To know where we’re going, we have to know where we’ve been. The University of Michigan has invested in poverty research and teaching dating back to the 1960s.
Here are just a few milestones:
U-M President James Angell: “We need to make higher education accessible to the poor”
“Poverty shall not keep a gifted youth from the opportunity for a liberal education.”
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Remarks at the University of Michigan
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson was seeking ideas for a radical domestic program to inspire American voters.
At U-M’s Spring Commencement that year, he outlined a loose plan to declare “war” on poverty and create a “Great Society.”
Read more: myumi.ch/aGVvo
Panel Study of Income Dynamics
In 1966 and 1967, the government identified 30,000 American households for interviews in an effort to track whether its programs actually worked.
Government researchers approached Jim Morgan with the Institute for Social Research to do the research. This eventually led to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics at the university, the longest-running and most complete portrait of the economics of the American family.
Read more: myumi.ch/aAVv1
10-Point Program to Abolish Poverty
As U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Wilbur J. Cohen was instrumental in developing the New Deal and Great Society programs. In December 1968, he wrote “A Ten- Point Program to Abolish Poverty” that future leaders used as a blueprint for later legislation.
Cohen later served as a professor of social work and dean of the School of Education at U-M.
Read more: myumi.ch/aZb2d
Perspectives on Poverty
A pioneer in interdisciplinary study, Max Heirich taught one of U-M’s first courses specifically focused on poverty. This course used a variety of methods to explore the phenomenon of poverty in an affluent society.
Research and Training Program on Poverty and Public Policy
U-M professor Sheldon H. Danziger launches the Research and Training Program in Poverty and Public Policy. The program provided mentorship and support for over 50 postdoctoral fellows and doctoral students on the causes and consequences of urban poverty.
National Institute of Mental Health Research and Development Center on Poverty, Risk, and Mental Health
This U-M Center, funded by the NIMH, expanded knowledge for research and practice on the relationship between poverty and mental health.
Women’s Employment Study
This U-M study combined the insights of poverty researchers, epidemiologists, and social workers, analyzing the ways in which a broad range of issues (labor market, mental health, physical health, and family problems) affect a welfare recipient’s ability to obtain and retain employment overtime.
National Poverty Center
The National Poverty Center (NPC) at U-M’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy was established as a university-based, nonpartisan research center. NPC conducted and promoted multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research, mentored and trained emerging scholars, and informed public discourse on the causes and consequences of poverty.
Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan
President Mark Schlissel launches Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, a universitywide effort to explore and test models to ease the effects of poverty and broadly share that knowledge, while working with community groups and supporting active-learning options for students.
H. Luke Shaefer, associate professor at the U-M School of Social Work and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, is appointed the inaugural director of Poverty Solutions.
Partnership on Economic Mobility with the City of Detroit
The University of Michigan and the city of Detroit joined forces to boost economic mobility and break the cycle of poverty in Detroit. The four-year agreement supports action-based partnerships that pair U-M experts with city leaders.
Joan and Sanford Weill hall
735 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091