Plenary Sessions

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Plenary Sessions
8:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Featured Speaker: 
Bertice Berry, PhD.   
Author/Educator/Social Activist

No one defies stereotypes, generalizations or clichés more than Dr. Bertice Berry. Growing up poor, the sixth of seven children, Bertice was told by a high school teacher that she was "not college material". Fortunately, there was another teacher who believed that she was destined for more. Berry applied to several colleges without any idea how she would pay the tuition if she were accepted. The day her application arrived at Jacksonville University in Florida, a wealthy benefactor called the Admissions Department looking for a potential student "who could swim if they had the right backing," and might sink without it.

Bertice not only graduated magna cum laude from Jacksonville where she was awarded the President's Cup for leadership, she subsequently earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Kent State University.  Dr. Berry taught sociology and statistics at Kent, and demonstrated that she knew a few things about humor, as well. She became one of the most popular teachers at the university; so popular, in fact, larger lecture halls had to be found to accommodate the ever-increasing number of students.  She realized by using humor in her lectures to address such difficult subjects as racisms and sexism, she was making a more profound impact.

Shortly thereafter, Dr. Berry left Kent to become an award-winning entertainer, lecturer, comedienne and best-selling author.   She believes that community involvement is not limited to just "writing a check" and has taken a very active role in supporting organizations that benefit those in need. She has graciously donated all of the royalties from the sales of her books to organizations that help families in transition, raise funds for scholarships and provide resource information to low-income families. 

You’ll laugh, you’ll feel, you’ll be inspired, and one thing is for certain--- you’ll leave much differently than you came.

*Dr. Berry's latest book, “A Year to Wellness and Other Weight Loss Secrets” is a personal journey of healing and wellness.  NAHRO will provide book copies for purchase on-site and Dr. Berry will be available for book signing, immediately following the plenary session.  
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
A Discussion on Ending Homelessness
No one should experience homelessness.  No one should be without a safe, stable place to call home.  The  Closing Plenary Session will be devoted to a discussion on "Opening Doors" - the nation's first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. 
Featured Speaker:
Laura Zeilinger
Executive Director
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
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