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FIRSTHAND Talks | FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty


5 expert talks providing context around the topic of poverty in Chicago

Explore these powerful Talks, each with a big idea for addressing poverty in Chicago. From different perspectives, a policymaker, college chancellor, sociologist, community organizer, and lender express their personal stories and offers solutions.

Audra Wilson
Unbuckling the Bootstraps Narrative

Audra Wilson explodes the myth that people in poverty made personal choices that put them there, and proposes solutions that can help everyone achieve racial and economic equality.

Juan Salgado
Talent Not to Be Missed

Juan Salgado explores an often-overlooked pathway out of poverty: community colleges and their unique position to meet people where they are. He explains how these under-resourced institutions help students capitalize on their talents.

Mark Jay
Policing the Poor

Mark Jay examines how mass incarceration and police violence overwhelmingly target poor people, regardless of race. He suggests that providing resources, especially for those suffering from mental health issues, would substantially reduce those numbers.

Ebony Scott
Defund the War on Poverty

Ebony Scott explores why poverty has persisted in spite of the "War on Poverty" launched in 1964 – in Chicago and everywhere else. She explains how “strength-based” cash investments in individuals of color can lift up communities and foster loyalty to the businesses that provide employment.

Calvin Holmes
Money with Attitude

Calvin Holmes explains how the cycle of poverty can be broken with long-term investment aimed at helping families to grow wealth, and how providing “money with the right attitude” to low-income communities can help lift people out of poverty.