Can We End Poverty?

March 26, 2015
8:30AM to 12:45PM
Columbia University; The Doe Fund
Featuring John Allison, President, Cato Institute; John McWhorter, Center for American Studies, Columbia University; Michael D. Tanner, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Ron Haskins, Co-Director, Center on Children and Families, Budgeting for National Priorities Project; Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink; Christopher Wimer, Co-Director, Center on Poverty and Social Policy; Jo Kwong, Director of Economic Opportunity Programs, Philanthropy Roundtable; Harriet Karr-McDonald, Executive Vice President, Doe Fund; Robert Woodson, Founder and President, Center for Neighborhood Enterprise; David Beito, Professor of American History, University of Alabama.

March 26, 2015, 8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Columbia University
Roone Arledge Auditorium
Alfred Lerner Hall, 2920 Broadway
New York City

On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson delivered a State of the Union address to Congress in which he declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” Johnson’s goal was not only to “relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.” Since then, federal and state governments have spent more than $19 trillion fighting poverty. But what has really been accomplished with all of that funding?

This special half-day conference brings together a wide range of experts from across the political spectrum to discuss whether the War on Poverty succeeded in reducing poverty in the United States, what remains to be done, and whether private charitable efforts would be a better alternative to government welfare programs.

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Registration

8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Welcome Address

John Allison
Cato Institute

8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Keynote Address

John McWhorter
Center for American Studies
Columbia University

9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. PANEL 1: 50 Years of the War on Poverty: Success, Failure, Incomplete?

Moderator: Ron Haskins
Co-Director, Center on Children and Families, Budgeting for National Priorities Project
Brookings Institution

Michael Tanner
Senior Fellow
Cato Institute

Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder and CEO

Christopher Wimer
Co-Director, Center on Poverty and Social Policy
School of Social Work
Columbia University

Nicholas Eberstadt
Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy
American Enterprise Institute*

10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. PANEL 2: Private Alternatives to Government Welfare

Moderator: Jo Kwong
Director of Economic Opportunity Programs
Philanthropy Roundtable

Harriet Karr-McDonald
Executive Vice President
Doe Fund

Robert Woodson
Founder and President*
Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

David Beito
Professor of American History
University of Alabama

Sheryl WuDunn
author, A Path Appears, Pulitzer Prize winner*

12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Travel to the Doe Fund

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Doe Fund Tour and Luncheon

1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. TBA - Luncheon Address

* Invited but not confirmed