Innovative programs for youth and young adults panel

January 15, 2018 1:12:00
Kaltura Video

Broderick Johnson, Luke Shaefer and Brian Jacob discuss the importance of investments in youth and young adults. January, 2018.


I am delighted to welcome you all here today for today's special event

at the Ford School, which is also co sponsored by the University of

Michigan's Poverty Solutions. Today's event is part of the 2018 Reverend

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium. First held at the University of Michigan

in 1986, the two month long MLK Symposium is one of the largest

celebrations of the life and legacy of MLK sponsored by colleges and universities

in the nation. And we are delighted on to have as this year's

theme, The Fierce Urgency of Now. There's no better time than the present

to discuss innovative change, and this theme calls on us to claim ownership

of the challenges we face and not leave them for others or for

future generations to address.

Today, we have the opportunity to take a closer look at challenges facing

our youth and young adults. We are honored to be joined by my

colleagues, Brian Jacob, Co Director of the Education Policy Initiative,

Luke Shaefer, Director of the University of Michigan Poverty Solutions and

our featured guest, my dear friend, and a Michigan Law alum who has

had the distinction of serving under two US Presidents, Broderick Johnson.

I'm going to say

more about Broderick now. You all know, I hope, Luke and Brian,

and can read more about them in your literature for today.

Broderick is a highly respected partner in the DC office of Bryan Cave,

and he also serves as Chairman of the Board of My Brother's Keeper

Alliance, an outgrowth of the task force established by President Obama,

in whose administration Broderick served from 2014 to 2017 as Assistant

to the President and Cabinet Secretary. Broderick previously served as Deputy

Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs under President Clinton.

And he's had a distinguished career in private practicing on Capitol Hill

as well. Broderick and I first worked together more than 20 years ago

on community empowerment, focusing on supporting new markets opportunities

in distressed communities here, in the United States,

and putting Washington DC on a firm financial footing after years of neglect.

I have deeply appreciated over all those years and relied on Broderick's

good counsel and wisdom. His DC savvy and collaborative spirit,

and the most essential feature for surviving Washington, a healthy sense

of humor. We're thrilled that this is just the first of a planned

series of teaching engagements Broderick will have here at the Ford School.

I'm pleased to let you know today that Broderick will be becoming a

Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence. Broderick will be engaging

with us more informally this term. He will be teaching in our PPIA

program this summer, and then he'll be joining us again next winter to

teach a course related to mass incarceration.

For those of you who are students in the room, who are interested

in research assistant opportunities, we will be posting a Research Assistant

for Broderick soon. As for today, Broderick will frame the conversation

with opening remarks. Then we'll have a panel discussion with Luke and Brian.

Following the discussion, Associate Dean, Paula Lantz will facilitate an

open Q&A. Ford school staff will be standing in the room with handheld microphones

for those with questions. Please join me in welcoming Broderick, Brian,


Luke. Good afternoon. Good afternoon. Sometimes, I think kinda fancifully

about moving back to Ann Arbor permanently. And then you have weather like

today, which in DC would have caused a whole month of shutdowns. We

may have shutdowns anyway at the end of the week.


anyway, I'm gonna try not to be too deeply political.

Emphasis on deeply. Can't help but be somewhat political.

These are strange times. It is great to be back here in Ann

Arbor because

I love this place so much, it was so important, of course,

to my development as a young man, as a law student.

Two of my dearest friends in the world,

I was the best man at their wedding, but we were also

here in law school together, Greg Jenkins, and his better half,

Patricia Jenkins, are here with me as well. So it's great to see

you here. We've come a long way, haven't we?

When we think about... We were great students, though, I remember that right.

There's something about being a student, and I've have realized this as

a professor, more importantly, is that you grade yourself

by the effort that you put in. And so,

we worked hard, but I think in retrospect,

we have an even greater appreciation for what this university has to offer

and it is reflected in all for us and our children,

and how well they've done in college and beyond. So it's great to

be here with my friends, Michael Barr. So, Michael, there is, he gave

you a sanitized version of

what it was like when we both worked in the Clinton White House,

only in as much as I had a job in Legislative Affairs,

and Michael was in Treasury at the time and there was another job,

that then first lady Mrs. Clinton needed someone to do around DC.

I talked my way out of it and Michael talked his way into

it. I'm really grateful for you for having done that. 'Cause somebody had

to do the job, and as important job though, seriously, in turning DC

around. So Michael, thank you very much and thank you for appointing me

so I could be here in residence throughout this year and to really

work on mass incarceration issues, particularly from the standpoint of solutions.

Thank you very much for having me back here and to my co

panelists today, Brian Jacob, nice to meet you, look forward to getting

to know you and Luke, we've had occasion to get to know each

other a bit and I look forward to the panel today, but working

with you as well. Michael, to your team has done extraordinary work and

making it easy for me to be here today.

Thank you all.

The significance of this day, so

today would've been the 89th birthday of Martin Luther King

Jr., to the day, it is in fact his birthday.

It's even more compelling and symbolic to be here with all of you


But we're also approaching the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination

in April of 1968, April 4th of 1968. I was a 11 year

old Catholic school boy growing up in Baltimore.

The riots are still very vivid in my memory.

My hometown of Baltimore is still in many ways scarred and recovering

from that violence and racial discord from the wide segregation patterns

in Baltimore, desperate neighborhoods and broad economic and educational

disparity, police and community distrust, and of course,

the tragedy of Freddie Gray and the unrest that followed. My friend,

and I'm sure you all have read the great works of Tona Hasse

Coach, has written all about these things and has chronicled them

pretty powerfully.

Baltimore, still, in many ways presents the lingering and present conditions

that in many respects led President Obama to direct his White House and

across his administration to establish the My Brother's Keeper initiative

in February of 2014, hard to believe it, but nearly four years ago,

today. I briefly wanna couch my opening remarks in terms of three things

regarding My Brother's Keeper. First, the motivation for President Obama

to establish it. Second, what we were able to accomplish

in the White House and across the United States over that three year

period. And most importantly, where we go from here.

First, the moment that really drove the President to establish My Brother's

Keeper, and that was the murder of Trayvon Martin. You all will recall

that President Obama spoke from the Rose Garden of the White House,

not long after the murder of Trayvon Martin.

