Press Releases

News from EPI Media Advisory: Neighborhoods of Concentrated Poverty, with Paul Jargowsky, Patrick Sharkey, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Sherrilyn Ifill

On Thursday, April 10 at 2 p.m. ET, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and The Century Foundation  will hold a discussion on the long-term impact on children of growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods, with leading experts Paul Jargowsky (professor, Rutgers University and Century Foundation Fellow) and Patrick Sharkey (professor, New York University). They will be joined by Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic and Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. EPI Research Associate Richard Rothstein will moderate.

What: Panel discussion of Patrick Sharkey’s and Paul Jargowsky’s work on neighborhoods with concentrated poverty

Paul Jargowsky, fellow with The Century Foundation; professor of public policy and director, Center for Urban Research and Education, Rutgers University; and a senior research affiliate, National Poverty Center, at the University of Michigan.

Patrick Sharkey, Associate Professor of Sociology, New York University and author of Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress Toward Racial Equality.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, National correspondent at The Atlantic, author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle

Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Moderator: Richard Rothstein, Research Associate of the Economic Policy Institute

When: Thursday, April 10 at 2 p.m. ET
 Economic Policy Institute
1333 H. Street, NW,
Suite 300 East Tower (Paul Wellstone Room)
Washington D.C. 20005

Reporters and producers RSVP to

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP here.


In 1987, William Julius Wilson transformed urban sociology by showing that when urban jobs disappeared, “truly disadvantaged” children growing up in concentrated poverty had little chance to overcome obstacles to their success. Now, a quarter century later, two social scientists have shown that these obstacles are even more serious than Wilson could know. Patrick Sharkey, in his 2013 book Stuck in Place, found that for African Americans in particular, there is little mobility out of truly disadvantaged neighborhoods – if parents grew up in high poverty neighborhoods, their children are likely to have the same debilitating experience. Paul Jargowsky, in his report for The Century Foundation, Concentration of Poverty in the New Millennium, has found that despite significant gains during the 1990s, the number of high-poverty census tracts has increased by 50 percent since 2000, resulting in more Americans than ever before living in such neighborhoods.