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Buffalo School Co-Sponsors National Forum on Poverty

Published July 30, 2014

UB's School of Architecture and Planning and School of Social Work are partnering with a national poverty organization in sponsoring a conference on policy and programmatic responses to poverty at the local, national and global scale.

Innovative Programmatic and Policy Responses to Poverty will convene policy makers, government officials, nonprofit organization leaders, local experts, practitioners, activists, educators and researchers in San Francisco on August 18, 2014. In addition to UB, conference co-sponsors are the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration, the Urban Affairs Association, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, and the School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and Public Administration Program at San Francisco State University.

According to the conference description, poverty continues to grow locally, nationally and globally five decades after President Lyndon Johnson declared an unconditional war on poverty. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the ranks of the new poor encompass the college educated, former middle class workers, suburbanites and homeowners. Today, we are witnessing the unraveling of anti-poverty programs and the erosion of the social safety net for millions of poor families in the United States and elsewhere. In the meantime, there is a vacuum in public discourse over the roles social institutions play in either aggravating or alleviating poverty.

Yet in the midst of the challenges of this post-Great Recession social milieu, there are opportunities to employ creative and innovative ways in which to respond to poverty, including programs and policies that support activities such as social entrepreneurship; asset building; human capital development; economic sustainability and well-being; and innovative ways in which to fund these initiatives.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Sheldon H. Danziger, president of the Russell Sage Foundation. He will speak on “After the Great Recession: Poverty, Inequality and Public Policies.” Additional panels will focus on economic security and workforce development; social entrepreneurship and social purpose businesses; wealth generation and asset building; innovative policy responses; and innovative funding alternatives such as social impact bonds, funding collaborative and crowdfunding. Local and regional anti-poverty organizations and initiatives to be highlighted at the conference include: Rubicon Programs, Inc., Renaissance Center, Earned Assets Resource Network, Mission San Francisco Community Finance Center, the Kindergarten to College Program, Roots of Success, Family Independence Initiative, and Women’s Actions to Gain Economic Security.

Registration fees to attend this conference are $100 for employed faculty/practitioners; $70 for unemployed/community activists/students. Read more about the conference and register here.