SEAP Engages in Pivotal ARPA EARN Talk to Drive Equitable Use of American Rescue Plan Act Funds

ATLANTA  – The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) proudly participated in the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) Talk on March 12, 2024, focusing on the strategic deployment of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) resources. The virtual event, attended by community leaders, policy experts, and public officials, aimed to address the remaining funds within the $350 billion State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) allocated by ARPA to aid pandemic recovery.

Liza Crichton, SEAP’s Federal Resources Coordinator, alongside Genny Castillo from SEAP, led a compelling presentation discussing the critical role of ARPA funds in fostering an equitable recovery in the Southern United States. The dialogue centered on the urgent need for state and local governments to expedite the equitable obligation of their remaining ARPA dollars before looming deadlines in December 2024.

The talk featured a panel of experts, including Dave Kamper and Jasmine Payne-Patterson from EPI/EARN, Eric Harris from Equity to Prosperity, Laura Lester from Feeding Alabama, and Ben Washington from the Arkansas Public Policy Panel. Each shared unique insights and data on influencing equitable fund distribution at the state and local levels; Mr. Harris and Ms. Lester shared their own stories on successfully advocating for government leaders to fund early education programs and food assistance programs—both of which have made tremendous impact on their communities. 

During the event, SEAP highlighted its American Rescue Plan Toolkit, a robust resource designed to bridge the gap between policy formulation and implementation. The toolkit offers guides, templates, and policy briefs to enhance public outreach, community engagement, and equitable recovery efforts.

Liza Crichton highlighted the toolkit’s ARP in Action section, showcasing success stories from across the Southeast to inspire and inform community leaders about the diverse applications of ARPA funds. From supporting survivors of domestic violence to funding disability community resources and workforce development, these success stories demonstrate the transformative impact of equitably applied federal funds.

The presentation also covered recent updates from the Treasury Department, encouraging the use of ARPA funds for workforce development and affordable housing and introducing new actions to facilitate the use of these funds for housing supply increases.

As 2024 unfolds, SEAP is dedicated to deepening its engagement in select communities to maximize the impact of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. SEAP continues to empower Southern leaders and changemakers, advocating for equity in local budgeting and aiding in applying for federal grants.

For more information on SEAP’s initiatives or to access the American Rescue Plan Toolkit, please visit or contact Liza Crichton at