Tickets still are available for the Junior League of Longview's Poverty Conference 2019, which begins at 8 a.m. today at LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center, 2100 S. Mobberly Ave., Longview.

The annual one-day conference highlights nationally recognized keynote speakers whose work and expertise reflects issues of the local community. It brings together community partners, educators, professionals and citizens together to create common conversation, strategies and vision regarding poverty.

Jeannette Walls and Fredi Lajvardi were to be this year’s keynote speakers, but Walls will not be speaking because of an unexpected eye surgery that has restricted her travel for several weeks.

“She is truly disappointed in letting people down by not being part of Poverty Conference 2019,” the Junior League said on its website about Walls, who authored the No. 1 New York Times best-selling memoir “The Glass Castle.”

Lajvardi is a nationally recognized science, technology, engineering and math educator and is the subject of such critically acclaimed documentaries and films as “Underwater Dreams” and “Spare Parts.”

“We hope to increase awareness and spur action among our community,” according to a statement about the Poverty Conference. “Since the conference began, we have seen partnerships grow, development of new programs and services for our community and citywide initiatives to address homelessness.”

Tickets are $35 and are available on the Junior League website, .

Jimmy Daniell Isaac covers the city of Longview and Gregg County. Follow him on Twitter: @jimmyisaaclives.