EWI at the Newseum

12 Jul

On Tuesday July 10th, Perri (EWI’s Outreach Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA) attended “50 Years Since The Other America: Understanding and Addressing Poverty in the 21st Century” hosted by Demos at the Newseum. The conference consisted of four panel discussions: What Have We Learned about Poverty in America in the past 50 years?, The Economy and Poverty: Addressing the Labor Market, Work Supports and the Safety Net, and Education and Skills Development: Early Interventions, K-12 and Postsecondary Education.

A small panel on Poverty and the Austerity Debate occurred over lunch. Panelists included a wide range of researchers, practitioners, and journalists. Discussions throughout the day focused on the importance of education of children as major part of helping to solve the issue of poverty in America. Panelists discussed the successes of SNAP and how the US needs to continue to creatively and effectively approach programs to support people living in poverty. Discussions also addressed the need for education reform and more focus on the acceptance of routes other than college education (need for stronger apprenticeship programs, vocational programs, etc.).

It was a great event for EWI to attend since we work with low-income women and families. We took away a great deal of valuable information and new insights in to how we can work towards solving the issue of poverty in our own communities. “Fifty years ago, Michael Harrington’s classic exposé The Other America shed light on widespread poverty in the United States and helped pave the way for reforms that have improved the lives of millions of Americans. But with millions of people still living below the poverty line even before the latest recession hit, inequality rising, and millions out of work, there is much more to do.”

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