This January marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of “unconditional War on Poverty.” Today, 15 percent of Americans live in poverty and yet no Administration or Congress since the Johnson era has made fighting poverty a top priority.
January 8, 2014, exactly 50 years after President Johnson’s declaration, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
cohosted a forum offering diverse perspectives on the effects of anti-poverty policies in the U.S. in areas such as educational attainment, employment, earnings, living standards, and health over the past five decades and in the years to come. The event, sponsored by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
, the Russell Sage Foundation,
and Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
, focused on research highlighted in a new book, Legacies of the War on Poverty
(Russell Sage Foundation, September 2013). The panel featured discussion among the book’s editors and commentators from across the political spectrum, addressing policy interventions that grew out of the War on Poverty and taking a fresh look at strategies to fight poverty and promote opportunity.
The event was made possible by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation.