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Avis Jones-DeWeever

Co-Chair of the Academy's 23rd Annual Conference
As co-chair of the National Academy of Social Insurance’s 23rd annual policy research conference, Meeting Today’s Challenges in Social Security, Health Reform, and Unemployment Insurance, Avis Jones-DeWeever contributed her extensive expertise on the role of social insurance for vulnerable communities.
 
Jones-DeWeever is the Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). In addition, she is an affiliated scholar with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research as well as New York University’s Women of Color Policy Network.  A member of the Academy since 2009, Jones-DeWeever serves on the board of directors of Women’s Voices. Women’s Vote., the Women’s Voices. Women’s Vote. Action Fund, and on the board of the Black Leadership Forum. She also serves on the advisory board of Wider Opportunities for Women.
 
Before becoming Executive Director of NCNW, Jones-DeWeever was director of the Research, Public Policy, and Information Center, a research-action institute based at the NCNW that seeks to inform, catalyze, and mobilize African-American women for change in both the policy arena and throughout the broader cultural dynamic. She has also worked for several public policy organizations, including the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
 
 “Avis' ability to make complex problems and policies equally understandable to people with differing levels of knowledge about the issue is a valuable asset forthe Academy's mission of promoting understanding of how social insurance promotes economic security,” according to Margaret Simms, director of the Urban Institute's Low-Income Working Families project and former President of the Academy. “I especially appreciate her innovative ideas for taking Washington issues ‘beyond the Beltway’ to an audience that is not always engaged in policy conversations.”
 
Jones-DeWeever’s areas of expertise include poverty in urban communities, inequality of educational opportunity, and the impact of welfare reform on women and communities of color.
 
She has authored and co-authored many publications, including When the Spirit Blooms: Acquiring Higher Education in the Context of Welfare Reform, Saving Ourselves: African American Women and the HIV/AIDS Crisis, and The Women of New Orleans and the Golf Coast: Multiple Disadvantages and Key Assets for Recovery. She is a highly sought-after political commentator, and her policy perspectives have appeared on a variety of print, radio, and television outlets, including CNN and the New York Times. Jones-DeWeever earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park.
 
According to Jones-DeWeever, “as a mother of two amazing boys, my most challenging and rewarding job is providing them with life experiences that give them a sense of social responsibility, a sense of what’s possible, and the necessary foundation to achieve their dreams.”
 
For additional information about the Academy's 2011 conference, visit the agenda and videos page.