Millions have entered poverty as a result of the Great Recession's terrible toll of long-term unemployment. This month, we will release America’s Poor and the Great Recession which looks at recent trends in poverty and assesses the performance of America’s “safety net” programs. Written by IU SPEA Dean John D. Graham and Kristin S. Seefeldt (a former professor at SPEA Bloomington), the authors consider likely scenarios for future developments and conclude that the well-being of low-income Americans, particularly the working poor, the near poor, and the new poor, is at substantial risk despite economic recovery. The book includes a foreword by national talk show host and SPEA alumnus Tavis Smiley.
On January 15, Graham and Smiley will join the IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) for a panel discussion on the new face of poverty. The event will be held in conjunction with the release of the book, officially available January 29. Panelists will discuss the effects of poverty in Indiana and offer possible solutions.
Other panelists on the 15th include James Taylor, CEO of the John H. Boner Community Center in Indianapolis; and Andy Fraizer, Executive Director of the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development. Marion County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ayers will moderate. The public is invited to attend this free lunchtime event at the Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis. RSVP at 317-278-9670 or [email protected]
In a separate event, in which Dean Graham will also participate, Smiley will moderate a nationally televised discussion, “Vision for a New America: A Future Without Poverty,” on January 17 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Taking place just days before the presidential inauguration, the event is free and open to the public, and will be broadcast live on C-SPAN. Other panelists include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and political and civil rights activist Cornel West. The discussion will be re-broadcast on Smiley’s shows on public radio and television. More information can be found at www.afuturewithoutpoverty.com.
“Until now, it has been possible for the few who still have means to collectively deny, disregard, and disparage their fifty million fellow citizens who are struggling to break out of poverty,” writes Smiley. “As more and more people who thought they were safe fall backward into insolvency, however, poverty becomes a middle class problem. To move forward, we need strategies that are rooted in fact, robust in their impact, and ready for implementation. This is precisely the roadmap offered in America’s Poor and the Great Recession.”
About the authors:
John D. Graham is Dean of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and author of Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks (IUP, 2010). From 2001 to 2006 he served as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, White House Office of Management and Budget.
Kristin S. Seefeldt is Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan and author of Working after Welfare: How Women Balance Jobs and Family in the Wake of Welfare Reform and Welfare Reform. She is a former professor at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Tavis Smiley hosts the late night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS, The Tavis Smiley Show, and co-hosts Smiley & West, both distributed by Public Radio International (PRI). In addition, Smiley has authored 16 books including a book he edited, Covenant with Black America, which reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2009, Smiley was named one of TIME’s 100 “Most Influential People in the World.”