And he said this, among many other things, quote: "Trayvon Martin could've

been my son, could have been me 35 years ago. There are a lot of kids out

there who need help and who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement.

Is there more we can do to give them a sense that their

country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in


I had the opportunity then to speak with the President not long after

that and right after the 2012 election campaign,

and he talked about how he really wanted to go big to use

the power and the reach of his presidency to better organize how the

federal government established programs, made better programs looking at

the disparities that especially affect boys and young men of color,

what we, as a federal government could do better,

and he wanted to also use his power as a convener

to bring people together across the public and private sectors throughout

the United States. President Obama was very clear that he wanted the effort

to be evidence based. To asses the problems and the solutions with the

same level of rigor that he demanded in everything else that he directed

from the White House.

Let me take you back to February 27, 2014. To the East Room

of the White House.

That's where the President signed the Presidential Memorandum that established

My Brother's Keeper. There is a compelling symbolism in the fact that he

did it from the East Room of the White House that day,

'cause see, it was nearly 50 years ago to the day to when the

President, President then Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act into

law, in that same room that President Obama signed a memorandum almost 50

years later establishing My Brother's Keeper. When you look at pictures

from those two days, of course you'll see a traditional gathering behind

President Johnson, of members of Congress taking credit,

great leaders like Dr. King, a lot of adults.

You look at the picture though, of My Brother's Keeper in the East

Room of the White House, the backdrop, so to speak, the human backdrop

behind President Obama that day was young men of color from Chicago and

Washington DC. And so he chose that audience

of people to get the pens that he handed out that day,

for example, to show those young men in the country quite

literally that this was about them, that this was a matter of Presidential


A national priority that was led by a President of profound moral leadership,

a President who is profound in his moral character and his leadership

and, dare I say, not profane. Here's a summary of what we accomplished

for the final three years of the Obama White House. At the Federal level,

first of all, we focus on a different approach. We identified six milestones

or stages in the lives of all children

and young adults that impact their chances for a successful life.

We adopted an expansive and comprehensive approach from birth to mid 20s

to examine the data. 'Cause here's what we know, here's what evidence tells

us. First, about the word gap, and it startled me when I heard

about this and so I did my own

calculus, it was actually very basic math.

But, the word gap, okay. By age three,

children from low income households have heard roughly 30 million fewer

words than their affluent peers, 30 million.

We can also talk about the quality of those words by the way,

because that's also an issue in terms of what these children hear, who

often times, again, are 30 million words deficient by age three.

About discipline policy, here's what we know: African American students

represent 16% of the public school population, but make up more than 42%

of those suspended more than once, and 34% of students expelled.

About college enrollment and success: Only 12% of Hispanic men

and 21% of African American men have college degrees by their late 20s compared

to nearly 40% of white men. About employment:

A black baby boy born 25 years ago, has a one in two

chance of being employed today.

That statistic actually, this last one about employment,

came from a study that was done by the President's Council and Economic

Advisers, and your own

Professor Betsey Stevenson, who I had the pleasure of seeing earlier today,

actually drafted that report for Jason Furman's great team.

She actually talked about it in terms of

baby boys, which is an interesting... Folks in the African American community

especially, know about the baby black boy kind of terminology. I think there

was a movie made about that as a matter of fact

with Snoop Dogg, was Snoop Dogg in that movie? It was Tyrese. Thank

you very much. Tyrese, oh yeah, how do you know that?

Tyrese, yeah, okay, alright. But the economic point goes to what was a

really important characteristic of MBK work in the White House, and that

is, we could make the case certainly, that there is a moral obligation,

a compelling moral issue around the success of work like My Brothers Keeper,

but there is just as important an economic argument to be made about

the global competitiveness of the United States and how we need to make

sure we're not leaving millions of young men and young women of color

off the economic field. So, again, we developed a bunch of new collaborations

across federal agencies. There were 20 federal agencies

and White House offices that were involved in MBK. Here are some of

the things specifically that we did, second chance Pell. The department

of Justice and the Department of Education came together, realize that the

Secretary of Education had some additional authority, some special authority,

experimental authority to give 12,000 Pell grants to people incarcerated

across the United States. We know the root to jail into prison is often

times about economic and educational deprivation. So an important way to

stay out and to address recidivism is to help people get an education

when they're imprisoned. We also had DOJ and offices within DOJ and across

the states, new violence reduction strategies. Also, a commitment to Ban

the Box. The President himself directed all federal agencies to Ban the

Box with respect to hiring and strongly encourage local government in private

sector employers to do the same. That is to make sure that that

box on those employment applications that is so often at the very top,

about whether or not you've ever been arrested or whether you've ever been

incarcerated gets in the way of especially young men of color,

being able to get an opportunity to get a second chance and to

get a job. We also had, across federal agencies, investments in job programs

from the Department of Labor and other federal agencies.

So there were, believe me, dozens of different programs, collaborations

across the federal government. The second big approach that we took,

though, was a community based approach. President Obama challenged cities,

local government, and tribal nations across the United States to become

what we called My Brother's Keeper communities. That meant that they adopted

the same data driven, evidence based approach and greater collaboration

across the public and private sectors to do the work around My Brother's

Keeper, to in effect in many places revolutionize the collaboration that

they were doing. We saw 250 communities across the United States in every

state in the United States have at least one My Brothers Keeper community,

as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Some communities, of course, became exemplary communities and still are,

like Detroit, and Boston, and Houston and Albuquerque. And there are exemplary

state wide efforts that we saw develop in California, New York and Florida.

And finally, with regard to the private sector, again, because for the President,

it was very important that this not be seen as a government based

or government exclusive set of initiatives, nearly $2 billion in new private

sector investments in jobs and apprenticeship programs, and technology assistance

and mentoring programs came out of the private sector and we can talk

about that a little bit more in the panel. Then finally,

a new nonprofit was started and that was the My Brother's Keeper Alliance,

and it was begun in May of 2015 by a group of business leaders who

wanted to develop and support efforts inspired by the President's own vision.

It was our hope and our expectation out of the White House that

this nonprofit would be so well developed and organized when we left office,

that President Obama would embrace it post presidency. President Obama was

always very clear with folks about one thing and that was that the

work would not end for him, the mission was not over when he

left the White House, and so we hoped that My Brother's Keeper Alliance,

this nonprofit would be the vehicle for that.

