Redefining Poverty in the United States

Heidi Selberg,  Envision Board member

Earlier this year, the WBUR program “On Point” discussed poverty in the United States.  The guests and their key points are outlined below.  It’s remarkable that the points made so compellingly by sociologist Mark Robert Rank were outlined in a book published in 2004 and have received so little public discussion since. A key such point is that the majority of adults in the US will experience poverty as defined by the Federal Poverty Level during their lifetimes.  This has important implications for any work designed to address poverty or upward mobility, as poverty is not experienced by a fixed group of people who need to work their way out of the situation.  Rather, it is experienced widely.

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Is US Race and Ethnicity Really Changing?

Heidi Selberg, Envision Board Member

Recent news reports about the changes in the racial composition of the US and their relation to the race/ethnicity questions on the census form have generated some confusion.  Are the reported changes in the country’s racial composition a real transition, or are they simply a result of the change in the way the questions were worded? Let’s find out.

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