50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King led a March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A few months later, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty in America. Fifty years after these landmark stepping stones for economic opportunity, how are we faring on efforts to cut poverty and provide greater opportunities for all? As we reflect on these critical anniversaries, what are the lessons we can take from the past 5 decades and how can they inform our efforts moving forward, particularly with fierce budget battles underway with high stakes for low-income families?
On October 29, the Half in Ten campaign will release its third annual report that answers these questions, tracking the nation’s and each state’s progress toward cutting poverty in half over the next decade through indicators relating to good jobs, strong families, and economic security and opportunity. The report also outlines a pathway forward, recommending a set of policy priorities to bring more families into the middle-class. Our keynote speakers and panelists will tell the stories behind the numbers, explain our progress and shortfalls in the past 50 years, and discuss what we need to do to move the needle forward in cutting poverty in half.