And in fact it has become the vehicle for that. So, where do

we go from here? Well, first it starts with the My Brother's Keeper

Alliance. It is now not an independent nonprofit so to speak,

not independent from Barack Obama, it is now part of the Obama Foundation.

It is one of the central components of the Obama Foundation's work going

forward. I am honored to serve as the chair of the advisory group

and it is made up of many of the original board members from

the private sector. And here's what we'll be looking at. We'll be looking

at making significant investments in a small number of MBK communities.

We don't have the federal government anymore, of course you all

know. I don't know if this new administration has realized that they have

some responsibilities around the My Brother's Keeper work, although it's

perhaps framed differently, but we certainly can't wait for that to happen.

And yet, we don't have all those resources so we'll focus on a

smaller number of communities, and we're gonna bring greater attention to

two major measurable outcomes. First, supporting mentoring programs to close

the gap between the need and human capital. There are tens of thousands

of young people of color who need mentors,

there are tens of thousands of adults who want to mentor young people,

but figuring out how to bring that match together has always been challenging.

We're getting great help from the National Basketball Association and Mentor

Inc. Around that work. And the second big part of our strategy will

be to support violence reduction strategies proven to work across the United

States. So those will be the two big points of emphasis for the My

Brother's Keeper Alliance work out of the Obama Foundation.

Let me close my beginning remarks with this. So, I had a white

board on the wall of my office in the West Wing.

One of the more amusing moments was when Reince Priebus, who was about

to become Chief of Staff, wandered into my office, I think two days

before I was going to leave, and he looked at the white board

and had these expressions one of which I'll describe, and he said,

"Well, what was that for?" And then I knew it was time for

me to get the heck out of there and pack my stuff up

and leave, because it was, how do you explain something like this?

One of those expressions was, to quote, "Make exceptional no longer the

exception." Again, "Make exceptional no longer the exception." Look, I continue

to be personally unsettled by the fact that in many ways I'm still

seen as the exception to the rule, and it's like the black guy

who comes in the room who's got great education and is raising a

great family and this and that, and I look around and it's just


And we have to change that so much. My own sons and my

daughter experience some of the same stuff when they go into environments

where they are the only ones and they are seen as the exception because

they are exceptional. A lot of that, though, is

reality, of course, but it's also a perception

about boys and young men of color and girls and young women of

color in terms of their exceptionalism, because there are...

You can call them, "Diamond in the roughs," or whatever, but there are

millions of exceptional young people of color that we just don't notice

for their talent, we don't invest in. So we got to change that,

and while so much of our nation has changed since 1968, believe me,

an awful lot has changed since 1968, we know we still got a

long way to go to change realities, break down barriers

and hold on to hope. Remember hope, the hope posters?

Because for a lot of our young people, they remember President Obama as

giving them great reason for a lot of hope, I daresay for us chiseled old...

Well, anyway.

Professors as well.

We got to recognize that exceptionalism, we got to bring investments to

that exceptionalism and make sure that we're not continuing to leave millions

of young kids behind in this society. So anyway, those are my opening

remarks to frame this discussion. Again, it is great to be back here

at the University of Michigan. I can't stay for the game tonight but

I will look forward to seeing the score when I get home,

'cause "Go, Blue," is said as often in DC as it is here

in Ann Arbor, so, thank you all very much.

Hello, good afternoon.

Thank you, Dean Barr and Paula and Broderick and everyone else for being


I'm honored to be included and excited to tell you about some of

the work

that some faculty colleagues and students and I are doing.

It is going to be on a program called "Grow Detroit's Young Talent,"

and I will

tell you what that is in a moment.

So, this work is being done by the Youth Policy Lab,

this is a kind of applied research center that a few colleagues and

I started about a year ago. The idea is to create partnerships with

local and state agencies

and to do research that is really applied and really relevant,

something that I think is not common and not particularly easy within the

Academy to do. We're focusing on areas education, healthcare, juvenile justice

and workforce development.

And we're gonna be providing all sorts of data focused

technical assistance, including need analysis and program evaluation. This

is one of our first partnerships.

This is with a program known as Grow Detroit's Young Talent.

This is Detroit's version of what many of you are probably familiar with,

Summer Youth Employment Programs.

And this is run by two Detroit City agencies

with a variety of funding, federal, state, private sector dollars. And youth

work, approximately 20 hours per week for six weeks during the summer.

In addition to this work there is a few hours of training in

a variety of areas ranging from workplace readiness to financial literacy.

And the work experience that the youth get, you'll range quite a bit.

And this is one of the ways that I think Detroit's program is

a bit unique and more interesting and innovative than other programs throughout

the country.

The typical Summer Youth Employment Program is one where youth have jobs

with community based nonprofit organizations, often of the type that I've

described here, childcare, community beautification, community service.

Detroit has that, but then when they started

and started to increase the program several years ago, they made a big

push to involve the private sector more. They've received a lot of private

sector funding, and funding in the sense that private sector companies agreed

to take on 10, 20, 100, even more youth in some cases.

There are career pathways which are internships, Quicken Loans, Touchpoint,

Blue Cross Blue Shield and others. And there's also industry led training

which is some sort of on the job learning

that provide youth that are interested

more tangible workplace skills that may coincide with some high school career

technical education that they're getting, and maybe a pathway into subsequent

post secondary education.

What do we know about how Summer Youth Employment Programs influence youth

outcomes? These programs have been around for many, many years. In that

way, they are not new, per se, but we really, as in many

social programs, there have been few studies to help us understand really

whether they are effective, or more importantly, which types of programs

are effective for which types of youth.

