Annual Conference 2016







Beneath the Surface:


Thank You!

Our 2016 conference was incredibly inspiring?rich in learning and insights and filled with a vibrant sense of community. Thank you to our wonderful attendees, speakers, workshop presenters, sponsors, and partners for making this year?s event a fantastic one!

View our highlights video below.

Keynote videos are available on SJI’s Youtube here.

View our photo gallery below.

SJI Annual Conference



Keynote and workshop slide decks are available below:

Keynote: Perilous Work and $2 a Day Poverty + Workshop: A Simple Test for Determining Program Inclusion – Dr. Kathryn Edin

Keynote: Applied Behavioral Science: Psychology as a Tool for Policy Design and Implementation – Dr. Crystal Hall

Workshop: Putting People at the Center of Program Design – Joel Fariss

Workshop: Behavioral Mapping Through Real World Examples – Dr. Crystal Hall

Further Resources – Joel Fariss

About ?| ?Register??| ?Speakers? |? Agenda??| Workshop Descriptions? ?| ? Location? ?|

Sponsorship Opportunities? ?| ??FAQs? | ?Cancellation Policy? |??Privacy Policy? |




About the Conference

What poverty narratives exist, and how do they shape our policies, programs, and funding priorities? What truths about poverty do these narratives obscure? What unseen factors are behavioral scientists and others uncovering that explain why people don?t behave in the ways we assume they will?

During this day-long conference, engage with leading thinkers and doers in the fields of sociology, behavioral sciences, psychology, and design to wrestle with these questions and learn how to dive beneath the surface of the poverty narratives and data available to us. You?ll have the opportunity to interact with nationally-recognized keynote speakers Dr. Kathryn Edin, Dr. Crystal Hall, and Dr. Stephanie Fryberg, and you?ll gain insights into the realities of those living in poverty that can help you design more relevant, effective, and human-centered programs.

Key to this year?s conference will be the afternoon workshops, where you?ll ?get your hands dirty? practicing the application of some of the concepts you learned about in the morning to develop facility and inspire translation into your own work. Join a dynamic group of thought leaders from workforce development, education, policy, human services, and business for a day of insights and skill-building!

Attendees Will Learn:

  • Research and program design techniques that put people at the heart of the design process (from sociology, behavioral science, psychology, design, and more)
  • Different ways to apply these techniques to improve current and new programs and policies
  • How to pay attention to environment and contextual factors to improve program design
  • Practices for checking assumptions, recognizing poverty myths, and looking underneath these myths to better understand participants.


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Speakers and Workshop Presenters

Keynote Speaker and Workshop Presenter:

Dr. Kathryn Edin, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and Co-Author of
Kathryn Edin photo$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

Kathryn Edin is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology, Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is one of the nation’s leading poverty researchers, deploying ethnographic observations, in-depth interviews, and mixed method approaches to the domains of welfare and low-wage work, family life, and neighborhood contexts. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University in 1991 and has also taught at Rutgers University, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, and, most recently, Harvard University as a Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School and chair of their Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. She is a Trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and on the Department of Health and Human Services advisory committee for the poverty research centers at Michigan, Wisconsin, and Stanford. Her books include Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage and Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City.

Learn more: Read an article about Dr. Edin in?Mother Jones magazine: “What If Everything You Knew About Poverty Was Wrong?”

Keynote Speaker and Workshop Presenter:

Dr. Crystal Hall, Associate Professor, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Crystal Hall
Washington and Fellow on the?White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team

Crystal Hall is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. She is also currently serving as a Fellow on the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team. Her research explores decision making in the context of poverty, using the methods of social and cognitive psychology, along with behavioral economics. This work has had a particular focus on financial decision making, and also the impacts of class stereotypes and the stigma of poverty. Her research has attempted to broaden the theoretical understanding of the behavior of this population, and has also explored new ways of incorporating these insights into policy design and implementation. She earned a B.S. in both Decision Science and Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University.

