Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

National Leaders to Address Shepherd Poverty Symposium

Three prominent national experts on issues of poverty in America will address the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty’s 2013 Symposium, which will be hosted by Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute on Aug. 6 in Lexington.

The symposium comes at the conclusion of the SHECP summer internships that have involved almost 90 college and law school students from 17 colleges and universities around the country. The students spent eight weeks working with non-profit organizations in a variety of settings and will complete the program with a series of presentations and panel discussions during the Frueauff Closing Conference on Monday, Aug. 5, in Lewis Hall, at the W&L School of Law.

On Tuesday, Aug. 6, the teaching symposium will feature Kathryn Edin, professor of public policy and management of the Harvard Kennedy School; Ron Haskins, senior fellow and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution; and Kristen Lodal, CEO and co-founder of LIFT.

Edin will speak at 8:30 a.m. followed by Haskins at 9:30 a.m. The two will then have a conversation at 10:45 a.m. followed by Lodal’s remarks at 11:10 a.m. and then an exchange featuring all three speakers. The presentations, which are all open to the public, will be in Gillis Theater at VMI’s Center for Leadership and Ethics.

“We are fortunate to have three such distinguished individuals for our symposium,” said Harlan Beckley, the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion at W&L who founded and directs SCHEP. “This is the second time that we have convened this group of institutions for a symposium that includes both faculty and students from the consortium. These speakers will challenge all of the participants to think in different ways about the issues that the students have seen first-hand during the past several weeks.”

The first symposium was held last August in Little Rock, Ark., at the Clinton School of Public Service.

Kathryn Edin is one of the nation’s leading poverty researchers. She focuses on direct, in-depth observations of the lives of low-income women and men and their families. She is particularly interested in questions about the urban poor that have not been fully answered by quantitative work. Her most recent of six books is “Doing the Best I Can: Fathering in the Inner City,” which was co-written with Timothy Nelson and published in May 2013 by the University of California Press. Edin and Nelson lived in Camden, NJ, for a time and interviewed many non-custodial fathers in Camden and Philadephia. She is chair of Harvard’s Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy.

Ron Haskins, co-director of the Brookings Institution Center on Children and Families and former senior adviser to the president for welfare policy in 2002, spent 14 years on the staff of the House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee.  In that capacity, he was the principal staff person for the Republican Party in forging agreement with the Clinton Administration on welfare reform in 1996. Haskins, a senior editor of “The Future of Children,” will, like Edin, speak on families, children, and poverty.

Kirsten Lodal co-founded LIFT in 1998 as a sophomore at Yale University and has devoted herself to guiding the development of LIFT’s innovative program model. LIFT currently runs centers staffed by trained volunteers in six major U.S. cities to serve low-income individuals and families. Lodal plays a leadership role in numerous poverty-related policy initiatives, including Opportunity Nation. She is the chairman of the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, a powerful model for restoring childhood to children living in shelters.  Lodal, a practitioner leading efforts to provide access to integrated resources for persons in need of them, will address the innovative ways in which LIFT and other organizations are reducing barriers for families to flourish in society.  The SHECP interns are working for LIFT this summer.

The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty comprises Baylor University, Berea College, Centre College, the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, the College of Wooster, Elon University, Furman University, Hendrix College, John Carroll University, Lynchburg College, Marymount University, Middlebury College, Millsaps College, Niagara University, Spelman College, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Notre Dame, Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University and four additional institutions considering or seeking membership will be represented at the conferences in August.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459