Almost 50 years ago, when Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty and set in motion the development of our modern social safety net, poverty was largely confined to inner-city neighborhoods and isolated rural areas. Today, the overwhelming majority of America’s poor live in its major metropolitan areas, and most of them live not in cities, but in suburbs. Yet the paradigm of poverty in America, and the infrastructure for addressing the conditions poor families and communities face, has failed to keep pace with the reality of these changes. The problems of the growing suburban poor are now exacerbated by a weak economy and increasingly limited resources for nonprofits, philanthropies and government at all levels.
On May 20, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings will host an event marking the release of the book, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America (Brookings, 2013), co-authored by Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube. They, along with some of the nation’s leading anti-poverty experts, including Luis Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation, and Bill Shore, founder and CEO of Share our Strength, will join leading local innovators from across the country to discuss a new metropolitan opportunity agenda for addressing suburban poverty, how federal and state policymakers can deploy limited resources to address a growing challenge, and why building on local solutions holds great promise.
After the panel discussion, participants will take audience questions.
Join the ongoing conversation on Twitter with hashtag #SuburbanPoverty.Register for the Live Webcast