Poverty, by America (Event 1 of 2)
Date and Time:
Apr 12 2023 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice
969 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637


Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).

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Matthew Desmond, Ph.D.

Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology, Princeton University

Reuben Jonathan Miller, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

Poverty, by America (Event 1 of 2)

Activism | Aging | American History | Anxiety | Belonging | Business | Character | Civics | Civil Rights | Community | Connection | Economics | Education | Empathy | Equity | Ethics | Family | Food | Health | History | Housing | Inequality | Leadership | Mental Health | Morality | Public Health | Public Policy | Social Justice | Sociology | Stress | Trauma | Well Being


(The 7:00 PM event at Evanston Township High School accommodates 1,400 — make plans to attend there!)

Travel advisory for U. of C. event attendees: Public transportation recommended. Construction on the Obama Presidential Center has recently caused significant delays for traffic coming to, and leaving Hyde Park. If you are driving to Hyde Park via southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive, we strongly recommend that you exit at 53rd St. instead of 57th St. If approaching Hyde Park from the south via northbound Dan Ryan Expressway, best to exit at 67th St. At the conclusion of the event,  you may want to access DuSable LSD via 47th St. if you are heading north. Limited street parking available. The University parking garage, located at 6054 S. Drexel Ave., is one block from the venue.

The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Why does this land of plenty allow one in every eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages? In his new landmark book Poverty, by America, acclaimed social scientist and urban ethnographer Matthew Desmond, Ph.D. draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Those of us who are financially secure exploit the poor, driving down their wages while forcing them to overpay for housing and access to cash and credit. We prioritize the subsidization of our wealth over the alleviation of poverty, designing a welfare state that gives the most to those who need the least. And we stockpile opportunity in exclusive communities, creating zones of concentrated riches alongside those of concentrated despair. Some lives are made small so that others may grow.

Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and the founding director of the Eviction Lab. His last book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, among others. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Prof. Desmond is also a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.

Desmond will be in conversation with Reuben Jonathan Miller, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Chicago’s Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and the Department of Race, Diaspora and Indigeneity, and a research professor at the American Bar Foundation. Prof. Miller is the author of Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, which follows the lives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. The recipient of many awards, he was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2022.

This event suitable for youth 12+. First 200 attendees will receive a free copy of Poverty, by America. The event will be recorded but not live streamed.

NOTE: 1.5 CEUs available.