2013–2014 IRP Webinar Series

IRP places a high priority on making knowledge and information available to interested parties. In addition to our on campus seminar series, IRP has established a new series of interactive online seminars designed to more broadly disseminate current research on poverty and social inequality in the United States.

May 14, 2014, 1–2pm Central Time

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An Intelligent Consumer's Guide to Poverty Measurement

Presenters: Timothy Smeeding, Director, Institute for Research on Poverty; and Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics, Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin–Madison; and Kathleen Short, Economist, Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau.

Timothy Smeeding

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Although many policymakers and practitioners are familiar with the basics of poverty measurement, the complexity of this topic offers a number of challenges for someone trying to make sense of the level and trend of poverty. In this webinar, two distinguished experts in the field will explain the various types of poverty measures and will contrast the "official" U.S. poverty measure with the newer Supplemental Poverty Measure or SPM. The presenters will talk about the development of state poverty measures and the benefits they can offer in understanding poverty at the local and regional level. Finally, Short and Smeeding will touch on recent research on poverty measurement and take questions from the online audience.

March 26, 2014, 1–2pm Central Time

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Access to Justice for Low-Income Litigants in Civil Cases
Presenters: Tonya Brito, Burrus-Bascom Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and David J. Pate, Jr., Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

David J. Pate, Jr.Tonya Brito

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The question of whether and how to provide legal assistance to individuals who cannot afford civil counsel is a pressing nationwide issue. Low-income civil litigants have significant unmet legal needs, a problem that has been magnified by the recent economic recession. These unmet legal needs have considerable impacts not only on the individuals who are unable to access legal assistance, but also on our judicial system. In this webinar, Professors Tonya Brito and David Pate will discuss data assessing the magnitude of the problem and competing perspectives on how best to respond to the civil justice gap. They will also provide an overview of current federal, state and local initiatives designed to enhance access to justice. Finally, they will talk about the emerging empirical research in the field, focusing on what we know and what we don't know about whether and how legal assistance makes a difference for low-income litigants in civil cases.

January 22, 2014, 11am–12pm Central Time

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Promise Neighborhoods as Education Reform: A Social Frontier
Presenters: Peter Miller, Lisa Curless, and Alexis Bourgeois

The Promise Neighborhood program began with a series of grants in 2010 to 21 communities around the country. The program's goal was to significantly improve the outcomes of children in distressed communities through much stronger ties between school systems, community organizations, and agencies. This webinar will feature Lisa Curless, Project Director of the Adams County Promise Neighborhood and UW–Madison researchers Peter Miller and Alexis Bourgeois, who were part of a study of the Adams County Promise Neighborhood. The presenters will talk about the Promise Neighborhood model and what it has to teach us about improving the outcomes of kids in poor communities. They will also talk about the scalability of the model and offer thoughts on how other practitioners and policymakers can apply elements of the program within their own communities.

For further reading: Educational Leadership on the Social Frontier: Developing Promise Neighborhoods in Urban and Tribal Settings

If you are having trouble accessing the webinar, please call the helpline at 1.800.442.4614.

December 17, 2013, 1–2pm Central TimeAccess Button

Incarceration, Poverty, and the Family
If you are having trouble accessing the webinar, please call the helpline at 1.800.442.4614.
Presenters: Michael Massoglia, Associate Professor of Sociology and Julie Poehlmann, Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Michael Massoglia Julie PoehlmannThe number of Americans in state and federal prisons has quintupled since 1980—largely because of longer prison sentences. This dramatic shift has many implications in the way that we think about poverty and family dynamics for incarcerated Americans and their children. In this webinar, Michael Massoglia and Julie Poehlmann will examine research on incarceration, poverty, and the family. Massoglia will focus on broader trends in poverty and incarceration and their effects on families and neighborhoods. Poehlmann will then look more closely at how incarceration affects families at the individual level and talk about strategies for practitioners and policymakers to help children with incarcerated parents.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 1:00–2:00 pm (Central Time)

Pathways Programs and Helping Low-Income Adults Build Marketable Skill Sets


Laura Dresser, Associate Director of COWS (Center On Wisconsin Strategy)
Shawna Carter, Associate Dean, Madison College
Meghan Conlin, Advisor, Patient Care Program, Madison College
Kevin Piper, Faculty Advisor, Patient Care Program, Madison College
Steven Cook, Researcher, Institute for Research on Poverty (Webinar host)

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This webinar will focus on recent innovations in the education system to build stronger advancement pathways for working adults in low-wage jobs. These "career pathway" and "bridge" programs integrate work skills, adult basic or more advanced training and education, and learning environments that work for working adults.

Laura Dresser, Associate Director of COWS, will provide context on the broad crisis of low-wage work, skills as one solution to the problem, the education innovations required to help more workers get the skills they need to advance, and some of the broader evidence on the effectiveness of these innovations.

Shawna Carter, Meghan Conlin, and Kevin Piper will then discuss Madison College's Patient Care Pathway, which was recently evaluated as one of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency (ISIS) sites. The Patient Care Pathway program offers accelerated entry into college-level degree or diploma programs in healthcare for students that do not meet entry requirements for regular health diploma programs.

Previous IRP Webinars: 2015–2016 | 2014–2015 | 2013–2014 | 2012–2013