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Virtual Speaker Series - How We Can Reduce DC's Racial Wealth Gap for the Next Generation


Tue 11 / 07 / 2023
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM


on Zoom

Who can attend

Open to all

Limited capacity: Registration Closed


Free, but donations appreciated to cover costs! Click on "Donate for this Event" below.
Donate for this Event

How We Can Reduce DC's Racial Wealth Gap for the Next Generation

Speakers: Ariel Levinson-Waldman and Stephen Jefferson of Tzedek DC

In DC, as in much of the United States, the racial wealth gap is large and persistent. Ariel Levinson-Waldman, Founding President and Director-Counsel of Tzedek DC, and Stephen Jefferson, Sr., Community Outreach Coordinator at Tzedek DC, will speak to the racial wealth gap in DC, the problems it reflects and causes, and what can be done about it. They will describe the intersecting challenges for lower-income families seeking to increase access to the financial and legal systems, the strategies and programs that Tzedek DC and community partners are using to increase that access, especially for seniors, young adults, those with disabilities, and those facing medical debt. The talk will offer the opportunity for interaction and discussion on how interested folks in the community can take action.

Ariel Levinson-Waldman is the Founding President and Director-Counsel of Tzedek DC, an independent public interest center at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Tzedek DC’s mission is to safeguard the rights and interests of low-income DC residents facing debt-related problems. Since its launch in 2017, Tzedek DC has provided free legal help to over 3,000 DC households facing debt collection, consumer, financial abuse, scams, frauds, medical debt, and credit report problems; distributed “know your rights” materials in English, Spanish, and Amharic to thousands of community college students and D.C. residents; and championed systemic and legislative reforms that have impacted 300,000+ residents. Previously, Ariel served in a series of government roles, including serving in the Obama administration as the Department of Labor Advisor to the White House Interagency Legal Aid Roundtable promoting low-income Americans’ access to civil legal aid as part of the federal government’s anti-poverty efforts. In 2021, he was named a Citi Foundation Community Changemaker. Ariel lives in the District of Columbia with his wife Rachel Levinson-Waldman, a civil liberties lawyer at the Brennan Center for Justice, and their daughter and son. His mom Cathy and stepdad Paul are NNV Members and Volunteers!

Stephen B. Jefferson, Sr., is the Community Outreach Coordinator at Tzedek DC. Stephen is passionate and a seasoned community outreach coordinator with over 10 years of experience in developing awareness, business strategies, and execution plans with producing outstanding work quality in implementing innovative programs. A DC native raised in Ward 7, Stephen has done extensive community outreach in health and well-being in wards 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. He previously served as a DC Health Benefit Exchange (HBX) Standing Advisory Board Member at the DC Health Link. Stephen received a certification as a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist from Rutgers University and has a certificate in mental health first aid.

Northwest Neighbors Village is a local non-profit dedicated to building a supportive community where older adults are valued and age with dignity. We are delighted to offer these programs for free to our neighbors, and keep you engaged and learning. To learn more about us or to support our efforts to enable older adults to thrive in Northwest, DC, please visit our homepage.

Thank you for your interest in our program!

Our membership dues only account for 1/3 of our budget, and we rely on the support of generous donors to continue to create and share engaging programs with the community. If you enjoy this program, please consider making a donation to Northwest Neighbors Village.