Professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond to headline 2024 Poverty Summit

Shriver Center on Poverty Law honors the war on poverty’s 60th year


Dawn Raftery 

CHICAGO – Matthew Desmond will deliver the keynote address at the 2024 Poverty Summit. Desmond is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller “Poverty, by America” and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” He is also a sociology professor at Princeton University.

The hybrid summit will highlight progress, current challenges and solutions that advance equity. This one-day event marks the 60th year of the war on poverty. That national commitment led to the Shriver Center on Poverty Law’s formation under Sargent Shriver.

“Matthew Desmond has a powerful message about how American poverty persists because we profit from it,” said Audra Wilson, president and CEO of the Shriver Center. “But poverty is a policy choice — and we can make better choices. We can invest in communities and families so we all thrive together. That’s a future worth fighting for.”

The event includes interactive sessions about ongoing efforts and new opportunities. The sessions are:

  • Building Better Solutions to Ensure Housing is a Human Right
    Eviction is a national crisis: 7.6 million renters face this threat every year. Ensuring housing as a human right for all people requires policy changes at all levels. This panel will focus on increasing access to quality housing and the supply of affordable homes.
  • Securing Children’s Futures: Return to Family and Community-Based Supports
    The child welfare system disproportionately separates Black families, rather than strengthening them through increased supports. But Black children, like all children, need their parents and their communities. This panel will look at challenges and elevate actions to drive change and racial equity.
  • Innovating for the Next 60 Years: Entrepreneurism as a Tool for Economic Mobility
    Owning a business can help people achieve financial stability and build generational wealth. To increase entrepreneurs of color, we need better policies and more access to capital. This panel will explore supporting entrepreneurism and investments in individuals and communities.

Tickets cost $75 for in-person attendance and $25 for virtual attendance.


About the Shriver Center on Poverty Law
The Shriver Center on Poverty Law fights for racial and economic justice. Over our nearly 60-year history, we have secured hundreds of victories with and for people living in poverty in Illinois and across the country. Today, we litigate, shape policy, and train and convene multi-state networks of lawyers, community leaders and activists nationwide. Together, we are building a future where all people have equal dignity, respect and power under the law. Join the fight at

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