Breakout Sessions #3 - 2:50PM

We thank the presenters of these breakout sessions. They added immeasurably to the Festival's success. Click on a button below to go to more information about a session. 

The State of School Finance in Wisconsin: 2024 Edition

Level 2, Rooms #1 & 2, Esch Hurvis


Ms. Chapman’s presentation will assess the current state of Wisconsin school finance, including a review of the 2023-25 state budget for public education and a look ahead at emerging issues for the next state biennial budget, including an overview of Spring 2024 referendum results.

Anne Chapman


Anne K. Chapman | Research Director
Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO)

As research director for the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO), Ms. Chapman leads the organization’s mission of ensuring equity and outstanding educational opportunities for Wisconsin students by providing nonpartisan policy research, analysis, and advocacy. She has written and presented on school choice, the history of school finance in Wisconsin, special education, and other topics. Before joining WASBO, she served as senior researcher with the Wisconsin Policy Forum where she oversaw the Forum’s education research portfolio.

Phone: 608.249.8588 | Direct: 414.232.1780

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An Innovative Model for Farm Sustainability Rewards

Level 2, Room #3, Meade Witter


How can we reduce run-off from Wisconsin farms? How can we better spend conservation dollars, and reward farmers for implementing conservation practices? Come learn about the Farm Sustainability Rewards Project from Wisconsin's Green Fire and Clean Wisconsin. In this session, Jim VandenBrook will introduce an innovative pay-for-performance model for tiered rewards for sustainable farming practices. This approach is designed to navigate the challenges of producing economically viable crops and livestock while protecting and improving soil, water, and air conditions for both rural and urban areas. Our mission at Wisconsin Green Fire is to advance science-informed analysis and policy solutions that address Wisconsin's greatest conservation challenges.


Jim VandenBrook
Project Co-Executive - Farm Sustainability Rewards Project-Wisconsin Green Fire

VandenBrook has been working with Wisconsin’s Green Fire on agricultural conservation issues since 2018. Before that he served as the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association from 2012 until his retirement in 2018. Before 2012, Jimmy worked at both the county and state levels with farmers to protect groundwater quality and improve farm management of phosphate-containing substances (called “nutrients”) to protect groundwater and surface water. He is a current member of the Wisconsin Institute on Climate Change Impacts – Ag Working Group. Jimmy has a degree in Soil Science-Natural Resources from UW–Madison. He lives in Mount Horeb and is an avid cross-country skier. He completed his 40th American Birkebeiner in February 2024!

Wisconsin's Green Fire
P.O. Box 1206
Rhinelander, WI 54501

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A Progressive Vision for Rural America

Level 3, Room #2: Nathan Marsh Pusey



Alan Minsky
Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)

A lifelong activist, Minsky worked as a progressive journalist for two decades before joining PDA full time in 2018. He was the Program Director at KPFK Los Angeles from 2009-2018; and the coordinator of Pacifica Radio’s national coverage of elections. Before that, Alan was one of the founders of LA Indymedia. He co-created the original podcasts for The Nation and Jacobin Magazine, as well as the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. His writing can be found at The Nation, Truthdig, Commondreams and other platforms.

Alan’s activism began in college with union solidarity work and opposition to US involvement in Central America. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Alan was active in the counter-globalization and media democracy movements. In 2011, he began organizing for Occupy Wall Street in the months leading up to the occupation of Zuccotti Park.

Alan is a committed anti-racist, feminist and LGBTQ+ rights advocate. He is also an advocate for economic policies that address social inequality, eradicate poverty, and prioritize the interests of working and middle-class households. Alan began working with PDA in 2014.


Alan Minsky

Democrats of America
Phone: 818-749-9497
PDA Website:

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Pat Skogen
Skogen taught at Beloit Aldrich and Beloit College Upward Bound; taught in Dodgeville, and
served on the Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program (SWCAP) Board while living in Iowa County for 20 years. She farmed in Sauk County for 12 years while teaching in Oregon for 9 years.

In retirement in 2014, she moved to Monroe where she reconnected with old friends and found new community in the South Central WI Farmers Union and Soil Sisters.

Skogen enrolled as a Democrat in Green County to work with Kriss Marion’s first campaign for state Senate. Progressives in southwestern WI know me as a longtime participant at the Grassroots Network Festival and BobFest; and as an outspoken advocate for family farmers, workers and rural communities through WI Farmers Union, Family Farm Defenders and Reedsburg Concerned Citizens.