Some recent work in New York City, Chicago and Boston has found mixed

outcomes. I guess the headline that I think is extremely important but I

think hadn't been appreciated before is that there were big effects in violence

reduction. And this is

maybe most well known in Chicago. There's been some rigorous evaluation

that suggest that participating in the Summer Youth Employment Program in

Chicago reduced violent crime arrests by 43% among

young males in the city. Importantly, this was not just during the summer,

so it was not

what the criminologists called an incapacitation effect. It wasn't just

them doing something else during that summer time, but the vast majority

of the effect was actually in the subsequent year following that summer


But there haven't been really noticeable effects yet on educational outcomes

or labor market outcomes, and that really is where Detroit is interested

in generating some change. And so we agreed to this partnership with the

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and City Connect. We're helping

them compile a variety of big administrative data sets to look at how

applicants and participants compare to other youth in Detroit and then how

that participation influences educational outcomes. I'll present just a

little bit of the work, what we've learned so far,

and then in the Q&A we can talk about

the upcoming plans. We're working to develop an evaluation for summer 2018

with some other colleagues, including Trina Shanks at the School of Social

Work. I'm not sure if Trina's here. But she has been

a key partner, putting together a survey to gather a lot more information

about youth that participate in the program.

Actually, this is a perfect time. What have we learned so far?

Before I tell you what we've learned so far, I think it's very

important that I tell you who the "we" is. And actually,

I am a very small part of the "we" here. The "we"

includes the incredible partners we have but also some of the students and

staff that are in the room, Kelly Lovett, Jasmina, Max Gross,

if he is here, who really did a lot of the analysis that's

underlying the results. Thank you to all of the students and staff that

have helped make this project possible.

What have we learned? Well, first, youth participants come from across Detroit.

This is a heat map. The darker the area shows you the greater

density of participants. Those of you who know Detroit well will recognize

some of these neighborhoods. But it really is spread out across the city,

and so I think that's a testament to the outreach

of a variety of the city agencies and the community based organizations.

How did the applicants to the Summer Youth Employment Program compare with

other Detroit youth? They are more likely to be female,

slightly, you're gonna have 56% versus 40 something percent. They come from

slightly less disadvantaged, though still extremely disadvantaged neighborhoods

in the absolute sense, and applicants come from

neighborhoods with poverty rates around 31%, relative to other Detroit youth.

And interestingly, those youth that seek to apply to the program come in

with better academic preparation than other Detroit youth. So I think it's...

This is highlighting some of the successes but also the challenges of the

program. I mean, it's certainly getting some very well prepared and motivated

youth, but it still hasn't... It's still not reaching

maybe the most disadvantaged Detroit youth.

Which is

actually a quite common problem in a variety of social policies,

getting to really

the most disadvantaged individuals.

So, this is just a quick slide in methodology, what we're doing.

There's lots of fun statistics behind this, and I'll be more than happy

to talk with people about this afterwards, this is one of my favorite

things, so. But just quickly, what we're doing is we are comparing youth,

trying to compare apples to apples. Youth who participate,

same gender, same race, same grade level, same high school and same eight

grade test scores as youth that don't participate. So if you have a

young ninth grade black male who scores at the 60th percentile on the

national distribution,

going to

Renaissance High School in Detroit, we'd have

an observationally identical youth, that's what the language is, from the

same high school, same year who didn't participate, and that's who we're

trying to use to draw the comparisons.

Oh my goodness, we've got technical difficulties.

In short, I'm gonna show you, there really are some very encouraging positive

results that come out.

Chronically absent youth,

youth that applied but didn't participate, this number here is

days per year.

A third of the youth, even those relatively high performing, motivated youth

that applied, were chronically absent in the years following

that summer, compared to only about

slightly reducing chronic absenteeism among the youth.

This is really the signature headline, in fact I'm gonna... Okay,

we will

persevere here. Graduate high school. If we're looking at 10th and 11th

graders, this is youth who apply right kinda going into their...

After their 10th and 11th grade year, and then we can follow them

for two years to look at what fraction of them

graduated, which would be on time graduation.

on time in four years. Some, a few percent of those are still

in high school.

But the majority of that 18% have dropped out.


in the program go on to graduate. And even a larger number still

in high school, after five years.

This is very encouraging in the world of social policy analysis,

these are kind of moderate size effects. This is... And when we think

about what we could've expected from a six week

summer program, it really is I think quite encouraging given, you know,

potentials for expanding and extending the program in certain ways. This


what we found so far. Where are we going from here?

Our goal is to continue to work with the city agencies,

to help them use data, to support their continuous program improvement.

We have like a five step model here and I'm gonna just go

through... I'm not good with the animation. Articulate objectives to find

outcomes, pilot, evaluate, refine and then do it again. And so this is

kind of what we've started to do with them, hopefully our first

piloting and evaluation will be this summer, working to refine after that.

And extending some of these preliminarily encouraging results.

And that's just the randomized evaluation we're planning for summer 2018.

That's a short description of a program that I think

is making an important difference in Detroit and has, even more importantly,

some potential to be even better. Now Luke is gonna continue

to talk about related programs in Washtenaw County, and then

bigger and more important themes after that.

Okay. We've now arrived at the least distinguished panelist in the collection.

It's always a little bit daunting to speak after

a dude who has "former Cabinet Secretary" after his name.

I will say I got the chance to visit Broderick in his office

in the White House

I think maybe a couple times, and it did sort of,

as you entered it, it did leave you with

a familiar feeling to when you're entering an M Den.

I'm pretty sure there was a Michigan lamp, a Michigan football helmet.

There was like a big picture of Bo on

the wall. So thank you for being an incredible ambassador

to the University of Michigan. So, I was doing a little bit of

time just reflecting on a date like today when we're

celebrating the contributions of a giant like Martin Luther King, and I

just had three thoughts that maybe will contextualize

my comments here. The first was, I always remember going down to Atlanta

to the Martin Luther King Museum and

space and getting excited that I was gonna get to see his Bible. I knew

his Bible was on the display. And for some reason I imagined this

very pristine sort of Bible, since faith was such an important

element of what he did. And when I saw it, it was like the

most ragtag thing. You know, pages flipped over, it was beat up and

stuff. And it just sort of made you think of someone who like really

used it, right? That's where he drew

his faith from.

The second thing that I've been reflecting on was that the guy was

short I think he was like 5'8" maybe, and in my mind it's just

important to remember that because he's such a giant now, right?

And he's made such an incredible impact on

the trajectory of the country and he was just a guy,

just a person like the rest of us, right? So,

I think remembering that

we can all make contributions that matter,

and that his call is... Continues to be so important.

