NCC19 Presenter: Vanessa Faraj

Rachel Hiles

NCC19 Presenter: Vanessa Faraj

Rachel Hiles
Photo: Vanessa Faraj, 2019 National Caregiving Conference PresenterAs someone who grew up chronically ill, Vanessa Faraj understands firsthand the importance of giving and receiving care. She has also had the privilege of caregiving firsthand while caring for both her paternal and maternal grandmothers and her mother.

Vanessa has committed her life to working alongside those on the margins, both as a licensed social worker and a community organizer. Vanessa has the privilege of working as Caring Across Generations’ National Organizer, building relationships and recruiting current and former family caregivers around the country to come to together to make positive change in improving the lives of family caregivers and everyone impacted by the long-term care system.

Vanessa has also worked on a wide-array of community-initiated criminal justice issues and is guided by the disability rights adage “nothing about us without us is for us.” Some of her experience includes organizing low-wage restaurant workers for higher wages and benefits, working with indigent clients facing capital punishment in rural Georgia, and helping build multilingual, community-based infrastructure with refugee families. She likes dance classes with difficult choreography, building and maintaining community and friendships that span continents, traveling everywhere she is able, and cats.

Join Vanessa for her presentations at our Fourth Annual National Caregiving Conference:

Session #1

Building a Better Future for Family Caregivers TOGETHER!
Friday 10:30 a.m.
Have you ever wanted to come together with fellow family caregivers to make positive, long-lasting change in your community but didn't know how to, given how isolated, stressed, and overwhelmed you feel? We can relate! Caring Across Generations believes caregiving should not be an individual burden, but instead a collective responsibility. We also believe that in order to create policies that directly benefit the lives of caregivers and shift the narrative and overall culture on this issue, family caregivers must lead and inform all efforts — given that those who are closest to the problem are also closest to the solution.

The solution to the long-term care crisis lies in building people power driven by family caregivers — and organizing communities who share our values — to create a true #CaringMajority. As community organizers and advocates, we know that in order to shift institutional power, win public pressure campaigns, and transform cultural attitudes and norms, we must recruit individuals who sit at the center of our issues. We believe we, as family caregivers, are experts in our own lives and struggles and, to that end, should speak for ourselves about both the individual challenges we face as well as the systemic solutions to those challenges.

We will begin Building a Better Future for Family Caregivers TOGETHER! by explaining community organizing as a way to make change and will provide some fun, interactive exercises. We will then help people understand the bread and butter of organizing — recruitment — and detail the valuable knowledge and experience that family caregivers can bring to any organization, in addition to the special considerations that organizers must take into account when working with this unique group of people with significant and varied needs. We will present Caring Across Generations’ own experience of launching a 6-month paid CARE Fellowship.

Participants will walk away from the workshop understanding the effectiveness and power of bringing family caregivers together to enact positive change, and feel inspired by new possibilities to make a world a better place for family caregivers and everyone impacted by care.

Session #2

Panel Discussion: Is it possible to have a voice of change around Caregiving? What does it mean to be a Caregiving Advocate at the Grassroots Level?
Friday 4 p.m.
This Policy & Advocacy ACT segment will introduce you to diverse organizations that are actively engaged in health policy and advocacy initiatives -- organizations that you can get involved with TODAY so that your voice is heard. Learn about organizations focused on grassroots initiatives and get involved!

We are so very grateful for the support of the following sponsors of our National Caregiving Conference,
especially Embracing Carers™, this year's supporting sponsor:

~ NCC19 Agenda ~ Meet Our Presenters ~
NCC19 Virtual Registration ~ NCC19 In-Person Registration (Chicago) ~
~ Hotel Reservations ~ NCC19 Volunteer Registration ~ Sponsor or Exhibit ~
~ Testimonials ~ Virtual Caregiving Summit ~