National Resources


Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation

Report says upward mobility is worse in NC than in US

Straight From High School to a Career

Should the U.S. Adopt the German Model of Apprenticeships?

Urban inequality and access: Will Habitat III rise to the challenge?



Albuquerque agency helps poor families build financial, social capital

The Role of Social Capital in Building Healthy Communities, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

More an Just a Meal: the Economic Utility of Social Capital in the Lives of the Poor, Benjamin Higby Strange, College of Wooster

Increasing human and social capital by applying job embeddedness theory, Organizational Dynamics

Engaging underrepresented youth populations in community youth development: Tapping social capital as a critical resource, Nancy Erbstein

Developing Social Capital in Schools, SpringerLink 

Measuring the social capital of children, Trudy Harpham, South Bank University

Rebuilding Social Capital Through Community Institutions, The Heritage Foundation



Not Just a Deadbeat Dad, Pacific Standard

Wraparound services still worth it even after accounting for all costs, Brookings

Increasing Cohabitation and Family Instability for Children, Institute for Family Studies

Colorado program to help preschoolers open college savings account, The Denver Post

The Power of Home Visits to Connect Teachers With Kids and Their Families, KQED

Creating Opportunities for Families, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Uplifting the Family: A Two Generation Approach, CAP Tulsa, Inc. and Garrett County Community Action Committee, Inc.

This innovative idea is helping low-income families save for college, Market Watch

Framing Child & Youth Development, Frame Works Institute

Small Steps, but No Major Push, to Integrate New York’s Schools, The New York Times



New York Times, “States Lead the Way on Justice Reform”

WUNC, The Diane Rehm Show, “NC Says Good-Bye to Earned Income Tax Credit, Only State to Do So in 30 Years”

Policy Basics: State Earned Income Tax Credits, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

A $15-hour minimum wage could harm America’s poorest workers, Brookings

62 Years After Brown v. Board Of Education: Why Racial Segregation Is Up In U.S. Schools, The Diane Rehm Show

Don't Give Up on Equality of Opportunity, Bloomberg



“Billion Dollar Bets” to Create Economic Opportunity for Every American By Debby Bielak, Devin Murphy, and Jim Shelton

Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing Challenges, The Kresge Foundation

The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans, The Atlantic

How the War on Drugs Damages Black Social Mobility, Brookings

The Relationship between Poverty & Mass Incarceration, Center for Community Change

Incarceration in Fragile Families, Future of Children

The Costs of Inequality: Goal Is Justice, but Reality Is Unfairness, US News

Collateral Costs: Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility, The PEW Charitable Trusts



Five Evils: Multidimensional Poverty and Race in America, Brookings

Contraception and the American Dream, Brookings

How can schools address America's marriage crisis?, Thomas Fordham Institute

Memo to Republicans: On teen pregnancy, use evidence not ideology, Brookings

Strengthening Families and Rescuing Marriage, Center of the American Experiment

The Promise of Birth Control, Princeton-Brookings

Politicians Push Marriage, but That's Not What Would Help Children, NY Times

Section 8 Is Failing Poor Americans, The Atlantic



Neighborhood Poverty and Household Financial Security

Crossroads: The Intersection of Housing and Education Policy, Urban Wire

Impact of Affordable Housing on Families and Communities: A Review of the Evidence Base, Enterprise

An Opportunity Agenda for Renters

Housing Policy Levers to Promote Economic Mobility

How housing matters for economic mobility, Urban Wire

How Housing Policy Is Failing America's Poor, The Atlantic

Politicians Push Marriage, but That’s Not What Would Help Children, The New York Times

How disadvantaged neighborhoods amplify racial inequality

The Eviction Economy, The New York Times

The Promise I Can't Keep, Coffee and Crumbs

Where Children Rarely Escape Poverty, Emily Deruy and Janie Boschma, The Atlantic

Low-income Latino Families Are More Financially Stable, Less Likely to Participate in Assistance Programs

Tackling Poverty in Place:Principles for a Next Generation of Place-Conscious Interventions

Why Seniors—Not CEOs—Deserve a Raise



“Closing the Wealth Gap for Families of Color,” La June Montgomery Tabron, Stanford Social Innovation Review

“How will we know? The Need for Opportunity Indicators”, Richard Reeves, Brookings Institution Social Mobility Memos

“The Crisis of Minority Unemployment,” New York Times Editorial Board



The Washington Post, “The Brain Science behind Britain’s new parenting classes,” Danielle Paquette

Budget - EPI

Assets & Opportunity Scorecard - North Carolina

How Much Social Mobility Do People Really Want? 


Are you in the American middle class? Find out with our income calculator

AEI/Brookings: Opportunity, Responsibility and Security – A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream

The Tipping Point: Most Americans No Longer Are Middle Class

A $12 Minimum Wage Would Bring the United States in Line with International Peers

What Resources Do Families Have for Financial Emergencies?

