Recently, MS student , Southern Echo Inc. Board Member, and organizer at Nollie Jenkins Family Center, Kamiesha Smith shared her thoughts on poverty and how policy decisions affect the lives of the poor with a panel including Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House of Representatives; Dr. Cornel West, democratic intellectual and professor at Union Theological Seminary; and Jonathan Kozol, a public education expert and author, among others. The panel, “Vision for a New America: A Future Without Poverty,” demanded a major policy address on poverty, and asked President Obama to do more – much more – to reduce poverty in America.
“What more has to happen?” Mr. Smiley said. “How many more people have to die or fall through the cracks?”
During the live-broadcast event, discussions ranged from changes to health care, the education system and safety net programs to how the fiscal cliff deal and upcoming debt-ceiling bill have affected and will affect the nation’s poor. A common theme ran through the discussions: The nation’s leaders aren’t doing enough, and income inequality continues to plague the country, generic ambien zolpidem with the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer.
“Politics has neglected the poor,” Dr. Sachs said, calling the state of poverty in this nation a “calamitous situation” in which the underclass “no longer has a helping hand.”
Mr. Kozol emphasized that “the only avenue of exit for the poorest children in this country … is to give them absolutely terrific, exciting, beautiful, spectacular and expensive public education – and to fund it not simply at the high level as the richest suburbs, but at a higher level because those children need it more.”
Ms. Smith emphasized similar points. She shared, “that a quality education is the best path out of poverty.” She discussed her desire to work hard to continue to help lift the voices of other young people in Mississippi and across the county in the struggle to achieve a quality education for all students.
The event was broadcast live last week from Washington, DC. It is being rebroadcast this week on PBS. For more information on the rebroadcast, please check your local listings.