One last thing I've been thinking about is reading a book about

Richard Nixon, and the two of them actually had a very sort of long

standing relationship. Dr. King

was sort of trying to nurture that relationship for a decade or two

over the course of the time that they were in the national limelight

together. And so, it just reminded me that

great idealists, right, people who have great visions

can also be politically savvy, right, where he was obviously trying to do

the same thing with people on the other side.

So for about the last year, my staff and I have been

moving along with a university level initiative called "Poverty Solutions"

which is situated here in the Ford School, and Ford School is an


home for us. And the goal is to really try to bring the

resources of the University of Michigan to bear on one of our most

pressing problems in the United States and globally, poverty.

And to try to get beyond a lot of the important work that

we've done here at U of M of

understanding the scope of poverty, the causes and the consequences to really

try to be in partnership and find new ways to prevent and alleviate

poverty. And so, we are about a year in, and

I'm excited that we have research projects that we're helping to support

across something like 13 of our 19 schools and colleges across campus,

and you can really see the breadth of the interest in doing really

concrete work out in the community. We have a lot of work going

on in the city of Detroit, which I think makes a lot of

sense. Detroit is one of our nation's poorest cities,

but there's obviously a lot of strength and opportunities there and so trying

to be in partnership with the city government and be in partnership with

community based stakeholders to see what kind of value added a place like

the University of Michigan can bring is important work.

But as we started also doing this work, I started having a lot

of conversations across

our community,

one thing that kept on coming back was that

when we wanna look at poverty and equality we don't

have to go very far

outside of Washtenaw County. So, I think it won't be news to us,

a lot of us are aware that here at U of M a

high fraction of our students, in fact one out of every 10 U of M Ann Arbor

students comes from the top

the income distribution. And Washtenaw County itself is among the bottom

and social mobility. So, getting to know folks at the United Way,

getting to know some of our partners in Ypsilanti in particular,

right? Ypsilanti where, just not far away from where we are right here,

has pockets of poverty that look an awful lot like

places in Detroit and otherwise. And starting to hear this sense and this

feeling that maybe sometimes University of Michigan jumps over

problems that we have right here in our home county

to try to get to places that maybe have more name recognition,

or are sort of more universally recognized.

So I think here at U of M we're starting to address some

of this stuff, and then I think President Schlissel brings a significant

commitment to trying to do better, especially with this data point number

one. And some of that is a result of

research and ideas that have come out of the Ford School with the

Go Blue Guarantee, which stemmed from the HAIL Scholarship, where we just

significantly changed the way that we communicate with

students from low income schools who we think could get into U of M, who

disproportionately have been opting out of applying because we think they

often think that they couldn't afford to come to a place like the

University of Michigan. And so, the HAIL Scholarship was this

experiment where they sent very simple materials... Well, I think of it

as like a coupon that said, "If you apply and get into U of

M, we will provide free tuition." And the response was incredible.

Now, we didn't actually add more money, is my understanding, we simply changed

the way that we communicated about the availability of financial aid,

and as Sue says, it has to be around this notion of guarantee.

We're gonna assume some of the risk.

And so because we did this experiment we saw that the difference was

quite striking, and that's led U of M to commit to the Go

Blue Guarantee, which is a program

that says, "Anybody who comes from families with incomes below $65,000 comes

tuition free for four years." And again, it's this guarantee that I think

Sue thinks is so incredibly important, that we're assuming a lot of that

risk in making a very complicated process more simplified. We have another

exciting program going on called Wolverine Pathways, which is a college

prep program for students in low income schools starting at seventh grade.

So it's gonna try to follow students

throughout the rest of their time in school and get them into U of M at

higher rates.

For my own work, I knew about this research on summer youth employment

programs. I knew that Brian and Trina were working in the City of

Detroit. One of the thing that really struck me was

that in the City of Detroit, for Grow Detroit's Young Talent,

they get something like 15,000 or 16,000 applications for this. So the idea

that there are... This, to me, speaks to the fact that there's a

lot of demand for programs like this, if they're, one, known about,

and two, accessible. In my own work,

through some research, qualitative and quantitative work that I've been

doing trying to understand what's going at the very bottom of society,

I had seen...

As we talked to families in the case... In my case,

I was talking to low income families in different parts of the country,

whenever I would ask "If we came back and you were doing better

in a year,

what would it look like?"

None of them would ever tell me, "I want more

cash assistance," or, "I want more government aid." Although I happen to

think that we should have those programs available.

To a person, they would say, "I'd like a job paying $10 to

$12 an hour, that offers stable hours, in a place of our own."

And so I think there's something that resonates with a program like summer

youth jobs,

with people. It's acceptable, it's something that meets people's

needs and I think maybe enhances dignity. And so we, as we're... As

my associate director Julia Weinert says, as we're launching Poverty Solutions,

we also decided to launch a summer youth jobs program here at U of M. So

in the summer, a place like U of M has basically any job

available that you could think of. So we have jobs

working in research with faculty members, office jobs,

jobs in buildings and grounds,

jobs providing childcare over the course of the summer in some of our

child care centers. And so, we're thinking of this as maybe a way

that we could really leverage the resources of University of Michigan

to provide access to opportunity that wouldn't otherwise exist.

So we partnered with Washtenaw County and Michigan Works! We partnered with

the Youth Policy Lab that knew a lot


the best practices on these types of programs.

The Ginsberg Center was an important partner that directs, coordinates service

learning across the U. And in the first year, we created eight week

paid placements for youths ages 16 to 22 in jobs all across campus.

And I think one of the nice things

about this, one of... What we thought was one of our strengths,

was that if you get connected to the University of Michigan you also

get connected to a lot of resources such as an Mcard that can

get you on the bus for free. And all of our students got

set up with a U of M Credit Union account,

so everybody was banked by the end. And

we set up Friday enrichment sessions that covered a range of topics,

such as conflict management in the work place and how to apply to

college. And we're gonna be looking in year two to figure out

what else is there here at U of M in terms of training

opportunities that could be delivered in conjunction with the paid work


And I think maybe most importantly, we connected all of our youth to

a success coach. Now, this is something that maybe you probably can't do

when you have 9,000 placements across a large city. But there's a lot

of research suggesting that this sort of success coach who's someone who

you can connect with in a moment of crisis,

if you can't get to work, right, or

if you are having trouble managing a conflict with a supervisor,

can help you sort of figure out, strategize the best ways to deal

with that. And we think that that was an incredibly valuable

part of the project. Alright, well,

as with any time that you roll through

a new intervention, you learn a lot. And I'm not gonna take you

through this flow chart but I just wanted to highlight just a couple

of quick things. One, when we

got 220 applications, and we are pretty sure we could only place a

than we needed. But by the time we got to our first orientation

session we were down to 64 youth. And so, some of the kids,

we just never heard from. Some were underage, some were excluded.

