The Social Impact of Poverty

October 27th, 2010

In the midst of an endemic unemployment and foreclosure crisis, more and more Americans are slipping from the “middle class” into poverty. Even those who can find work are often stuck with long hours at low wages without health insurance. Each month is another struggle to make ends meet and to avoid falling deeper into debt.  This week on Business Matters we’ll assess the most recent poverty data on the changing shape of poverty in America and debunk the myths about poverty with someone who’s lived it.

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Beyond the News, With Contributor
Amy Terpstra – Associate Director, Social IMPACT Research Center, Heartland Alliance
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Amy is a data analyst with expertise in Census Bureau, economic, health, and human services data collection, interpretation, and communication. Amy’s analyses have informed the work of thousands of service providers, advocacy groups, local and county governments, coalitions, and policy makers throughout Illinois and the Midwest. Her work focuses on poverty, income, and housing-related issues. She conducts research for and jointly authors the Social IMPACT Research Center’s annual Reports on Illinois and Chicago Region Poverty and works on IMPACT’s Self-Sufficiency Project.

Alexandra Cawthorne – Research Associate, Center for American Progress
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Alexandra Cawthorne is a Research Associate in the Poverty & Prosperity and Women’s Health & Rights programs at the Center for American Progress. She has also worked as a legislative assistant on the Senate Banking Committee for chairman Chris Dodd primarily on housing-related issues. After graduating from Vassar College in 2004 with a dual degree in urban studies and psychology, she served as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow during which she lived for six months in New Orleans working for the southern regional office of the National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness. As a fellow, Alex also worked in Washington, DC for the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. Following the fellowship, she was a research associate for the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights.

Jacqueline Homan – Author, Classism for Dimwits
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Jacqueline S. Homan is non-fiction author and freelance journalist. Her concern about the social and economic injustices in our society due to age, sex, race, and class discrimination fueled her determination to prove that America is not the meritocracy everyone thinks. She gives a stunningly brutal inside look at just how classism serves to keep the poor “in their place”, and how corporate America rigged the game against the middle class in her first book Classism For Dimwits — which served as the prelude for her third book, Nothing You Can Possess, which tackles the issue of global capital. Her second book, Eyes of a Monster, is the true account of the Pennsylvania death penalty conviction and appeal of Richard Laird who is targeted and murdered another man, Anthony Milano, specifically for being gay. Her fourth book, Divine Right: The Truth is a Lie, takes the gloves off in showing how religion has promoted past and present crimes against humanity aimed almost exclusively at women. She also writes the blog: Feminism — The Other “F” Word.

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