which public policies keep people and generations in poverty How shifting the narrative on poverty and the people living in it change the public’s misconceptions and assumptions What sort of action can be taken right now to create lasting impact “The gap between rich and poor in the US has been rapidly widening, at the same time that creating meaningful pathways out of poverty has become more complex,” said Dr. Beth Babcock, whose keynote will focus on the importance of economic opportunity. “Both of these dynamics can be partially explained by the changing nature of work, and of the mix of skills necessary to maintain lifelong connections to family-sustaining, wage-paying careers.”

Preceding Babcock’s headlining remarks will be two edifying breakout sessions that will unpack prejudices and policies that have trapped families in poverty for generations—in Philadelphia and across the country.


  1. Falling off the Benefits Cliff: When public benefits stop abruptly due to increased income, people’s ability to work towards self-sufficiency is threatened. Attendees will learn how to advocate for policies that phase benefit reductions over time and eliminate disincentives to increased earnings. Facilitators: Caroline McAndrews and Karen Schoellkopf, co-founders of Leap Fund

  2. It’s What You Say AND How You Say It: Systemic forces can be challenged when perspectives shift to economic justice. Journalists and thought-leaders are uncovering stories and language that have the power to transform long-held beliefs about poverty and people living through it. Panelists: Cassie Haynes, Resolve Philadelphia; Sabrina Vourvoulias, editor of Generocity; Neal McLaurin, vendor for One Step Away; and Meeka Outlaw, participant of ECS’ MindSet program Moderator: Nisha Patel, of the Robin Hood Foundation

By partnering with EMPath, ECS joined a movement made up by a network of more than 118 agencies and governments across the country and around the world reassessing their approach to service.

“Using EMPath’s internationally recognized model, we see our collaboration as a natural fit to the work that we do on a daily basis,” said David Griffith, executive director of Episcopal Community Services. “We are adopting EMPath’s framework at the local level so that we can help people in our community achieve economic independence.”

For more information about the Forum on Justice and Opportunity, visit or call 215.351.1400.

About Beth Babcock, PhD, Keynote Speaker

Dr. Elisabeth Babcock (Beth) is president and CEO of Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath), an international charitable organization dedicated to creating new pathways to economic independence for low-income individuals and their families. EMPath uses its unique “action-tank” business model to design, build, and test new approaches for creating economic mobility and then share them with other organizations and governments.

EMPath’s applied research led to the development of its groundbreaking Mobility Mentoring® platform. Since its release in 2009, Mobility Mentoring® has been internationally recognized for creating significantly improved outcomes in earnings, educational attainment, and family stability in extremely low-income families.

Beth received her Master’s Degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and her PhD in non-profit strategy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has taught non-profit strategy and implementation at the graduate level for more than two decades at Harvard and Brandeis Universities. She has written and published widely on economic mobility strategies, and has served as an advisor to such organizations as the World Bank, Gates Foundation’s US Partnership for Mobility from Poverty, and Fannie Mae. She has received numerous awards including the Sesame Street Hero Award, and the International Alliance for Women’s World of Difference Award.

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