August 6, 2014 -
The story of poverty in affluent America is a sad one, but not a new one. And it is the story of more and more Americans. Many newly impoverished are victims of a broken economy and a collapsed housing market, and have joined the chronically poor living in the shadows of the world's richest nation. Join Alvin Nance, President and CEO of Knoxville Community Development Corporation (KCDC), as he explores this scandalous problem and solutions in The American Way of Poverty: How the other half still lives by Sasha Abramsky in Knox County Public Library's Book Sandwiched In, Wednesday, August 20, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium, at 601 South Gay Street.
Abramsky brings the effects of economic inequality out of the shadows and, ultimately, suggests ways for moving toward a fairer and more equitable social contract. Exploring everything from housing policy to wage protections and affordable higher education, Abramsky lays out a panoramic blueprint for a reinvigorated political process that, in turn, will pave the way for a renewed War on Poverty.
The American Way of Poverty demonstrates "how the structure of federal programs works against the recipients when our economic system experiences a recession," Nance said.
In The American Way of Poverty, Abramsky describes the victims of poverty--both the long-term chronically poor and new working poor-the tens of millions of victims of a broken economy and an ever more dysfunctional political system. In many ways, for the majority of Americans, he says, financial insecurity has become the new norm.
"It was interesting to see how elected officials viewed assistance provided to those who were working and loss their jobs," Nance said, "versus those who were working in low paying jobs who received assistance."
Prior to joining the housing authority, Nance worked in the banking industry for 20 years and served on the KCDC Board of Commissioners for eight years. Nance graduated from Maryville College in 1979 with bachelor's degree in business administration and a minor in art. Mr. Nance has been married over 33 years. He has two children and one grandchild.
The public is invited to join the conversation. Bring your favorite sandwich or pick up something from a downtown restaurant. Soft drinks and bottle water will be available for 50 cents. Copies of the books are available at the Library if you'd like to read one before the program.
On September 17, Erin Gill, Director, Knoxville Policy/Redevelopment/Sustainability Department, will discuss Climate Casino by William D. Nordaus.
On October 15, Dr. Jack Fellows, Director, ORNL Climate Change Science Institute, will discuss Hot: Living through the next fifty years on Earthby Mark Hertsgaard.