Most recently, she's served on the board of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Environmental Caucus; as a member of the Rural, Progressive and Women’s Caucuses; and as 2nd CD Co-Chair. She volunteered to promote Democratic candidates in 2020 through innovative Mobile and Residential Outreach Offices in Green County, and in 2022 she ran against Howard Marklein for the 17th State Senate seat.

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Pat Skogen

Money for Real Needs – Why Not?

Level 3, Room #3: Kraemer Conference Room


Somehow a mighty human invention, money, has been twisted away from human and planetary needs. Eco-systems are ransacked. Boom-bust cycles threaten rich and poor alike. Instead of helping each other, we all are stuck paying for horrible wars. Fortunately that money trickery has been identified, and it can be fixed. Mary Sanderson will pinpoint the problem and invite us to prep for crisis with a historically grounded plan to address it. She will also introduce vibrant allied projects modeling how money can work for the common good.

The Alliance For JUST MONEY (AFJM), Move To Amend, and Greens for Monetary Reform invite us to challenge corruption and dystopia at their roots.

Mary Sanderson


Mary Sanderson
Raging Granny, retired postal worker, Spanish medical interpreter and AFJM activist, was feeling like 40 years of peace & justice work was just spinning wheels until 2017, when the underlying private money system came to her attention. Monetary reform gives us ground for imagining and pursuing a healthy future realistically.

Diverse Voices - Equity and Inclusion

Level 4, Room #1, Runkel

Take this opportunity to hear from local leaders in minority communities. They will share what Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) mean to each of them personally, and engage with the audience to make sure basic understandings are held in common. Hear some challenges each has witnessed or experienced, and let them lift you up with their hopes for future generations.


Juan Corpus (He / Him / El)
Corpus is the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for New North Inc., the regional marketing and economic development organization for the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin. In the role, Corpus leads New North’s DEI initiatives, assists Northeast Wisconsin organizations with diversity portions of their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) plans and mentors local partners on their respective DEI journeys.
Previously he spent over 20 years at Humana in a variety of areas and progressively ascending roles. He co-founded the Latino Professionals Association of Northeast Wisconsin in January 2021, becoming its president in 2022, and is a board member of Casa ALBA Melanie, the Neville Public Museum Foundation, and the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Corpus has been a member of the UWGB Alumni Advisory Board since 2020.

Cell Phone: 920-355-1638

Juan Corpus

Pa Yiar Khang, MPH (She / Her)
Khang is a dedicated advocate and experienced public health professional with over 10 years of experience championing health equity at the local and state level.

She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the HMong American Partnership of Fox Valley, a nonprofit organization that has served the HMong community in the Fox Cities since the 1980s. The HMong American Partnership aims to strengthen and empower the HMong community by fostering collaboration, leveraging resources, and promoting a healthy cultural identity.

Prior to this, Pa contributed her expertise as a board member for the Wisconsin Public Health Association, actively engaging in their Racial Equity Committee. Throughout her professional career, Pa has collaborated with diverse communities and partners, leveraging her expertise to advance health equity through systemic, environmental, and policy changes.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


Pa Yiar Khang

Phone: 920-515-9324

HMong American Partnership of Fox Valley
2198 S. Memorial Dr.
Appleton, WI 54915

Jason Wright, Sr. (He / Him)
Wright is the Executive Director of Brothers Helping Brothers (BHB) Wisconsin, a nonprofit that focuses on the well-being and mental health of men. "Improving Men's Mental Health Through Fellowship & Community Action" is the organization's mission statement.

He has been serving the Green Bay African American culture and community for over 20 years, first in the for profit and now in the nonprofit grassroots area. His organization collaborates with other local nonprofits to provide entertainment ranging from teen nights to safe HUBS for youth. They support men's mental health, feed the homeless, organize food drives, and uplift the community.

Wright is totally committed to helping change the Green Bay community for the better.

Jason Wright, Sr.

Brothers Helping Brothers Wisconsin

Building a United Plan for Action

Level 4, Room #2: Arthur Vining Davis


Creating our strategic plan to address peace, justice, sustainability, and democracy. Led by a variety of leaders, we will hold a large “All Peoples’ Forum” where we will identify and explore ideas for action that can be worked into our statewide “Unity Plan.”

Building Unity


Timothy Cordon
Cordon is the co-founder and coordinator of Building Unity - a nonpartisan project that is working to build momentum for peace, justice, sustainability, and democracy. Timothy is currently traveling throughout Wisconsin in the "UnityMobile."  At each "Democracy Tour" stop, he works with local leaders to host "All Peoples' Forums" in order to better connect, inform, and inspire people to not only vote, but also to help build the united movement that future generations are dependent upon.

Timothy Cordon
Phone: 608-630-3633

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Timothy Cordon of Building Unity