And so I think it speaks to how challenging sometimes this can be

and how the assumption that if you build it, they will come,

doesn't always work out. Because of our success coaches, who were out

in the ground, we were able to bump those numbers back up to

a 108 youth that were randomly assigned at U of M. We had

a program and then the county had a program.

And once we got our students into jobs, our youth into jobs,

we kept all but one of them through the course the rest of

the summer. Really, it was a matter of getting to the point of

the first day of work that we were having to figure out what

some of the barriers were. And then through this rest of the summer

we had pretty good success.

We only at this point, 'cause we had relatively small samples,

know about how they felt about the program. And we are pleased

that they felt better equipped to do things like apply to college.

That makes a lot of sense at U of M, and I think

something that we're gonna think of as an advantage going forward.

They felt better prepared to apply for jobs.

And 96% said they were better prepared to interview. And the program had

a lot of experiences of both doing a short interview at the beginning

of the placement and building a lot of those skills over the summer.

Just two notes that I wanted to say. Youths seem to like the

program a lot, but they very much did not like it being connected

to something called Poverty Solutions.

Makes a ton of sense, right? A name like Poverty Solutions,

I think, resonates with a certain crowd. But trying to understand how we're

communicating these things and what we're doing

is... Even as an expert on poverty, this one caught me off guard.

Another thing is, we think of this as much sort of building knowledge

for youth, helping them with success and also building knowledge here at

U of M. So we had a lot of youth who would come

back to their sessions and say, "Is anybody else in placements where everybody

else is white?"

And I think the enrichment sessions were really helpful in helping

youth navigate that. And it speaks to, I think, where we have

a long way to go here at U of M to keep on

going. And the final thing I just wanted to mention was,

we're thinking a lot about the right level of targeting.

One question is, we could make this a program that's strictly serves low

income youth. Or last year, because we had extra placements, we increased

the span of students

a little higher up the economic ladder. And we think

maybe the targeting does a disadvantage. Maybe we shouldn't be creating

programs that only serve low income youth, but try to

bring kids together from across the income distribution.

We learned a lot, a lot more to go,

and we're looking forward to next year. Thank you.

Thanks. Hello.

Hi, I'm Paula Lantz, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs here at the Ford

School. And it's going to be my fun to

help moderate now discussion, Q&A session with our amazing panelists.

Let me apologize at the outset here, I doubt we're gonna have enough time

to get to everyone's questions, and I also know for sure I'm not

gonna be able to keep track of who raised his or her hand

in what order. So I will do my best to kind of... We'll make

our way around the room.

And please

keep your questions or comments pretty succinct, so we have time to get

to as many people as possible. And I'm just gonna open it right

up. Who has something they would like to

ask? Sylvia. Yeah. Thank you for the presentations. They were all excellent.

I just wanted to make a comment.

Okay. I just wanted to make a comment about Luke's remarks that the

students didn't like to be tied to the notion of Poverty Solutions.

Many years ago now, Claude Steele who was an African American social psychologist

and the author of the notion of stereotype threat, and he ran a

program here at the University of Michigan in Markley Hall

for gifted undergraduate minority students. And his argument was that students

didn't want to receive a letter saying, "You have been chosen because you

are a minority student." They wanted to receive a letter that said,

"You have been chosen because you are an excellent student." And so I

think it does make a difference to students' sense of self worth and

how they enter and function in the program.

Great. Thanks. Yeah. I was wondering if you guys can talk about how

you go about getting funding and sponsors to work with you on these

projects. Well, certainly with respect to My Brother's Keeper,

there are still some federal resources that come, but a lot of it

really is coming out of the private sector,

either through local governments... The Grow Detroit's Young Talent program,

for example, is part of MBK Detroit and the seedy investments that have

been made by the private sector to provide

apprenticeship programs and summer jobs. It's just critical to being able

to continue this work, and in fact, there is a responsibility that private

sector has. We also receive some foundation money and a lot of the

local MBK communities get a lot of foundation, local foundation and national

foundation money as well.

We need a whole lot more money though, that's for sure.

And so now that President Obama can raise money for My Brother's Keeper,

it should be a tremendous boost for the resources that we can provide.

How about... Do either Luke or Brian have anything

to say about funding? And can I just put a little twist on

that too? We all know that programs come and go, even programs that

have really good evaluation results and they often go because there's a

lack of sustainability for funding. So that's a really excellent question

to think about ongoing, committed resources to keep programs we know work

going. So, I can speak very quickly to... One thing we debated as

we were starting out was whether or not Poverty Solutions, which has a

budget from the U of M, should pay the wages of the youth

to work in the different departments or should pay some

fraction of it. And in the end, we actually said, "Well,

let's see how many placements we get if we just ask the departments to

pay the wages."

And we got offers of 77 placements across the U, and of course

could only actually field 40 youth in the first year. So,

this of course I think is unusual in that

doing a placement for eight weeks at $9 an hour was something like

$1800, doesn't seem like a lot of money to a U of M

Department, of course, this is an affluent place. But I think it does

speak to the importance of

trying to be strategic about your revenue streams

from the start because we could've very well

decided that we... We could've made the decision at the front end that

we needed to pay for the placements, and

then we would've been sort of locked into that. I think we would've set

up an expectation going forward that we were gonna

pay for the placements. And because we didn't do it, which I think

was partly a matter of luck from our point that that's what we


we saw that people were really, across the departments, were really to field

this cost and I think it makes it at least look more sustainable

to the U rather than having to say, "We're gonna dedicate $100,000 a

year chunk." And with Grow Detroit's Young Talent,

this is an interesting thing

of who does pay the placements. And of course then,

you have to look at the evidence to see

what that means about if a private employer is paying the placement,

who are they serving as well. Right? Right. I think... So the Youth

Policy Lab gets funding from foundations and some kind of

research grants, and I think there are tradeoffs. It's exactly true in

the employer sponsored internships in Grow Detroit's Young Talent, they

are very selective and they have minimum academic criteria and then they

do interviews in a career fair where they select the youth that they

would like to work for them. And I think that, again like many

things, there's tradeoffs. In some ways, that really is a nice simulation

of the job search

and it's a realistic setting and

it helps youth get prepared for that sort of market, but it may

not be serving some youth that aren't as prepared at the beginning.

