“Building the Unsettling Force” was the slogan of the National Anti-Poverty Conference held from July 16 through 19, 2009, on the campus of Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky by a coalition including the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC), the Social Welfare Action Alliance (SWAA), Women in Transition, and Disappeared in America – Hiding the Poor, as well as local action groups.
Some 200 people from all over the USA participated, from Florida to California, from Maine to Oregon and also from Canada. It was not a conference about poverty, but rather one of the anti-poverty movements of the people affected by poverty, who are present in most towns in America today. Represented were grassroots movements to which, due to the economic crisis, ever more people from classically middle-class backgrounds are gravitating, and also social workers from government agencies and care personnel from the hospitals, who have either been affected by unemployment, or else can no longer bear the deterioration of working conditions. Some trade unionists and university professors also took part in the conference.