Merble Reagon

Merble Reagon is Executive Director of the Women’s Center for Education and Career Advancement in New York City that serves low-income women and their families through a variety of programs and services designed to help them achieve economic security. Throughout her career, she has worked to create greater opportunities for low-wage workers in the business and public sectors. Her current work includes introduction and promotion of the most recent (2014) Self-Sufficiency Standard for the City of New York: Overlooked and Undercounted: The Struggle to Make Ends Meet in New York City and the widely used web-based New York City Self-Sufficiency Calculator. The report calculates how much income it takes for 152 family types to live and work in the five boroughs of New York City. The Calculator enables nonprofit social service agency caseworkers to screen low-wage working families for 19 income supports in less than 10 minutes.  The Financial Literacy Independence Program (FLIP) is the Center’s latest innovative effort to educate girls and young women about the fundamentals of economic security and the incremental steps they must take to achieve financial stability as adult women. The Women’s Center is credited with framing and broadening the New York City policy dialogue to shift the income equality discussion from poverty to one of what income working families actually need to meet their families’ basic needs.  She has received numerous awards including the Ellen Lurie Award, the Susan B. Anthony Award (NOW-NYC) and the New York Women’s Foundation’s Celebrating Women Award. Recent community involvement includes NYC Mayor’s Commission on Women’s Issues and the boards of the NYS Defenders Association, the Justice Fund, the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, the New York Women’s Foundation, and the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund.  She is a graduate of Smith College and the New York University School of Law.