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SINCE THE LAUNCH OF THE WAR ON POVERTY 50 years ago, there has been no shortage of proposals to combat this persistent American problem, ranging from statist to community-centered, from universal to tightly focused on the poor themselves, and from Keynesian to neoliberal.

During the 2014-15 academic year, the Penn Social Science & Policy Forum will take stock of the past and future of anti-poverty efforts, and their relation to economic opportunity more generally, both in the U.S. and globally. SSPF will draw on expertise across disciplines to address not only the economic issues involved, but the social factors of race, class and gender, as well as the overwhelming political problem of gearing policy to the needs of the powerless.

Two conferences will bookend this theme year: in the fall, we will look back at the history and legacy of the War on Poverty; in the spring, we will look forward to new and emerging anti-poverty strategies.

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