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Date and Location

September 7, 2023
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET
T-g-1 Wiener Auditorium
The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America Photo

​Stone Inequality Book Talk

The Stone Program in Wealth Distribution, Inequality, and Social Policy is excited to welcome Kathryn J.
Edin, H. Luke Shaefer, and Timothy J. Nelson, who will discuss their new
book, The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America,
in the Malcolm Wiener Auditorium at Harvard Kennedy School. The Wiener
Auditorium is located on the lower level of the Taubman Building at HKS. Raj Chetty, the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University, will introduce the event. 

Kathryn J. Edin is the William Church Osborn Professor of
Sociology and Public Affairs at the Princeton School of Public and
International Affairs and the Co-director of The Bendheim-Thoman Center
for Research on Child Wellbeing.

H. Luke Shaefer is the Hermann and Amalie Kohn
Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy and Associate Dean for
Research and Policy Engagement at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public
Policy at the University of Michigan.

Timothy J. Nelson is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University.

About the book: Three of the nation’s top
scholars ­– known for tackling key mysteries about poverty in America –
turn their attention from the country’s poorest people to its poorest
places. Based on a fresh, data-driven approach, they discover
that America’s most disadvantaged communities are not the big cities
that get the most notice. Instead, nearly all are rural. Little if any
attention has been paid to these places or to the people who make their
lives there. This revelation set in motion a five-year journey across
Appalachia, the Cotton and Tobacco Belts of the Deep South, and South
Texas. Immersing themselves in these communities, pouring over centuries
of local history, attending parades and festivals, the authors trace
the legacies of the deepest poverty in America—including inequalities
shaping people’s health, livelihoods, and upward social mobility for
families. Wrung dry by powerful forces and corrupt government officials,
the “internal colonies” in these regions were exploited for their
resources and then left to collapse. The unfolding revelation in The Injustice of Place is
not about what sets these places apart, but about what they have in
common—a history of raw, intensive resource extraction and human
exploitation. This history and its reverberations demand a reckoning and
a commitment to wage a new War on Poverty, with the unrelenting focus
on our nation’s places of deepest need.​

Speakers and Presenters

​Kathryn J. Edin, H. Luke Shaefer, Timothy J. Nelson, Raj Chetty