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Event to examine connections among race, wealth, demographics of poverty

Thu, 01/30/2014

LAWRENCE — Race, Wealth and the New Demographics of Poverty, the third installment of an ongoing series at the University of Kansas, will examine connections among poverty, assets and the American dream.

The event will take place from noon to 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Kansas Union Ballroom. It is open to the public.

Speakers include

  • Introduction: Michael Fletcher, The Washington Post
  • Keynote speech: Thomas Shapiro, Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy; director, Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Brandeis University
  • Panel discussion: Lewis Diuguid, editorial board member, columnist and letters editor, The Kansas City Star; Kilolo Kijakazi, program officer, The Ford Foundation, ChangHwan Kim, KU associate professor of sociology; Melinda Lewis, KU policy director, Assets and Education Initiative (moderator).

The United States cannot end poverty without confronting persistent racial gaps in wealth, chasms only partly explained by inequality of income. Today, the average white household has nearly 10 times the wealth of the average African-American household. This wealth divide, perhaps even more than income, has dramatic effects on intergenerational economic mobility, access to education and societal prosperity.

Keynote speaker Shapiro is a leading scholar on questions of race, poverty and inequality. Using data from a study spanning 25 years, including new evidence slated for future publication, he identifies the factors that make for long-term financial success, the role of race in perpetuating poverty and how to build a more economically and racially just America. Panelists will address policy changes that could improve the wealth standing of minorities, building a platform for economic security and mobility for the nation’s future.

The event, co-sponsored by the School of Social Welfare, the Assets and Education Initiative, the Office of the Provost and KU's Social Work Administration and Advocacy Practice concentration, will include an introduction to the topic, keynote address, panel discussion and an audience question-and-answer session.

The School of Social Welfare is the oldest school of social work in Kansas. Current research centers within the School are building knowledge in many areas including child welfare, mental health, aging and income and asset poverty.

The Assets and Education Initiative is an office of the School of Social Welfare whose mission is to create and study innovations related to assets and economic well-being, with a focus on the relationship between children’s savings and the educational outcomes of low-income and minority children as a way to achieve the American dream.

The Social Work Administration and Advocacy Practice concentration in the Master of Social Work program at prepares students for administrative and advocacy practice grounded in the knowledge and values of social work.



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

#KUstudents , faculty & staff: The Rec is closed due to a water main break. More info: http://t.co/JoW7azXzmv For updates: @KUAmblerRec
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


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Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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