Insights 2022 | Treating Care Workers as Essential, Not Invisible

Each year the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute hosts an annual policy conference to inform policy discussions during the state’s legislative session. For the second year in a row, this annual policy conference will be both free and virtual.

This year’s event will explore how Georgia can better support our care workers, many of whom are women of color. The COVID-19 crisis has underscored how critical these roles are, yet the workers who fill these roles are often treated as invisible in the policy space. Policies that treat care workers as essential are critical to advancing racial and gender equity, yet no real changes have been enacted.

Programming will also include GBPI’s annual analysis of the governor’s budget that will be released in the weeks preceding Insights 2022.

Agenda  will be released soon. Programming will take place Thursday, Jan. 20 1:00 pm-5:00 pm and Friday, Jan. 21 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Day One: Thursday, January 20

1:00-1:45 pm: Opening Session: A Conversation about Georgia’s Care Ecosystem


  • Maria del Rosario Palacios, GBPI Board Member (moderator)
  • Tamieka Atkins, Executive Director, Pro Georgia

1:45-2:00 pm: Break

2:00-3:00 pm: Concurrent Panels

Panel 1:

Improving Equity, Pay and Working Conditions for Childcare and Pre-K Workers in the Caring Ecosystem


  • Jennifer Lee, Senior Higher Education Analyst, GBPI (moderator)
  • Brittany Collins, Director of PAACT: Promising All Atlanta Children Thrive, Georgia Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS)
  • Elizabetta Kasfir, Deputy Commissioner for Federal Programs, DECAL
  • Maritza Morelli, Executive Director, Los Niños Primero
  • Stephen Owens, Senior K-12 Education Analyst, GBPI

Panel 2:

Supporting Health Care and Elder Care Providers Across a Challenging Ecosystem


  • David Schaefer, GBPI RD
  • Becky Kurtz, Manager of Aging and Health Resources Division, Atlanta Regional Commission
  • Natasha Taylor, Georgia Watch, Director of Policy ad Access
  • Shelley Simmons, Executive Director, Statewide Independent Living Council

3:00-3:15 pm: Break

3:15-4:15 pm: Keynote Panel: Building an Equitable Care System that Sustains and Heals

  • Ife Finch Floyd, Senior Economic Justice Analyst, GBPI (moderator)
  • Josephine Kalipeni, Executive Director, Family Values at Work
  • Jocelyn Frye, Executive Director, National Partnership for Women & Families
  • Lauren Koontz, CEO and President, YMCA of Metro Atlanta

4:15-5:00 pm: Networking by Issue Area

  • Education Pipeline
  • Health Care
  • Economic Justice

Day Two: Friday, January 21

9:00-10:45 am: Opening Remarks and Panel: Connecting the Dots: How the Dollars Drive the Change


  • Rose Scott, reporter and host of Closer Look, WABE (moderator)
  • Senator Tonya Anderson
  • Representative Sharon Cooper
  • Representative Sam Park
  • Daniel Kanso, Senior Tax and Budget Policy Analyst, GBPI

10:45-11:00 am: Break

11:00 am-12:30 pm: Panel: Racial Equity and the Budget


  • Crystal Muñoz, Immigration Policy Analyst, GBPI (moderator)
  • Ife Finch Floyd, Senior Economic Justice Policy Analyst, GBPI
  • Ray Khalfani, Policy Analyst for Worker Justice and Criminal Legal Systems, GBPI
  • Danny Kanso, Senior Policy Analyst for Tax and Budget, GBPI
  • Jennifer Lee, Senior Higher Education Policy Analyst, GBPI
  • Stephen Owens, Senior Policy Analyst, K-12 Education, GBPI
  • David Schaefer, Research Director

12:30-12:45 pm: Closing Remarks

Speaker: Robiaun Charles, GBPI Board Member

2022 Sponsors






GA Familias Unidas

Metro Atlanta Chamber




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