Justice should not be the privilege of the few, but the right of the many. From tax justice, to environmental justice, to health justice, and beyond, how can we create a New Jersey that leaves no one behind? Join NJPP for our annual policy conference, as we explore ways to advance racial, economic, and social justice for every resident.

9:15 AM - 9:30 AM
Introductory Remarks: Nicole Rodriguez, President, NJPP

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Keynote Address: Taifa Smith Butler, President, Demos

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Morning Plenary Panel

Achieving a Multi-Racial Democracy
A multi-racial democracy requires pushing back against violent and systemic racism, and toward economic and political systems that reckon with past injustices and leave no one behind. The morning plenary will discuss the ongoing threats to democracy — from the insurrection, to state policies that limit voting rights, to the growing influence of white nationalism — and the urgent need for transformative policy change that centers racial justice. How can we build economic and political power for all people?

Featuring: Amol Sinha, ACLU-NJ; Reverend Dr. Charles Boyer, Salvation and Social Justice; Arati Kreibich, New Jersey Working Families Party; Kiki Jamieson, Fund for New Jersey | Moderator: Nicole Rodriguez, NJPP

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Special Address: Gov. Phil Murphy

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
Breakout Sessions

Breaking Down Barriers to Health Justice
Justice in health recognizes the human right to health care and bodily autonomy, and the need to dismantle exclusionary policies that work against these rights. This panel will explore health justice through the lens of the social determinants of health — that is, the ways that policies on issues like abortion access, the environment, and housing affect the well-being of individuals and communities. Panelists will discuss barriers to health justice in New Jersey and current campaigns to make health justice a reality for everyone in the Garden State.

Featuring: Deputy Commissioner Lisa Asare, New Jersey Department of Human Services; Alex Staropoli, Fair Share Housing Center; Melissa Miles, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance; Roxanne Sutocky, Cherry Hill Women’s Center | Moderator: Brittany Holom-Trundy, Ph.D., NJPP

Using the Tax Code to Close the Racial Wealth Gap
New Jersey consistently ranks as one of the wealthiest states in the nation, but this metric hides a dramatic racial wealth gap between white households and their Black and Hispanic/Latinx counterparts. Panelists will discuss the link between tax policy and closing the racial wealth gap, and highlight race-conscious solutions — from bold new policies like baby bonds and universal basic income to targeted changes in the tax code and increased enforcement of relevant tax and financial laws.

Featuring: Jeannine Frisby LaRue, Kaufman Zita Group; Stephanie Hoopes, United Way of Northern New Jersey; Jean-Pierre Brutus, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice; Kamolika Das, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy | Moderator: Sheila Reynertson, NJPP

Reimagining Public Safety
The harms of the criminal justice system are far-reaching, with punishments baked into social services, education, child welfare, public health, and more. This panel will address how these systems deepen cycles of oppression by harming people already targeted by racist and exclusionary economic and social policies. Panelists will demonstrate how punishment is a policy choice, and discuss ways New Jersey can reimagine public safety and invest in healing and community care.

Featuring: Laura Bustamente, New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice; Caitlin O’Neill, New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition; Renaldo Chavis, Newark Community Street Team; Joe Johnson, ACLU-NJ; Lenna Nepomnyaschy, Rutgers School of Social Work | Moderator: Marleina Ubel, NJPP

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Afternoon Plenary Panel

Making New Jersey Affordable for All
“Affordability” is a resounding theme in Trenton this year — but far too often, policy proposals that emphasize affordability would enrich the already wealthy and big businesses. Making New Jersey affordable for all requires state and federal policies that put resources into the hands of individuals and families who need them most. The afternoon plenary features advocates and policy experts fighting at the grassroots level, through organized labor, and in the halls of the State House for a truly affordable New Jersey.

Featuring: Reverend Eric Dobson, Fair Share Housing Center; Amy Torres, New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice; Elena Lavarreda, SEIU 32BJ; Wesley Tharpe, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; | Moderator: Louis Di Paolo, NJPP


Meet Keynote Speaker Taifa Smith Buter:

After four years as a member of Demos’ Board of Trustees, Taifa Smith Butler began her tenure as Demos president in July 2021. 

Butler came to Demos after nearly a decade at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, where, from 2015 to 2021, she led and inspired the GBPI team as its president and CEO. She is an established leader known as a problem solver and tireless champion for equity. 

Taifa brings more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, public policy research and data analysis in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Prior to joining the GBPI team as deputy director in 2011, she served as the policy and communications director for Georgia Family Connection Partnership where she co-managed the Georgia KIDS COUNT project and monitored public policy and its impact on children, families, and communities. 

Named one of Atlanta’s 500 most powerful leaders in 2020 and 2021 by Atlanta Magazine, Taifa has served on various local, state and national committees and boards. Butler is a Class of 2017 Rockwood Leadership Institute “Leading from the Inside Out” Fellow, a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2016 and was a New Executive Fund fellow with the Open Society Foundation in 2015. 

A first-generation college graduate, Taifa graduated from Mount Holyoke College and holds a master’s in public management and policy with a concentration in economic development and financial management from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Sponsorship opportunities are available!

By sponsoring our silver anniversary year, you can help ensure that our work to advance economic justice and racial equity will continue for the next 25 years and beyond.

New Jersey Policy Perspective's 25th Anniversary celebration is made possible through the support of

The 25th Anniversary Gala and Progress 2022: Justice for All are sponsored by:




Marcia Marley


CURE Auto Insurance
Florio Perrucci Steinhardt Cappelli Tipton & Taylor LLC
Genova Burns LLC
Gerville “Gerry” Gibbs Jr.
IFPTE Local 194
Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C.
Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey
Jon Shure & Janice Conklin


Adriana Abizadeh
ACLU of New Jersey
Henry A. Coleman
Ideal Image Consulting, Dan Fatton
Anastasia Mann & Eldar Shafir
National Association of Social Workers New Jersey
New Jersey Citizen Action
Salvation and Social Justice
Scott Weiner & Beth Siegel
John Weingart & Deborah Spitalnik
Susie Wilson


Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson
Deb D'Arcangelo & Ed Dippold
Environment New Jersey
Family Success Institute
Janice Fine & David Donnelly
Heather Howard
Gordon MacInnes
Make the Road New Jersey
Brandon McKoy
New Jersey Working Families Party
Passaic County Education Association
Riverview Studios
Julia Sass Rubin & Gregory Stankiewicz
Stoolmacher Consulting Group
Patrick Toussaint & Andrea Ducas
Taft Communications
Senator Andrew Zwicker