The Columbia School of Social Work will celebrate the launch of its new Center on Poverty and Social Policy with a mini-conference and reception on Thursday, May 21st.

“The Columbia School of Social Work is a recognized leader in poverty research studies,” said Mitchell I. Ginsberg Professor of Contemporary Urban Problems Irwin Garfinkel, who will co-direct the new center with research scientist Christopher Wimer. “We look forward to providing opportunities for the faculty here, many of whom are studying economically vulnerable populations, to focus even more of their attention on the kinds of social policies that will help to reduce poverty and increase economic security in the United States.“

Drs. Garfinkel and Wimer are two of the intellectual leaders behind some of CSSW’s most cutting-edge research findings on the causes of poverty and economic insecurity and their policy solutions—including, most notably, the groundbreaking revelation that, absent government programs and policies, poverty in the United States would currently be nearly twice as high.

At the May 21st mini-conference, Drs. Garfinkel and Wimer will report on their first rounds of findings from the Poverty Tracker, a project sponsored by Robin Hood, a leading anti-poverty organization in New York City. They will be joined by Dr. Kathy Neckerman, a senior research scholar at the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC), of which Dr. Garfinkel serves as a founding director. Michael Weinstein, Chief Program Officer at Robin Hood, will serve as chair.

A second panel will feature the work of four other leading policy faculty from the Columbia School of Social Work:

  • Jane Waldfogel, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor of Social Work for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems: “Waging War on Poverty: Long-term Trends in the Effect of Social Policy on Poverty”
  • Ronald Mincy, Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice: “Social Policies in the Lives of Low-income Nonresident Fathers”
  • Associate Professor Neeraj Kaushal: “The Effect of the Dream Act on Health and Mental Health of Undocumented Youth”
  • Assistant Professor Heidi Allen: “Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Health of Low-Income Adults”

Chairing the panel will be Michael Laracy, who directs policy reform and advocacy for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private philanthropy that supports policy responses to issues that negatively affect children such as poverty, unnecessary disconnection from family, and limited access to opportunities.

A final panel, to be chaired by Associate Professor Vicki Lens, will be dedicated to new perspectives on the everyday lives of the poor. Andrea Elliot, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the New York Times, who has served as a CPRC fellow, will discuss her progress on turning her five-part series on homelessness in New York City into a book. And sociologist Matthew Desmond of Harvard University will talk about his current work on the problems of eviction, unaffordable housing, and poverty in low-income families.

The conference concludes with an hour-long reception to mark the official launch of the Center on Poverty and Social Policy.

For more information, and to sign up to attend the conference (in person or via Livestream) and/or reception, go to the Eventbrite page.

– See more at: http://socialwork.columbia.edu/news-events/cssw-launch-new-center-poverty-and-social-policy-may-21-showcase-event#sthash.53o3OUWa.dpuf

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