Ford School's National Poverty Center hosts major event on anniversary of LBJ's 'War on Poverty'

January 16, 2014

January 8, 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's declaration of "unconditional War on Poverty." Yet 15 percent of Americans live in poverty today, and no presidential administration or Congress since the Johnson era has made fighting poverty a top priority.

Exactly fifty years after President Johnson's declaration, 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 hosted a forum to offer diverse perspectives on the effects of anti-poverty policies in the United States in areas such as educational attainment, employment, earnings and living standards, and health over the past five decades and in the years to come.

The event focused on research highlighted in a new book, Legacies of the War on Poverty (Russell Sage Foundation, September 2013). The panel featured a discussion among the book's editors and commentators from across the political spectrum, who addressed policy interventions that grew out of the War on Poverty and provided a fresh look at strategies to fight poverty and promote opportunity.

This event was made possible by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation.

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy hosted this event as one of the highlights of the school's year-long centennial celebrations.

Moderator: Clarence Page
Op-Ed Columnist & Editorial Writer
Chicago Tribune

Martha Bailey
Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan,
and Co-Editor of Legacies of the War on Poverty

Sheldon Danziger
President of the Russell Sage Foundation,
and Co-Editor of Legacies of the War on Poverty

Jocelyn Frye
Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, and former Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Director of Policy and Special Projects for the First Lady

Kevin Hassett
John G. Searle Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies
American Enterprise Institute

Jason DeParle
Reporter at The New York Times, and Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at
The New America Foundation

Michael Gerson
Op-ed Columnist at The Washington Post, and Visiting Fellow at the Center for Public Justice