The other quick thing with... Well, I'll stop there. Go ahead. We have...

Yeah, go for it. I actually have a program... I mean, sorry, a

question for you, Brian, for the research evaluation for how the program

has worked... Oh, I'm sorry, can you hear me? Is that better?

Okay. For the research results that you showed for the program for Detroit

youth, how long was that research evaluated? Was it just a one year

and then people asked their questions? Because I actually participated in

that program when I was in high school which was several years ago

when it was the Detroit Youth Program or whatever it was.

So, what were your results in terms of timeline? The results I presented

were just for youth who participated in summer of 2015 and summer of 2016,

and they were impacts after two years. So, in either '16 or '17. Now

I forget who mentioned it, but he talked about having a gap between

those who want to mentor and those who are in need of mentors

so both he and I work for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County

and we have a extremely hard time to get volunteers and bigs as

we call them. So with there's having so much need or want to

be a mentor we're trying to find out how can we get to

those people who are wanting to be those individuals.

So that... Are you familiar with Mentors, Inc? Yes. That organization,

so they're putting a lot more resources into exactly this issue of

helping to identify people and setting the expectations of people who could

be mentors. But look, I don't know how many of you saw the

Seth Curry video with President Obama. It was last year during the NBA


That got... And it was about being a mentor and it was kind of funny

'cause it shows President Obama helping Seth Curry learn how to shoot better.

But the number... There were several million people who viewed that video

over and over again and saw an uptick in the number.

And so have to use influencers who can help and in this area

whether, it be Michigan athletes and also... And other leaders here,

or be like the Detroit Pistons.

We can draw more attention to the great need but it is a

great need, there's no questions about that. Let's make sure we have you

connected to the Ginsberg center. Is Sarah still here somewhere? Okay,

Sarah I think...

Okay, already connected, okay. Great. Thanks...

Oh, okay. We have a questions over

here. Hi. I run a youth program in Detroit called Mosaic Youth Theater

of Detroit and what we experience and many other youth programs in Detroit

experience is that the greatest barrier for low income youth is transportation.

I'm just wondering a lot of the transportation innovation that's going on

nationally and in Detroit seems to be based on 18 and older.

Any thoughts about what is happening in terms of addressing the transportation

gap? So I don't have any specific ones

that I'm aware of. I'm sure in some of these MBK communities they

are addressing the transportation issues. I understand that Detroit, historically

anyway, has had some very unique problems that are

on a better path to getting fixed now, but

specific to other ones in other communities, I'm not sure about.

Is Detroit fixing its transportation issues? Some. Well you know what President

Obama used to always say, so

better is good. So let me start with that, is it

better? Getting better... For large groups of young people there's no discernible

impact, positive. Yeah. So I'm hoping that we're gonna start to see some

change there. So we just seeded some money for

some folks at the engineering school that's working with the new mobility

director in the city around looking at some alternative models to really

serve better.

Folks at the engineering school think that we can tighten up our bus

routes and connect people to bus routes with personalized shuttles and reduce

cost and commute times, so I think we're trying to be our own

guinea pigs on this. We've been rolling it out in the U of

M system which actually has a ridership that rivals the city of Detroit.

And we've just provided some additional funds to do the research that they

need to figure out how they set up the systems. We definitely think

it's a critical issue. You see it for school, you see it for

work, and so we're investing some in it and we'd like to do

more, so we'd welcome ideas. Thanks... Hi, so my question is more for

Mr. Johnson. I actually had the fortune of taking Professor Lantz's program

evaluation course and one of the things that we talked about was the

Ban the Box movement and how there's some people who are concerned that

despite the best of intentions there might be be unintended consequences

where men of color potentially have lower employment rates in places where

the box is banned due to concerns that

because they're no longer able to filter out who potentially did have a

felony or was incarcerated, they use color then as a proxy.

I was wondering what your evidence has found and how you can potentially

try to get more to the foundation of the problem if Ban the

Box maybe doesn't get the whole solution. Yeah, I know there was some

research that someone at either... I think it was at Brookings,

did some report

addressing this particular problem about Ban the Box. And I guess I would

say we've seen studies, we've seen evidence of the opposite, quite frankly.

And sure... It's against the law to use


as a factor here, so

if that law, if it's being violated by employers and they are exposing

themselves to civil rights violations... I don't know if you all saw The

New York Times story yesterday though about... Because we're in an almost

full employment economic situation that so many employers are now hiring

people who are incarcerated or formally incarcerated and

so the dynamic has changed considerably, and so therefore Ban the Box issues,

I think, certainly from a corporate perspective, not force by government,

although I think it should be certainly dictated by government and many

local governments do that, but we're coming to a different place because

of the unemployment rate. Now we're not gonna stay at this rate of

unemployment. We're gonna certainly see at some point a down turn in the

economy so the importance of Ban the Box doesn't go away.

Thank you. Thanks. Thank you guys so much for telling about the wonderful

work that you're working on. My name is Camille Tines. I'm a youth

and community development consultant born and raised in Detroit and so this

type of work is my love. My question is,

we've been hearing so much about the new innovative approaches that are

taking place, these amazing programs, and even seeing some of the statistics

and the reports are like, "Oh, this is great."

My only caveat or concern is, how much community collaboration of all participants

of the process are included, so not just, say, certain funders or key

stakeholders or amazing U of M but actually the people that are being

served, 'cause I know oftentimes... Like I've worked in roles from being

a youth specialist to program evaluation and even doing some contracts and

grants management, so thats allowed me to see that oftentimes the numbers

paint a pretty story, but then when you get to the on the

ground work or you actually see your local or national outcomes,

there's a disconnect. So, my question to you guys is... So you're talking

about how you're recruiting so many youth but sometimes there are issues

of retainment or things of that sort or like, what are those barriers?

