Introducing our 50th Anniversary Water Is Life! Celebratory Banquet Keynote Speaker: Ms. Mia Birdsong!
Every year, we host our annual Water is Life! Conference and Luncheon to celebrate the year’s accomplishments. And while every year is a joyous and celebratory occasion, this year is special. In 2019, we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary! This year we are having a dinner at the Hotel Roanoke to celebrate our 50 years of service.
For 50 years, we’ve worked to bring clean, safe drinking water and proper wastewater facilities to communities up and down the east coast. This year, along with uplifting our successes of the past year, we’ll also be honoring a half-century of incredible work during our reception.
This great milestone is worthy of an incredible Keynote Speaker! Our Keynote Address will be delivered by Mia Birdsong. Ms. Birdsong is a renowned speaker and widely published author. She is “an inaugural Ascend Fellow and faculty member with The Aspen Institute, a New America California Fellow, and an Advocate-in-Residence with University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.” Additionally, she serves as Senior Fellow at the Economic Security Project, and was founding Co-Director of Family Story.
Ms. Birdsong has spent her 20+ year career being a champion for transforming the public’s view on poverty by uplifting, leveraging, and advocating for “the brilliance of everyday people so that our collective gifts reach larger spheres of influence, cultural and political change, and create wellbeing for everyone.”
In her 2015 TED Talk “The Story We Tell About Poverty Isn’t True” (viewed over 1.7 million times), Ms. Birdsong describes reframing our definition of success to be hard work, luck, and privilege. “Marginalized communities are full of smart, talented people, hustling and working and innovating, just like our most revered and most rewarded CEOs,” she says. “Most people work hard. Hard work is the common denominator...I’m tired of the story we tell that hard work leads to success. Because that story allows those of us who make it to believe we deserve it, and by implication, those who don't make it don't deserve it.”
She explains that a possible solution to poverty isn’t fixing “broken” people, but a broken approach. Marginalized communities are no less full of ideas, initiative, creativity, and determination than the CEOs in Silicon Valley, and if we provided them the tools and resources needed to manifest their ideas in the same way we do venture capitalists, then we can transform these communities. We can turn “success stories” into the baseline, instead of the exception.
Ms. Birdsong’s work embodies SERCAP’s core belief: everyone, regardless of circumstance, is deserving of tools and resources that will lead to success. For us, that means providing access to clean, safe drinking water, as well as helping underprivileged communities organize, advocate, and fund water and wastewater projects. It means defining necessities and needs not as rewards for success and hard work, but as baselines that everyone should have no matter the circumstances.
Join us and Ms. Birdsong for this 50th Anniversary celebration, to uplift our SERCAP communities and dedicated employees for their tireless work to create a world where everyone has access to clean, safe drinking water. Get your tickets for this milestone event today!