Air Dates: November 27-December 3, 2023
Coming of age has long been the subject of scholarship and great storytelling. Nikhil Goyal combines both in a study that shines a light on the lived experience of young people making the transition from childhood to adulthood while living in poverty.
Goyal is a sociologist and his book “Live to See the Day: Coming of Age in American Poverty” was named one of the best books of 2023 by The New Yorker. The book focuses on three Puerto Rican kids who grow up in Kensington, the poorest neighborhood in Philadelphia. He is a policymaker who served as senior policy advisor on education and children for Chairman Senator Bernie Sanders on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and Budget Committee. Goyal developed education, childcare, and child tax credit federal legislation as well as a tuition-free college program for incarcerated people and correctional workers in Vermont.
On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Goyal discusses the ways his research with the three Puerto Rican children has influenced his policymaking. He says, “I think the stories are just harrowing and should shock readers, for those of you who may not be familiar with poverty, and such an affluent country as ours.” He adds, “I tell the stories of these children, and I use their stories to illustrate larger economic and social institutions and policies.”
“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 4:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a project of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.