All Stars Project, Inc. co-founder and Institute faculty Dr. Lenora Fulani and Johns Hopkins Research Professor of Sociology and Academy Professor Dr. Karl Alexander spoke at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality on Breaking Down the Myths of Poverty. The forum, attended by students and faculty, was hosted by Center Director and Professor of Sociology, Dr. David B. Grusky.
Fulani and Alexander are regarded as among the country’s most important and influential voices in dispelling long-held beliefs about poverty in America.
Alexander was lead researcher in the groundbreaking study, which followed 800 Baltimore school children for more than a quarter of a century. Alexander’s findings, published as The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood, showed that the children’s fates were substantially determined by the family they were born into, challenging the ethos that “we are makers of our own fortune.”
Fulani is the founder of the national, non-profit All Stars Project and has made the engagement of the subjectivity of poverty (which has been largely ignored despite its profound impact on the poor) the centerpiece of her work in helping youth and adults in poor, urban communities to develop. Her presentation — a continuation of their ongoing public conversation on these issues — introduced four young people from the All Stars Project of the San Francisco Bay Area, who shared their struggles in coming to learn that they were poor and grappling with the personal and political implications of that.