Learn more:?See a talk that Dr. Hall gave at the West Coast Poverty Center: Re-Evaluating Assumptions About Behavior and Choice in Response to Public Assistance

Keynote Speaker and Workshop Presenter:

Dr. Stephanie Fryberg,?Associate Professor of American Indian Studies and Psychology at the?University of

Dr. Stephanie A. Fryberg (Tulalip Tribes) is Associate Professor of American Indian Studies and Psychology at the University of Washington. Her primary research interests focus on how social representations of race, culture, and social class influence the development of self, psychological wellbeing, physical health, and educational attainment. Fryberg provided testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs regarding the impact of racist stereotypes on Indigenous people, served as an expert witness in the Keepseagle v. USDA class action lawsuit, and consults with National Tribal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). She received the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Louise Kidder Early Career Award and was inducted into the Stanford University Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame.

Workshop Presenter:

Joel Fariss, Applied Research & Design Strategy,?Seattle Mayor’s Office of Policy & InnovationJoel Fariss

Joel Fariss is a design and strategy leader who has spent his career working at the intersection of design, technology, and human experience. Before joining the Mayor?s Office of Policy & Innovation, he worked as a Design Strategist with global?design firm NBBJ?helping clients such as Amazon, Microsoft, Loma Linda University Medical Center, and The Advisory Board Company design organizational structures, engaging environments, and operating models that drive innovation.?Most recently he directed the experiential design strategy for the new Denny Electrical Substation in Seattle. The influence of his work has been highlighted by Wired Magazine, The Urbanist, and FastCo. His diverse background also includes time as a social
entrepreneur in East Africa, an innovation and growth consultant in Seattle, and a design manager for two international brands.

Opening Remarks:

Jerry Large,?Columnist,?The Seattle Times

Jerry Large is a columnist for The Seattle Times. He has a B.A. in Journalism from New Mexico State University and has worked for the Clovis News-Journal, the Farmington, New Mexico Daily Times, the El Paso Times and the Oakland Tribune before his hiring by The Seattle Times.?Large’s interest in history, social justice, and race is rooted in his personal history. He grew up hearing stories about his maternal grandfather, a sharecropper, being lynched in Texas in the early 1930s. The town where he grew up, Clovis, New Mexico, had a noticeable racial hierarchy, which started him thinking, and now writing about, how we came to be where we are and how we might keep making improvements to our constantly-evolving country.

Jerry?s column:

Recent columns:

Five evil tentacles give poverty its grip

Family tries to overcome past, and prison, after DOC release error

Black health requires dose of medical humanity

3 teens, 2 guns, drugs ?? and lots of questions

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Beneath the Surface: Shattering Poverty Myths to Improve Program Design

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM Breakfast, Registration, and Networking
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM Opening Remarks Jerry Large
Columnist, The Seattle TimesJohn Kim
Executive Director, Seattle Jobs Initiative
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Perilous Work and $2 a Day Poverty Kathryn Edin
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Johns Hopkins University and Co-Author of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM Break
10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Creating Identity Safe Spaces for Working Class and Minority Individuals Stephanie Fryberg
Associate Professor of American Indian Studies and Psychology, University of Washington
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM Lunch
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Applied Behavioral Science: Psychology as a Tool for Policy Design and Program Implementation Crystal Hall
Associate Professor of Public Policy & Governance, University of Washington and Fellow on the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team
1:15 PM – 2:45 PM Workshops Round 1

Putting People at the Center of Program Design

A Simple Test for Determining Program?Inclusion

Creating Identity Safe Spaces

Behavioral Mapping Through Real World Examples


Joel Fariss,?Design and Strategy Leader,?Seattle Mayor’s Office of Policy and Innovation

Kathryn Edin

Stephanie Fryberg

Crystal Hall

? ? ?

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM Break + Afternoon Snack
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Workshops Round 2 Same workshops as round 1 – see above for titles
Joel Fariss
Kathryn Edin

Stephanie Fryberg
Crystal Hall
4:30 PM – 4:45 PM Closing Plenary John Kim
4:45 PM – 5:15 PM Book Signing Kathryn Edin


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Workshop Descriptions

Joel Fariss:

Putting People at the Center of Program Design

In the spirit of “leaving the ivory tower for the streets,” we’ll learn how to use powerful empathy-building tools to make sense of the stories we hear from those we serve. These tools offer a great way to understand the human-centric aspirations, barriers, and experiential insights that often never have a chance to influence policy and program design.

Additionally, we’ll learn to use a simple process for translating insights gained from empathy-building into actionable strategies.

Participants will hear a story from my own work of how the use of empathy-building tools shaped service design and policy, and will then break out into teams to participate in a facilitated workshop to gain hands-on experience using the tools.

