Journalists, academic researchers to discuss structural racism, poverty

February 19, 2021
Contact: Lauren Slagter


DATE: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET, Friday, March 5, 2021.

EVENT: The Poverty Narrative: Confronting Inequality, a virtual event.

What has the COVID-19 pandemic taught us about racial disparities in health? How does present-day residential segregation affect property values? Why is historical context important in how we interpret data?

These are some of the questions leading academic researchers and journalists will address during The Poverty Narrative: Confronting Inequity virtual event. The free event hosted by Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan aims to promote a deeper understanding of the connections between race, structural racism and poverty in the U.S.

The Poverty Narrative: Confronting Inequity includes four 60-minute sessions, which will be livestreamed on YouTube with time for panelists to respond to questions from viewers. People who register in advance will receive more information on the panelists’ work and related resources.

The event is open to journalists, academics and anyone interested in improving the narrative around poverty in the U.S. and promoting a better understanding of structural inequity.

Visit the event website for session details and registration.

Event schedule for March 5:

  • 9-10 a.m. ET, Telling the Whole Story: Data in Context, featuring panelists:
    • Kristin Seefeldt, associate professor of social work and public policy and associate faculty director of Poverty Solutions at U-M.
    • Harley Etienne, assistant professor of urban and regional planning at U-M.
    • Jonathon Berlin, data and graphics editor at Chicago Tribune.
    • Moderated by Jennifer Erb-Downward, senior research associate at U-M Poverty Solutions.
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. ET, Confronting Inequity in Housing, featuring panelists:
    • Margaret Dewar, professor emerita of urban planning at U-M.
    • Ann Choi, senior data reporter at The City (New York City).
    • Another panelist to be announced.
    • Moderated by Afton Branche-Wilson, assistant director of community engagement at U-M Poverty Solutions.
  • Noon-1 p.m. ET, Confronting Inequity in Education, featuring panelists:
    • Camille Wilson, professor of education at U-M.
    • Matt Barnum, national reporter at Chalkbeat.
    • Bonnie Billups, executive director of Peace Neighborhood Center in Ann Arbor.
    • Moderated by Patrick Cooney, assistant director of economic mobility at U-M Poverty Solutions.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET, Confronting Inequity in Public Health, featuring panelists:
    • Celeste Watkins-Hayes, U-M professor of public policy and sociology.
    • Debra Furr-Holden, professor of public health at Michigan State University and member of Michigan’s Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities.
    • Kat Stafford, national investigative writer focused on race and inequity at The Associated Press.
    • Moderated by H. Luke Shaefer, faculty director of Poverty Solutions and the Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy.