Two new partnership between U-M’s Poverty Solutions and Harvard University’s Equality of Opportunity Project (EOP), announced last week, will integrate high-level research with the applied scholarship U-M’s initiative is known for to tackle the national opioid crisis, as well as spur economic activity in Detroit. Ford School Professor and Poverty Solutions Director H. Luke Shaefer describes the approach of Poverty Solutions as “action-based research partnerships with community stakeholders and policymakers.”
The new partnerships are featured in two articles in Harvard Magazine. “The Applied Wisdom of the Hartland” by John S. Rosenberg published September 17, 2018, details Poverty Solution’s revolutionary approach to addressing lower-incomes in Michigan and how the initiative will work with EOP to apply the two group’s work in these collaborations. A companion piece, “Harvard in the Heartland,” also published by Rosenberg the same day, chronicles the university’s dean’s visit back to his roots of Pontiac, Mich., along with his interest in bringing this partnership to fruition.
This partnership further distinguishes the approach of Poverty Solutions to bring about actionable change, in contrast to most research endeavors that can be “a little selfish,” as Shaefer describes it. The goal of U-M’s initiative was to serve as a “first responder” to the issues facing Detroit, and this new partnership will enhance that pursuit.
H. Luke Shaefer, Ph.D. is the director of Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, an interdisciplinary, university-level initiative that seeks to inform, identify, and test innovative strategies to prevent and alleviate poverty. He is an associate professor at the University of Michigan, School of Social Work and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.