William Elliott was the keynote for the Alice P. Lin Memorial Lecture at Columbia University. Elliott’s talk, "We Also Have to Give Children Something to Live For: Children's Savings, Student Debt, and Wealth Inequality,” argued that the drive Americans have demonstrated throughout their history comes not just from having enough money to pay their bills each week or enough to live on, but from the promise of a better future and that Children’s Savings Accounts can play a role in realizing that future.
Elliott is a social work professor, director of the Joint PhD program in social work and social science and the founding director of the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion.
Clinical Assistant Professor Justin Hodge, MSW ‘13, has been appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity. The commission was created to develop policies and programs to reduce poverty in the State of Michigan. “I'm excited to be able to inform and influence policy at the state level to expand economic opportunity for our most vulnerable Michiganders,” said Hodge.
Professor William Elliott’s essay is included in the new book “Future of Building Wealth: Brief Essays on the Best Ideas to Build Wealth - for Everyone” which was published by The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The book provides policymakers and financial leaders with the tools, resources and innovative ideas to pave the way for economic growth and prosperity for all American families.
Associate Professor Kristin Seefeldt was featured in an NPR article that analyzes the decrease of Michigan residents living in poverty as a result of financial aid assistance. Seefeldt discusses how pandemic stimulus checks and expanded unemployment benefits are helping families.
Professor Robert Joseph Taylor’s study on the inner workings of Black extended family networks is featured in the Brooking Institute’s “Class Notes.” Taylor’s research shows how younger Black women serve as crucial pillars in their families due to their high levels of involvement both within their family networks.
Professor Brad Zebrack has been awarded a 5-year R01 from the National Cancer Institute for the project "Social genomic mechanisms of health disparities among adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors." The grant will allow study of molecular pathways that represent potential targets for interventions to protect AYA survivors against the adverse biological effects of social isolation, socioeconomic disadvantage, and other psychological and social determinants of health in the highly stressful context of cancer. The study’s intent is to identify functional genomic pathways through which social and psychological factors influence gene regulation and alter health outcomes in AYAs, and to define the role of such effects in structuring health disparities in post-treatment survivorship.
Professor Trina Shanks is quoted in a Washington Post article about how federal relief programs initiated during the pandemic have been surprisingly effective at lifting people and families out of poverty. President Biden’s “Build Back Better” proposal would continue some of these financial supports, which could potentially cut childhood poverty rates in half. “The whole point of the child tax credit is, if a family is working at all, it pushes the family above the poverty line so their children aren’t suffering,” said Shanks.
Professor Luke Shaefer spoke with the New York Times about how the stimulus checks issued during the pandemic brought an immediate reduction in food insecurity, which, he says, continues to fall. “We could potentially be at the lowest level of food insecurity ever recorded, because of the government transfers,” said Shaefer.
Katie Richards-Schuster joined the Michigan Minds podcast to discuss the importance of keeping students engaged and how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways youth participate in their communities.
Associate Professor Kristin Seefeldt spoke to WXYZ Detroit about the struggles families face due to food insecurity and how the new SNAP benefit can help. Beginning October 1, the program once known as Food Stamps will be receiving the single largest increase in the program's 46-year history.
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106