If, say, youth or whoever you're serving is included not just in the

survey but in the long term process, say maybe... Not just in a

focus group but more like... I don't know, like a board of directors

or whatever, however you would term it for what you're doing.

But in the long term, a collaboration approach to see where can we

problem solve and how can we implement better, and is that something in

the works right now? So we insisted in the development of these local

action plans that communities would send us to the White House to say

they wanted to be an MBK community that a part of us recognizing...

We didn't give awards for it, you know, although that phase may come

later, again it was more self identification, but we said from the start

if you're going to submit a... Basically a request that you be an

MBK community and tout yourself that way that you have to demonstrate that

you have youth involved in your efforts from a leadership perspective as

well. So MBK Boston for example, of their board of directors of I

think 15, two of them are youth who started when they were high

school students,

so any effort of calling yourself MBK that does not involve youth not

just as sort of the specimens, right, to measure the impact but also

to help develop the effective programs isn't worth its salt. Yeah. We're

trying to approach this in a number of different ways and figure out

what the best ways to engage across number of levels so I think

with our Summer Youth Program at U of

M we're getting feedback from and very close partnerships at a lot of different

levels with the county, with the County Government, with nonprofits and

with youths in particular. I think we'd like to start drawing success coaches

from previous participants, right, as a way to really connect the experience.

In the city of Detroit I would say we're hiring an outreach director

who can be on the ground I think

being more connected.

But another thing I am super excited about is the work by Liz

Gerber and Jeff Morenoff on the Detroit Metropolitan Area Communities Study.

You guys could mention to them that the name's a little long and

they should maybe tighten it up, if you wouldn't mind.

But they just received a grant from the Knight Foundation

and the model is that we're gonna... We've constructed sort of a random

sample clustered in communities and we're hiring Detroit residents who will

then canvas those communities to get us on the ground

representative information of how people are seeing investments in city.

We think that the community members who are going to be part of

the outreach group can help tailoring the questions. So we pilot this last

summer and, you know, a lot of language that made a lot of

sense to nerdy professors like me, where they were like, yeah,

maybe we can change that a little bit,

and so we'd like to institutionalize that. And I think it gets at lot

of what you just said. One of the things that I think about

a lot in the first wave of that survey they found something like

a sense of the magnitude of the hardship

is key, and getting a sense of how people are perceiving what's going on

in the city really can help

develop policy, so I think we have to do it at a couple

different levels.

Thanks. Thank you. This is kind of a follow up question to the

transportation question that was asked earlier and it's inspired

because I think a lot of the times under resourced youth feel the

need to escape from their communities because they think there is no hope

in getting any help from their local communities, and I was just wondering

if there is any efforts being made by any of these programs that

were talked about earlier in perhaps desegregating school systems or

finding more equality to

disperse the resources to all schools instead of a certain number of advantaged

youth. I think there's... There

are not a lot of

formal efforts towards school integration

these days, in fact recent research suggests it's been going in the opposite

direction, a lot of districts that had been under federal consent decrees

to actively desegregate in some way those consent decrees, which are 20,

lifted. I mean, I think the primary way public school districts think about

integration now is through

open enrolment systems or schools of choice, which is partly maybe charter

schools, but also partly any other public school in the district.

Most big, urban, big city urban school districts have

fairly well developed choice systems that allow students to go to

any number of schools within the district. The downside there is transportation,

and it's often the... The freedom to go somewhere isn't very useful if

you can't get there.

And the other issue is that it is only within the district,

and a lot of residential segregation over the last 30 years has taken

a place across districts. And so, even if you could perfectly integrate

the Detroit public schools community district,

it wouldn't be nearly as integrated on race or socioeconomic status as you

would want now because of residential segregation. It's a big... There's

not a very easy...

There's no easy

solutions. A minute left. Quickly? Thanks. Yeah. I've read a lot of studies

in articles that suggest that the conditions of schools, how nice they are,

the facilities, they have an effect on the confidence and the sense of worth

that the students have. And some studies have shown to positive correlation

on test scores and those matters. So do you think this is a

big part of the efforts we've been discussing today, pumping more money

into the public schools to revamp the conditions, get better textbook and

better facilities to boost that confidence of the students? So can I say

something about what I have found

deeply troubling about the school system in my hometown of Baltimore?

You probably saw some of the national reports of what happened there over

the last couple weeks because of the incredible cold

that we had on the East Coast. That 60 of the Baltimore schools

didn't have heat for a period of three or four days,

and yet... And these were elementary through high schools.

And this meant that six and seven year olds were

in 40 degree temperatures in classrooms for days,

and you could see icicles forming outside the building.

And 86% of those children, it turned out also, receive free or reduced

lunches or meals, so they needed to be in school.

But you had this


unacceptable, I think, kind of a blame game that was going around where

you had administrators of the school system

saying that there were all sorts of infrastructure issues, there were legacy

issues that they inherited. And then you had

other folks, other adults saying, "It's kind of not our fault,

we'll fix it." But for the children and their parents, going to your

issue about self esteem, I mean it just seems like adults shouldn't be

giving excuses for that ever happening, and if it does, fix it immediately

rather than

four, five days of children being subjected to that. It does make a

big difference. And yet, so much then of the work that President Obama has

directed goes to alleviating those institutional issues that get in the

way oftentimes of children having even the most basic options, so at least

they can have after school related programs where they can feel like someone

cares about them or they have a mentor they can turn to.

Great. So... Thank you. Let me wrap up by

doing three thank yous. First of all, Mr. Johnson. Thank you for coming

today, and... Thank you, you're welcome. Coming to the frostbite falls of

Michigan and

taking time out of your busy schedule. But also thank you for being willing

to come back and be a Towsley Policymaker in Residence. We are all

beyond thrilled. So that's fantastic. Thank you. Thank you to Brian and

Luke for also sharing their experiences and expertise. And also, I wanna

thank all of you for coming, and I also wanna thank all of

you in this room. I know many of you in this room are

engaged in doing work to make the exceptional

no longer the exception. So thanks for coming today. Happy Martin Luther

King Day, and thank you all very much.