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Dark matter, Obamacare up for discussion at Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions series

September 8, 2021

How did racism and sexism become embedded in our understanding of physics and the cosmos? What does the fight over the Affordable Care Act—better known as Obamacare—reveal about our country's politics? What would it take for the U.S. to adopt a universal child allowance?

The annual Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions speaker series will explore these issues and many others. Featured speakers include Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a trailblazing theoretical cosmologist who also explores the relationship between how we understand science and broader societal justice; HuffPost Senior National Correspondent Jonathan Cohn, who covers politics and health care policy; and H. Luke Shaefer, the director of Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan and a contributor to significant research on the potential of a universal child allowance to drastically reduce child poverty in the U.S. 

The eight-week fall speaker series is hosted by Poverty Solutions at U-M, a university-wide presidential initiative that aims to find new ways to prevent and alleviate poverty through action-based research, in partnership with various university departments. The virtual talks, which are free and open to the public, will be livestreamed on YouTube with the opportunity for Q&A; most of the talks will run from noon to 1 p.m. on Fridays. U-M students can participate in the series as a one-credit course.

Here's the speaker series lineup

  • Sept. 17: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in conversation about affordable housing
  • Sept. 24: Indivar Dutta-Gupta, co-executive director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality
  • Oct. 1: Jeremy Levine, author of "Constructing Community: Urban Governance, Development and Inequality in Boston"
  • Oct. 8: Carolyn Barnes, author of "State of Empowerment: Low-income Families and the New Welfare State"
  • Oct. 15: Terri Friedline, author of "Banking on a Revolution: Why Financial Technology Won't Save a Broken System"
  • Oct. 22: Jonathan Cohn, author of "The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage"
  • Oct. 29: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, author of "The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred"
  • Nov. 5: Poverty Solutions Director H. Luke Shaefer as part of a panel discussing a universal child allowance

See full details on the time and topic of each lecture