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Featured Plenary Speakers:
Kathryn Edin, Timothy Nelson, Luke Shaefer

Friday, February 2, 10:00am-12:00pm ET
"Meet the Authors" directly following the plenary.

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Kathryn Edin is the William Church Osborne Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, where she serves as the Director of the Center on Research and Child Wellbeing. Edin’s research has taken on key mysteries about poverty that have not been fully answered by prior research: How do single mothers possibly survive on welfare? Why don’t more go to work? Why do they end up as single mothers in the first place? Where are the fathers and why do they disengage from their children’s lives? How have the lives of the single mothers changed as a result of welfare reform? The hallmark of her research is her direct, in-depth observations of the lives of low-income women, men, and children. After a career of studying some of America’s most disadvantaged people, she has now turned her attention to America’s most disadvantaged places, blending big data analysis, ethnography, and historical analysis to uncover the legacies of poverty in America. She is the author of 9 books, including the forthcoming The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the legacies of Poverty in America, co-authored with H. Luke Shaefer and Timothy Nelson, and $2 a Day: Living on Virtually Nothing in America, co-authored with H. Luke Shaefer. It was included in The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2015, cited as “essential reporting about the rise in destitute families.” 

Timothy Nelson is co-author of the 2023 book The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America. Published by Mariner Books. He is the author of numerous articles on low-income fathers and is the co-author, with Kathryn Edin, of the book Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City. His early research focused on African American religion and congregational studies and his first book, Every Time I Feel the Spirit: Religious Experience and Ritual in an African American Congregation was published in 2004. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 1997.

H. Luke Shaefer, Ph.D. is the Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and director of Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, a presidential initiative that partners with communities to find new ways to prevent and alleviate poverty.

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