A Tale of Two Prosperity Summit Attendees

What’s it like to experience the Prosperity Summit? Both novices and veterans of the Summit find always find inspiration to renew their commitment to economic justice.

For Bernie Mazyck, President & CEO of the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development and the new Chair of the Prosperity Now Community Steering Committee, his first time at the Prosperity Summit in 2016 (then known as the Assets Learning Conference) showed he wasn’t alone in his work to support financial well-being:

“Coming from South Carolina, which has a very conservative political and social culture, economic justice work can feel lonely. But the power of the speakers, the vastness of the crowd and the diversity of the attendees at the 2016 Prosperity Summit all said to me that our nation and our movement has a bright future. Just to know that Federal Reserve leadership valued financial security work demonstrated the importance of programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Individual Development Accounts. I no longer felt alone and my work took new meaning and importance.  

The 2016 Prosperity Summit was one of the most powerful gatherings I have had the good fortune to attend in my 30-plus years of working in economic development. Not only was I meeting some of the most innovative practitioners, but I was up close and personal with national leaders designing policies to improve the lives of low-income families. One of the highlights was hearing from Richard Cordray, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Mr. Cordray shared how the agency returned nearly $12 billion to more than 30 million consumers cheated or mistreated by financial companies. Meeting the champion for so many vulnerable families that I encounter everyday was a dream come true. Anyone planning to attend the Prosperity Summit for the first time will not be disappointed!” 

A Summit regular, Prosperity Now Board Member Ron Grzywinski, anticipates growing his knowledge and making lasting connections every time he attends:

“The real surprise of every Summit is how much I learn—especially since I thought I had learned it all. There is always much to learn because the field keeps evolving. These past two years, as the federal role has spun one way and then another, it is critically important to be as current and informed as possible. 

We all know that while lessons are conveyed by the speakers and panelists in the various sessions, just as much learning occurs in the hallways—those impromptu happenings when you bump into someone you haven’t seen for a while or get dragged into a conversation you hadn’t anticipated.

Most of us think about what we might get out of something for ourselves, but Prosperity Now is a community of activist learners, working always to make the world a better place for all. That means that others are coming to learn from you. We are all teachers as well as learners.

The greatest pleasure is the surprise of not knowing who you will meet for the first time—and perhaps cherish their friendship for the rest of your life!” 

Whether you're a first-timer or a veteran of the Summit, we guarantee a rewarding experience is waiting just for you. Register today.

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