Chasing the American Dream

Who’s left behind, how do they get ahead?

When

June 5, 2014

9:30 am - 11:00 am

Where

New America

740 15th St NW #900

Washington, D.C. 20005

Barriers to achieving the American Dream have become more visible than success stories.  More than four years after the Great Recession officially ended, 10.5 million people are out of work - and millions more struggle to make their paychecks stretch as far as their needs. One out of every 34 Americans is either behind bars, on probation, or on parole, relegating them to the margins of society, the economy, and even democracy.

Too often, what should be temporary setbacks like these create permanent roadblocks to getting back on track. And, with new technologies, past misfortunes and mistakes live on in public view and can prevent access to employment, a bank account, housing - or even the public assistance needed just to put food on the table.

What happens to the American Dream in the face of these modern realities and what will it take to restore its promise to more Americans? New America's Asset Building Program hosted an exploration of these questions with Mark Rank and Thomas Hirschl, the authors of new book Chasing the American Dream, as well as a distinguished panel of experts.

Join the conversation online using #ShapeOurFortunes and following @AssetsNAF.

Welcome:

Aleta Sprague
Policy Analyst, Asset Building Program, New America Foundation

Panelists:

Mark Rank
Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare, Washington University in St. Louis.
Co-author, Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes

Thomas A. Hirschl
Professor of Development Sociology, Cornell University
Co-author, Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes

Harry J. Holzer
Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Nicole Austin-Hillery
Director and Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice, Washington, D.C. Office

Seeta Gangadharan
Senior Research Fellow, Open Technology Institute, New America Foundation

Moderator:

Rachel Black
Senior Policy Analyst, Asset Building Program, New America Foundation