The Center on Poverty and Inequality works with policymakers, researchers, practitioners, and advocates to develop effective policies and practices that alleviate poverty and inequality in the United States.
The Center's areas of anti-poverty work include national, state, and local policy and program recommendations that help marginalized girls, promote effective workforce and education policies and programs for disconnected youth, and develop policy to combat deep poverty.
Our strategies are to partner with Administration agencies and non-profit organizations to host national conferences, produce and widely disseminate in-depth reports, engage in public speaking, and participate in national coalitions and working groups.
September 19, 2016: The Center hosted a conference entitled “Trauma-Informed Approaches in School: Supporting Girls of Color and Rethinking Discipline” with co-hosts the White House Council on Women and Girls, the US Department of Education, and the National Crittenton Foundation.
Speakers included girls of color, experts on trauma, race, and gender, and Administration officials, including Secretary of Education John King; Vanita Gupta, US Dept of Justice Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights; Catherine Lhamon, US Dept of Education Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights; and Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett. Click here to see the White House fact sheet describing the amazing list of deliverables from the day.
July 27, 2016: Summer Fellow Zachariah Oquenda published "I was homeless in Rural America. Here's how to help families like mine." on TalkPoverty.org, where it is the most shared blog post on the site.
Executive Director Rebecca Epstein with the Center's Girls@ the Margin Alliance partners, including The National Crittenton Foundation, Rights4Girls, Girls Inc., and the National Women’s Law Center - with First Lady Michelle Obama at the The United State of Women summit. At the summit, we announced our intent to publish a National Policy Platform for Marginalized Girls, and issued a call for input.
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July 11, 2016: The center cosponsored "Strengthening Unemployment Protections in America" with the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the National Employment Law Project (NELP). At the event, Representative Sandy Levin (D-MI) and White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman spoke about the need for unemployment insurance (UI) reform. Project on Deep Poverty Director Indivar Dutta-Gupta served as a speaker for a subsequent panel discussion on UI and the Job Seeker's Allowance.
July 7, 2016: Members of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, CAP, and NELP published an issue brief: "Where States Are and Where They Should Be on Unemployment Protections." The brief identifies the main challenges facing states' unemployment insurance (UI) programs; provides recent state-level data; and recommends steps that states can take to substantially strengthen their UI programs.
June 2016: The Center on Poverty and Inequality participated as a plenary session speaker at the United State of Women Summit in Washington DC. Over 5000 attended the event; speakers included President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Attorney General Lynch.
June 16, 2016: In partnership with CAP and NELP, the center released a report on updating unemployment insurance (UI) for a 21st century economy and establishing a new Jobseeker's Allowance. This report was featured in The Wall Street Journal article: "Should an Unemployed Uber Driver Be Eligible for a 'Job Seeker's Allowance'?." Read the full report here, the Executive Summary here, and the factsheet here. The report is being released in tandem with updated, independent analysis from the Urban Institute commissioned by the center, CAP, and NELP—which shows that just three of the proposed reforms would significantly increase the share of newly unemployed workers who are protected by UI.
June 9, 2016: The center hosted a book signing and policy discussion, entitled "Evicted: Housing, Poverty, and Policy" with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). The event addressed issues highlighted in "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City," a book by Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" award winner Matthew Desmond. Desmond was introduced by Executive Vice President and Dean of Georgetown Law, William Treanor, and the center's Faculty Director Peter Edelman. The author spoke to the tragic causes and systemic consequences of evictions in the U.S. and then participated in a panel discussion of policy implications with William Julius Wilson (Harvard University), Pamela Hughes Patenaude (Terwilliger Foundation), and Steven Banks (NYC Dept. of Social Services).
April 14, 2016: The center's comprehensive report, "Lessons Learned From 40 Years of Subsidized Employment Programs," was featured in the article, "The Case for a New WPA," in The Atlantic.
April 5, 2016: The Center on Poverty hosted a Book Event at Busboys and Poets in Washington DC to help launch Monique Morris's book, entitled "Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School." Dr. Morris is partnering with the Center on Poverty on a project that seeks to improve the relationship between girls of color and school resource officers. She spoke with Avis Buchanan about her book to a full house, and brought along her daughter’s artwork, which was completed as part of a mother-daughter collaboration to illustrate the narratives of the book. See reviews of this important book in The New Republic and The Atlantic.
Feb. 2016: Watch Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Director of the center's Project on Deep Poverty and Senior Fellow, speak about poverty and inequality at a convening of experts hosted by Spotlight in partnership with the Ford Foundation here.
In January, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Director of the center's Project on Deep Poverty, was a featured panelist in the Opening Session of the National Academy of Social Insurance's annual conference. The panel, "What Do the Numbers Tell Us? A Review of the Data on Economic Disparities," also featured Jared Bernstein from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute, and Ngina Chiteji from New York University, and was moderated by former Academy President G. Lawrence Atkins.
In October 2015, Executive Director Rebecca Epstein served as a panelist at a briefing hosted by Congresswoman Karen Bass in the Rayburn House Office Building focused on the Center’s report. The briefing, entitled “Justice for Girls: The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline,” was attended by 102 people, with remarks from numerous Representatives, including Karen Bass, Ted Poe, Hank Johnson, Judy Chu, Barbara Lee, Bobby Scott, John Conyers, and Bonnie Watson Coleman.
"If we are going to talk about economic inequality in our country, we have to talk about it all the way to the bottom ... not just go down as far as the middle class," said Faculty Director Peter Edelman, speaking at a Georgetown Law symposium on “Economic Inequality: Causes, Consequences and Responses” on December 4.
On September 9, in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the center hosted a national poverty event to highlight the newly-released book, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America. The event included a presentation by the authors, Kathy Edin and Luke Shaefer, followed by remarks from Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Cecilia Muñoz (White House Domestic Policy Council). It also featured a discussion by a panel of national and international poverty experts (pictured above), including Wade Henderson (Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed), and Aparna Mathur (AEI).
The Center on Poverty was proud to co-host an event on August 22, 2015, to launch the Washington, DC chapter of Black Girls Code. Fifty girls ranging in age from 7–17 attended with their parents to learn to build a website in a day. The opening speakers included Rebecca Epstein, the Center’s Executive Director, Roy Austin, Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity, and Kimberlyn Leary, Advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls.
On May 27, The Center on Poverty hosted a national conference on Improving the Outcomes of Students in Foster Care with partners National Center for Youth Law, the ABA Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, and the Children’s Defense Fund. View a video of the conference above. Other conference materials can be viewed here: agenda and speakers’ biographies.
On January 15, the Center on Poverty and Inequality co-hosted a national conference with the White House and the Department of Education, “Front and Center: Bringing Marginalized Girls into Focus in STEM and Career and Technical Education."
We were honored to hear from some of the greatest contributors to the field and be part of the beginning of many meaningful conversations. A special thank-you to our keynote speaker, Aprille Ericsson of NASA, and our surprise guest speaker, her 6-year-old STEM-focused daughter, Arielle. It was an inspiring day.
Report released June 16: "Strengthening Unemployment Protections in America."
Report released April 13: "Lessons Learned From 40 Years of Subsidized Employment Programs."
Blog: "The Tipped Minimum Wage Hasn't Budged in 25 Years. That's a Problem," in partnership with The Leadership Conference.
Click here to download the center's new report, "Raising Wages, Reducing Inequality, Sustaining Families: Why raising the minimum wage is a civil and human rights issue."
Click here to download the Center on Poverty's Report: The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls' Story.
Click here to download the Center on Poverty's report.