Kathryn Edin:

A Simple Test for Determining Program Inclusion

Is your program truly inclusive of the population it is intended to serve? How would you know? In this workshop we will explore how the experience of participants may vary from the intentions of program and policy designers, and I will share a simple test that you can use to quickly assess how inclusive your program or policy is to the population you are targeting. We will also discuss what to do to make programs and policies more welcoming to their intended recipients.

Stephanie Fryberg:

Creating Identity Safe Spaces

What is identity safe space?? How do we create it if our cultural norms don’t align with those we seek to serve? In this workshop, we will explore cultural mismatches and learn what interventions can be applied to make it possible to create identity safe spaces in our programs. We will also learn ways to scale these changes so that they are sustainable throughout our organizations.

Crystal Hall:

Behavioral Mapping Through Real World Examples

In this session, I will break down the process for effective use of behavioral insights for program design and implementation, along with effective communication with customers and clients. Through a series of real-world examples, I will introduce and illustrate the process of behavioral mapping and subsequent intervention design that leverages the tools of psychology and behavioral economics.


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Conference Venue & Location

Hotel Deca

4507 Brooklyn Avenue NE
Seattle, WA, 98105


Directions and maps can be found on the Hotel Deca website:?

There is paid parking available in the parking lots adjacent
to the hotel and in the parking lot across the street next to
the Dollar Tree store. There are also paid parking lots and
street parking in?the surrounding area.

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Sponsorship Opportunities


Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) opens doors to living-wage careers for low-income individuals, including young adults, by aligning comprehensive support services with a solid college education and innovative skills training in growing sectors of the local economy. This work assists low-income individuals in becoming competitive for living wage careers with local employers who need a skilled workforce. SJI has a 20-year history of successfully serving nearly 17,000 low-income individuals, including some 7,000 placed in jobs.

SJI also acts as a convener, producing an annual conference in Washington and a variety of other gatherings for those involved in eradicating poverty. Beneath the Surface: Shattering Poverty Myths to Improve Program Design underlines SJI?s commitment to explore new thinking and new ways of doing business. This year?s conference is expected to reach well over 150 thought leaders throughout the State of Washington.

If your corporation, business or foundation is interested in sponsoring Beneath the Surface: Shattering Poverty Myths to Improve Program Design, please contact Jim Thompson, Fund Development Manager at or (206) 628-6966. For more information on sponsorship, please see the 2016 Conference Sponsor Flyer.

In order to meet major print deadlines, sponsorships should be solidified no later than Friday, September 9, 2016. ?Special thanks to Bank of America, a leading 2016 Conference Producing Sponsor.

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1. How can I contact the organizer with questions?
Please contact Bri Nguyen at or (206) 628-6969.

2. What does my conference registration include?
Your conference registration includes admission to the conference, breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack.

3. Can I pay by check?
We are not accepting payments by check at this time. Accepted payment methods are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

4. Do you have directions and maps available to Hotel Deca?
Please visit the following link for directions and maps to Hotel Deca:

5. Is parking available at the venue?
There is paid parking available in the parking lot next to the hotel and in the adjacent overflow parking lot. Paid parking is also available in the parking lot across the street next to the Dollar Tree store. All day parking in each of these parking lots is $8 plus tax.?There are also paid parking lots and street parking in the surrounding area.

6. Is my registration/ticket transferable?
Yes, if you cannot attend, your registration/ticket can be used by another individual from your organization in your place.

7. Do I need to bring a printed ticket to the conference?
We will have your name on a check-in list at the entrance, but feel free to bring a copy of your Eventbrite ticket or receipt with you as well. See you there!


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Cancellation Policy

If you must cancel, please request cancellation by sending an e-mail to Bri at Please include your name, organization name, and phone number. If your cancellation is requested on or before Thursday, September 22, 2016, you will receive a refund, minus a 10% processing fee. Refunds may take up to two weeks to appear in your bank account. No refunds will be made after Thursday, September 22, 2016, but you may send another individual from your organization in your place.

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Privacy Policy

SJI will video record and photograph portions of this conference to be published and archived. By registering, attendees grant SJI permission for recording and use of images in SJI?s marketing materials.

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Contact Information

For conference-related questions, please contact:

Bri Nguyen


Phone: (206) 628-6969

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