Roundtable: We Can Get There from Here: Comprehensive Policy Approaches to Improve the Lives of Low-Income Black Men
(Poverty and Income Policy)

Friday, November 7, 2014: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Taos (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Roundtable Organizers:  Anne Price, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Moderators:  Anne Price, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Speakers:  David Pate, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee; University of Wisconsin, Madison, James Dimitri Topizes, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Sikander Iqbal, Youth Uprising and Gabriela Sandoval, Insight Center for Community Economic Development

In this roundtable, we posit that that disproportionately worse life outcomes for minorities, particularly black men are well documented, as are the historical and structural underpinnings that lead to such outcomes. They are not purely the result of individuals’ life choices, but are rooted in systems and institutions that structure and limit black men’s opportunities. The extent that low-income men of color (black men, in particular) are considered and included in policies or services, it is most often from a deficit model, one that frequently pathologizes and/or vilifies. Roundtable participants will discuss findings from two recent bodies of research. One study examines the intersection of mental health/health and employment among black men. A second body of research documents the impact of child enforcement policies and practices on employment and wealth accumulation among black fathers and their families. The roundtable will bring attention to the voices and experiences of black men with various systems to fill the void in public policy research and debates. The roundtable focuses in two areas. One is comprehensive advocacy -a multifaceted approach that supports providing holistic, collaborative services, advocating for policy changes, and challenging the systems and structures of privilege that perpetuate racialized outcomes. Low-income black men must be included in the promise of social protection. Interventions aimed at individuals alone cannot overcome the effects of past and present racism—an advocacy platform targeted at changing structures of power and exclusion is also needed. Panelists will outline how a comprehensive advocacy campaign that dismantles structural obstacles to opportunity and success will benefit not only black men, but will simultaneously improve conditions and life outcomes for all members of low-income communities of color. Secondly, panelists will explore how specific social policy and practices, like child support enforcement, not only cause significant unintended harms, but are also at direct odds with its stated purpose. Roundtable participants will propose a range of policy options.
See more of: Poverty and Income Policy
See more of: Roundtable