Join Us For A Community Townhall: Poverty, Racism, and Trauma! 

Thank you to everyone who attended United Way of Washtenaw County's Community Townhall: Poverty, Racism, and Trauma live stream event! The conversation started by this event doesn't end here. Build your equity muscle and keep the conversation going on social media. Watch a recording of the live event here at any time.


A flyer on how to attend the Community TownHall


The Community Townhall: Poverty, Racism, and Trauma is a discussion between subject matter experts on the impacts that poverty, racism, and trauma have had on our community. These are the root causes of many of the issues we see today. 

During the Community Townhall, United Way of Washtenaw County Staff shared links to community resources. Many of those who attended wanted us to share these resources to continue the conversation. Please share these with your friends, neighbors, and family members. Follow this link for more information.

We all deserve to live in a community that is #UnitedForEquity.


We envision an equitable community where opportunity is not limited and every member reaches their full potential. By the year 2030, we aspire to live in a community where: 

  • Your zip code no longer predicts your opportunity in life
  • Life expectancy is the same across all populations and communities in our County
  • The academic achievement gap is eliminated
  • Everyone in our community has a home
  • Community members seek understanding and awareness of their own power and privilege and actively work to end poverty in our County
  • Poverty is not generational. If it exists, it is intermittent and brief
  • Everyone in our County is able to thrive and meet their needs—housing, food, transportation, education, health expenses, and childcare 

Meet our Moderator and Panelists:

Cryss Campbell, Moderator - A native of Flint, MI, Crystal "Cryss" Campbell lives in Ypsilanti Township with her husband and two, happy children. She is a communicator, writer, and "armchair academic". Campbell is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University where she taught Interracial/Interethnic Communication, Intercultural Communication, and Speech. She is also a 2015 National Arts' Strategies Creative Community Fellow. Her motto is "Out existence IS resistance". 

In her day job, Campbell serves as Program and Communication manager for a country Racial Equity office where she leads efforts to advance equity, inclusiveness and accessibility- internally and around the country. She is past presiding officer of Naomi Chapter No. 12, Order of Eastern Star, a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and is active in the Ypsilanti Rotary Club. 

Cryss Campbell

Morghan Boydston, Panelist - Morghan Boydston has concentrated her academic and professional trajectory on creating, protecting, and guiding equitable spaces for those who identify with disenfranchised and oppressed populations. Her core topics of focus are: housing and homelessness, grant making and funding, senior support services, youth empowerment and self-efficacy, education training on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as nonprofit strategic planning, marketing, community outreach, and networking.

Currently, Morghan is the Human Services Manger for the Office of Community and Economic Development for Washtenaw County whose mission is committed to stepping out of traditional government roles to drive long-term systems changes that increase equity and opportunity. She sits on multiple community-based committees that support initiatives spanning across early childhood education, high school retention and graduation, poverty and economic literacy, support for the aging, and health and wellness.

Headshot of Morghan Boydston


Dr. Matthew Countryman, Panelist - Professor Countryman is the Faculty Director of the OVPR Arts of Citizenship Program. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Department of American Culture. He is many times over published. His most recent honor was John H. D'Arms Faculty Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities, University of Michigan. He is involved in the community and holds space is numerous organizations to help in dismantling racism. 

Headshot of Dr. Matthew Countryman


Derrick Jackson, Panelist - Derrick is the social work who became a police officer that now helps to run a police agency. As the Director of Community Engagement, Mr. Jackson has spent the last 13 years designing and implementing systems that integrate social work and criminal justice theory in order to revolutionize traditional policing strategies. Derrick is a proud graduate of Eastern Michigan University where he studied social work as an undergraduate student and the University of Michigan School of Social Work for his graduate studies. As a social worker and Certified Law Enforcement Officer he has a unique perspective and role in building bridges between law enforcement and the communities they serve. He has spent his time within law enforcement learning, understanding, deconstruction, redesigning, and implementing systems with the Washtenaw County community that have helped reimagine the role of police within the community and the role of social workers within law enforcement. Where some may see social work and law enforcement on opposite ends of the spectrum, Director Jackson redefines the spectrum and uses social work and law enforcement to enhance the impact of both. 

Headshot of Derrick Jackson


Thank you to our sponsors!

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