The Tactics of Trust 

A grim bargain - Once a weakness, low-skilled workers who get paid little have become the Deep South’s strength



Five stereotypes about poor families and education

OPINION: How to Stamp Out Poverty? Behavioral Economics

What it’s like to live on $2 a day in the United States

5 Myths: What People Get Wrong about Poverty

Long Line at the Library? It’s Story Time Again

Center on Children and Families at Brookings

It's expensive to be poor

The American Dream Is Dead: Here’s Where It Went

Why Low-Income Kids Thrive in Salt Lake City

Stress, worry, and social support: Inequality in America's cities

Why Few Poor Kids at Top Colleges Matters

Meet the People Navigating Adult Life in the U.S. Without a Bachelor's Degree

High costs, uncertain benefits: What do Americans without a college degree think about postsecondary education?



High quality child care is out of reach for working families

Angus Deaton wins Nobel prize in economics

Study questions value of Tennessee preschool program

Charter School Battle Heats Up


What happens when big philanthropy efforts fail?

The New War on Poverty (Two Generation Approach)

NPR, Sept. 23, 2015 – Group Led By Billionaire Proposes Overhaul of LA Public Schools

Marketplace, Sept. 22, 2015 – What happens when big philanthropy efforts fail?

New York Times – Education gap Between Rich and Poor is Growing Wider

The Atlantic – The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration 

Black child poverty rate holds steady, even as other groups see declines

A recent study by Pew Charitable Trust analyzing Census data about the rates of African Americans living in poverty. An article describing the report can be found here

David Berliner on Inequality, Poverty and the Widening Education Gap

Obama, Koch Brothers in Unlikely Alliance to Overhaul Criminal Justice - Wall Street Journal 

Harvard Economist about black vs. white educational achievement

Saving Horatio Alger: Equal Opportunity and the American Dream

In the latest Brookings Essay, Richard Reeves presents an in-depth examination on social mobility and equality in America, and what we can do to save the American Dream.

Why Do Some Americans Leave the Bottom of the Bottom of the Economic Ladder and Not Others?

One of the hallmarks of the American Dream is equal opportunity: the belief that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules can achieve economic success. Polling by The Pew Charitable Trusts finds that 40 percent of Americans consider it common for a person in the United States to start poor, work hard, and become rich. But that rags-to-riches story is more prevalent in Hollywood than in reality. In fact, 43 percent of Americans raised at the bottom of the income ladder remain stuck there as adults, and 70 percent never even make it to the middle. 

The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods On Children (Executive Summary)

There are large differences in individuals’ economic, health, and educational outcomes across neighborhoods in the United States. Motivated by these disparities, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development designed the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment to determine whether providing low-income families assistance in moving to better neighborhoods could improve their economic and health outcomes. The MTO experiment was conducted between 1994 and 1998 in five large U.S. cities. In this study, we present a new analysis of the effect of the MTO experiment on children’s long-term outcomes. Our re-analysis is motivated by new research showing that a neighborhood’s effect on children’s outcomes may depend critically on the duration of exposure to that environment. In particular, Chetty and Hendren (2015) use quasi-experimental methods to show that every year spent in a better area during childhood increases a child’s earnings in adulthood, implying that the gains from moving to a better area are larger for children who are younger at the time of the move.

An Atlas of Upward Mobility Shows Paths Out of Poverty - New York Times, May 4, 2015

In the wake of the Los Angeles riots more than 20 years ago, Congress created an anti-poverty experiment calledMoving to Opportunity. It gave vouchers to help poor families move to better neighborhoods and awarded them on a random basis, so researchers could study the effects. The results were deeply disappointing. Now, however, a large new study is about to overturn the findings of Moving to Opportunity. Based on the earnings records of millions of families that moved with children, it finds that poor children who grow up in some cities and towns have sharply better odds of escaping poverty than similar poor children elsewhere.

Five Bleak Facts on Black Opportunity

What would Martin Luther King Jr. think of America in 2015 if he’d lived to see his eighty-sixth birthday today? No doubt, he’d be pleased by the legal and political advances of black Americans, crowned by the election and re-election of President Obama.

TED Talk: How Economic Inequality Harms Societies by Richard Wilkinson

For decades, Richard Wilkinson has studied the social effects of income inequality and how social forces affect health. In The Spirit Level, a book coauthored with Kate Pickett, he lays out reams of statistical evidence that, among developed countries, societies that are more equal – with a smaller income gap between rich and poor -- are happier and healthier than societies with greater disparities in the distribution of wealth. We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.

Want to Close the Black/White Income Gap? Work to reduce segregation.

Although income gaps between whites and blacks are large and persistent across the country, they are much smaller in more integrated metropolitan areas and larger in more segregated metropolitan areas.  The strength of this relationship strongly suggests that reducing the income gap will necessarily require reducing racial segregation.

1.5 Million Missing Black Men - Justin Wolfers, David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy, New York Times 4/20/2015

In New York, almost 120,000 black men between the ages of 25 and 54 are missing from everyday life. In Chicago, 45,000 are, and more than 30,000 are missing in Philadelphia. Across the South — from North Charleston, S.C., through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and up into Ferguson, Mo. — hundreds of thousands more are missing. They are missing, largely because of early deaths or because they are behind bars.


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  • commented 2016-07-28 21:42:33 -0400
    It’s really true: “One of the hallmarks of the American Dream is equal opportunity: the belief that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules can achieve economic success. Polling by The Pew Charitable Trusts finds that 40 percent of Americans consider it common for a person in the United States to start poor, work hard, and become rich.”

    #americandream (
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