Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

How The Chains Of Poverty Prevent People From Being Free: Putting An End To Poverty In America With Matthew Desmond

Air Dates: September 18-24, 2023

The United States is both the richest country on Earth, and yet beset with a crushing poverty that saddles too many Americans. Dr. Matthew Desmond is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and sociologist who says the reality of American poverty is sustained by those who benefit from it.

Matthew Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University and joined the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2010. He is the author of four books, including “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” which won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, Carnegie Medal, and PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. Desmond leads The Eviction Lab, focusing his research on poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and the William Julius Wilson Early Career Award. A contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, Desmond was listed in 2016 among the Politico 50, as one of “fifty people across the country who are most influencing the national political debate.”

On this episode of “The Story in the Public Square,” Desmond takes the time to talk through how systematic poverty can be put to an end. He says, “it’s just untrue that we have to tolerate and live with all this poverty in our midst. Other countries don’t, and we shouldn’t have to either. And we don’t need socialism to get there. We do need a different kind of capitalism, though. We need a high road capitalism, capitalism for the people, not the other way around.”

“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.