Can you imagine living in the United States on two dollars a day? What if the only income your family had was from donating plasma? The appalling reality is that, after two decades of groundbreaking research on American poverty, Kathryn J. Edin, co-author of $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, observed households across this country surviving on virtually no cash income. According to the New York Times, this is “A remarkable book that could very well change the way we think about poverty in the United States.” The book is co-authored by H. Luke Schaefer, an expert on calculating incomes for the poor.
Edin, whose work turned the world of sociology upside down, has just been added as a keynote luncheon speaker for the 2017 SDC Summit on Poverty presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to be held Italian Conference Center September 6 and 7. The Medical Society of Milwaukee County is sponsoring Edin’s appearance at the summit on Wednesday, September 6. In addition to her keynote Edin will be available for a book signing.
“SDC is grateful to the Medical Society of Milwaukee County for their partnership and for bringing Ms. Edin, one of the nation’s leading researchers on poverty to the summit,” said SDC CEO George Hinton. “The Medical Society of Milwaukee County approached SDC, the largest anti-poverty agency in the state, because we both understand the epidemic of poverty, including the physical and mental health issues that are interconnected with it. Their recognition and desire to help people in poverty, partner with SDC and educate the community, exemplifies both their leadership on health in the county and their forward thinking.”
“The Medical Society is honored to host Ms. Edin and be recognized as the Premier Partner for the Social Development Commission Summit on Poverty,” said Kathy Schmitz, Executive Director, Medical Society of Milwaukee County. Ms. Edins’ book is a harrowing account of a “new form of poverty” that has emerged in this country, and Milwaukee is no exception. “Studies now show a direct link between poverty, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and health outcomes. Good health, however, is not an option when abhorrent living conditions include no heat, running water, food, and an abusive environment. Physicians have a significant role to play in this issue by identifying and treating adverse childhood experiences to impact good health.”
Edin has authored 8 books and some 80 journal articles. The hallmark of her research is her direct, in-depth observations of the lives of low-income women, men, and children. Edin is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. She is a Trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and an affiliate of the poverty research center at the University of Wisconsin.
SDC’s partnership with MSMC will further benefit attendees through the addition of a fifth workshop conducted by experts form the Medical Society of Milwaukee County. The session will educate attendees about the opioid crisis happening across Wisconsin. Emergency room physician, Dr. Jillian Theobald, of Froedtert Hospital will provide information about opioid drugs that are having a significant impact on our community.
Keynote speaker Kevin Powell was originally scheduled for the first day of the summit, Wednesday, September 6. Powell is an author of 12 books, international speaker, activist and advocate for social justice, and a voice who educates and analyzes existing barriers in the political landscape and at the human level. To accommodate and benefit summit attendees, Powell graciously adjusted his schedule in order for SDC to provide a deeper understanding of the poverty epidemic through the addition of Edin, as an additional keynote. Powell will now deliver his keynote on the second day of the conference, Thursday, September 7.
Registration for the Summit on Poverty presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is available on SDC’s website at cr-sdc.org by clicking the banner or feature box on the home page, or by selecting the event in the navigation at the top of the page. The event is free and open to the public.