2018 Annual Convening

Wednesday, June 13 from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

FHI 360 Conference Center

1825 Connecticut Ave, NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20009


Essential Conversations on Human Services: 2018 Annual Convening will be a time for members of the National Human Services Assembly along with partners, colleagues, and friends in the human service and nonprofit sectors, to gather and network with each other and the National Assembly Board of Directors and staff to further important conversations and collaboration in the sector.

We are excited to offer a rich schedule of programming this year, including multiple breakout sessions designed to drive important conversations. Additionally, there will be opportunities to network, a dedicated sponsor showcase, a dynamic and exciting lunch keynote with author Mohammed AL Samawi, and a book signing. Mohammed's story is evidence of how individual voices and actions can form a powerful collective and how dismantling perceptions that cause "othering" can lead to building global well-being.




About the Lunch Keynote: Mohammed AL Samawi is a peace activist, author, and interfaith ambassador. As a young boy growing up in Yemen, he was taught to hate and fear Israel and America, Jews, and Christians. Remarkably, he eventually pushed against the boundaries of his culture and began discovering fundamental similarities between religions and peoples. His mission to foster interfaith understanding put him in grave danger, however, when civil war erupted in Yemen.

Facing certain death, Mohammed desperately reached out to a far-flung network of likeminded but virtual strangers over social media to save his life. THE FOX HUNT: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America, which came out on April 10, is Mohammed’s riveting and inspiring account of these dramatic circumstances, a singular story of international friendship and human decency set against a backdrop of war, violence, ignorance, and hatred. In our turbulent and divisive times, THE FOX HUNT offers a moving testament to compassion, friendship, faith, and redemption, on a global scale.

Watch a short video about his amazing journey or read more.

Morning Breakout Sessions: The theme of the entire day is important conversations for the human service sector. The morning breakout sessions will consist of two 1-hour blocks of time in which attendees will be able to choose important conversations to sit in on. Short descriptions of the four sessions are below, in alphabetical order. Please note, session titles, subject matter, and presenters are subject to change. Refer to ongoing event emails for the latest updates on sessions.

  • Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture   Everyone is talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion, but changing organizational culture requires putting words into action. In this highly interactive, collaborative session, we’ll explore how organizations are shifting mindsets, practices and systems to increase race equity by reviewing the Race Equity Cycle framework, sharing critical learnings from the forthcoming “Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture” publication, and providing insight on specific tactics and strategies organizations can utilize to shift organizational culture towards race equity in a measurable way.
  • Reaching Sound Policy Choices in a Post-factual Political Culture   How can human service advocates navigate the current environment to further policy and systems change in our communities? This session will be a facilitated discussion about the relationship between “evidence-informed” policy arguments and policymakers’ obligation to their constituents and accountability to facts. Panelists will share their experiences across issue areas, engage with participants about how they engage with policymakers at the federal, state, and local level, and discuss the challenges of leveraging evidence and data in highly partisan environments.
  • Reframing Human Services and Improving the Health of the Sector   Earlier this year, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the American Public Human Services Association released "National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America," a groundbreaking report examining the health of community-based human service organizations. In this session, we’ll explore how misperceptions about human services have contributed to the structural challenges identified in the report and will discuss the role that reframing human services can play in building support for the report’s sector-strengthening recommendations.
  • Supporting Contemporary Youth-led Movements   As youth-led movements around specific social issues continue to grow and evolve, so must human service organizations and communities evolve to support these movements. This session will include a facilitated discussion about what tools and resources adult members of our communities can provide to youth to assist them in grassroots organization and advocacy. Particular focus will be given to ways in which adults can strengthen these movements while ensuring the youth remain front and center. This session will also offer a first-hand account of the experience of one such youth leader and provide examples of the kinds of support that leader has found most beneficial when organizing.

PurchasingPoint Peer Council: During the morning sessions, PurchasingPoint Champions and members are invited to join their peers for program strategy discussions, learning, vendor presentations, and networking.



This is an approximate agenda for the day. Please note, it is subject to change.

8:00 - 9:00 AM Registration, breakfast and networking
9:00 - 10:00 AM Morning Breakout Sessions I
10:00 - 10:15 AM Break
10:15 - 11:15 AM Morning Breakout Sessions II
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM      Sponsor Showcase
12:00 - 2:00 PM Lunch, Annual Meeting, and Keynote by Mohammed AL Samawi 
2:00 PM Book Signing with Mohammed AL Samawi


We are currently seeking sponsors for the event at a variety of levels. For more information, please see our Annual Convening Sponsorship Packages or contact Melanie Richardson at mrichardson@nassembly.org or 202-347-2080 ext. 32.

Thanks to our 2018 Sponsors for the Annual Convening!







The event is free to attend for any National Human Services Assembly member organization staff, partners, friends, and general human service or nonprofit professionals. Breakfast and lunch, along with free Wi-Fi, will be provided to all attendees, free of charge.



If you are traveling in from out of town, please note that we do not have a block of hotel rooms reserved. There are several hotels available in the Dupont neighborhood near the FHI 360 Conference Center (located at 1825 Connecticut Ave, NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20009) or in downtown Washington, DC, just a short car, cab, or Metro ride away.

If you are looking for a hotel, try using our discount hotel booking site HotelStorm at https://www.hotelstorm.com/purchasingpoint. Please refer to your registration confirmation email for the passcode to access the HotelStorm site or contact us at comm@nassembly.org. If you are renting a car for the trip, you can contact us at comm@nassembly.org to get a discount code for car rental.



For any questions, please reach out to the team at comm@nassembly.org or directly to Melanie Richardson at mrichardson@nassembly.org or 202-347-2080 ext. 32.