We are excited to continue EARNConversations again this year and provide a week-long series of virtual discussions that lift up state and local policy research from across the Network and provide you with the ideas and resources you need to better advocate for racial, gender, and economic justice.

This is a pivotal moment during which we have an opportunity to make transformative investments in our communities and reforms to the standards and supports that for too long have left many working people struggling to get by. EARNConversations will bring together researchers, advocates, and grassroots organizers to strategize how states and localities can act on the lessons of the past year and use an unprecedented supply of resources to build worker power and improve the well-being of working families.

Click Here to Register for EARNCon!

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Welcome to EARNConversations: Transformative Investments in Workers, Communities, and Job Quality

September 27 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Click Here to Register for EARNCon!



  • Naomi Walker (Moderator), Director of EARN, Economic Policy Institute
  • Melissa Boteach, Vice President for Income Security and Child Care/Early Learning, National Women’s Law Center
  • Katharine “Kitty” Richards, Director of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, U.S. Treasury Office of Recovery Program
  • Branden Snyder, Executive Director, Detroit Action
  • Amy Sugimori, Director of Policy and Legislation, 32BJ SEIU


Session Description

The policy environment has changed dramatically since last year and offers a new opportunity to promote progressive policy that builds worker power, improves job quality, and advances worker, racial, and gender justice. The new administration, availability of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for states, passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill, and a vaccine facilitated reopening all make it possible for state and local governments to make unprecedented investments in public infrastructure, high-quality jobs, public health systems, and worker supports. This moment also offers an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned over the past year and a half and consider how they can inform policy proposals that center the needs of Black and Brown workers and their families. During this session, participants will reflect on critical learnings from the pandemic and discuss how they can be used to shape future policy. The session will provide participants with examples of how state and local governments have approached and demonstrated innovative proposals for using ARPA funding and provide a space for partners from across the Network to share policy research and strategies for investing in several critical areas, including labor standards and infrastructure.

The Economic Policy Institute would like to thank the following funders for their ongoing and generous support for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN): 
American Federation of Teachers 
Bauman Foundation 
Bernard and Anne Spitzer Trust 
Ford Foundation  
International Association of Machinists  
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Kresge Foundation  
National Association of Letter Carriers  
National Education Association 
National Infrastructure Alliance 
Marguerite Casey Foundation 
Omidyar Network
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Service Employees International Union 
Surdna Foundation 
United Auto Workers  
United Brotherhood of Carpenters 
United Food and Commercial Workers 
United Steelworkers of America 
W.K. Kellogg Foundation 

EARNConversations 2021

EARNCon 2021 will be virtual again this year from September 27 to October 1, 2021! Learn more by visiting our EARNCon page and register by following this link.