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Poverty and Place: Exploring the Legacy of Persistent Poverty in America

Join the Urban Institute for a discussion about the legacies of the deepest poverty in America and the mechanisms through which it persists. In their new book, The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America, Luke Shaefer and colleagues Kathryn Edin and Timothy Nelson explore the poorest places in the country – from Appalachia, the Cotton and Tobacco Belts, and South Texas – to examine the inequalities shaping people’s health, livelihoods, and upward social mobility and develop a multidimensional Index of Deep Disadvantage. Using a data-driven approach, the authors have sought to understand what these places have in common.

Shaefer will join Gregory Acs, Urban’s vice president for income and benefits policy, in conversation about how the historic economic and social structures in certain communities reinforce poverty across generations. The discussion will continue with a panel of experts on the importance of place and place-based solutions for supporting upward mobility from poverty.



  • H. Luke Shaefer, Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy and Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
  • John M. Eason, Senior Fellow and Equity Scholar, Urban Institute
  • Corianne Payton Scally, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
  • Gregory Acs, Vice President for Income and Benefits Policy, Urban Institute (moderator)


This event is available for in-person or virtual participation. Please be sure to register correctly. In-person check-in and lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. A networking reception will follow the event. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, including one booster shot, is required to attend this event in person. Please be prepared to show proof of your vaccinations upon arrival. Masking may be required. 

For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.


Date & Time Thursday, November 16, 2023
Urban Institute 500 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington , DC , 20024
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