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Disadvantaged Young Men

Disadvantaged Young Men: Advancing Policy Solutions to Address Their Needs

Disadvantaged Young Men: Advancing Policy Solutions to Address Their Needs

Introductory Remarks by:
Representative Danny K. Davis (D-IL)

Featured Speakers:
Peter Edelman, Professor, Georgetown University Law School
Harry J. Holzer, Professor and Associate Dean, Georgetown University Public Policy Institute
Ronald B. Mincy, Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work
Hugh B. Price, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Moderated by:
Derek Douglas, Associate Director for Economic Policy

Can we afford any longer to ignore what is happening to disadvantaged young men in America? How do you create programs and advance policy solutions to address the needs of disadvantaged young men mired in poverty and disconnected from the economic mainstream?
These issues were recently highlighted in a stunning New York Times article, which reported that the plight of young black men has actually worsened despite recent years of economic prosperity. This happened even while black and other disadvantaged young women achieved modest economic gains and experienced increased independence from welfare during this same period.
Two new books – Reconnecting Disadvantaged Young Men, coauthored by Peter Edelman, Harry J. Holzer and Paul Offner; and Black Males Left Behind, edited by Ronald B. Mincy – that address the difficult challenges facing young disadvantaged men have brought renewed attention to a group of Americans whose well-being has been virtually ignored by many policymakers. The Center for American Progress will explore these issues in a panel discussion of distinguished policy experts that will include authors Mincy, Edelman, Holzer, and Hugh Price, the former CEO of the National Urban League.
Please join us as we further explore these issues.



Note: All video provided in QuickTime (MPEG-4) format.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Program: 9 – 10:30 AM
Light refreshments will be provided
Admission is free

Center for American Progress
1333 H Street NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
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Representative Danny K. Davis was chosen by the people of the 7th Congressional District of Illinois as their Representative in Congress on November 5, 1996. He has been a Member of Congress continuously since. While serving, Congressman Davis has been an active member of over 15 House Caucus’s, including the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In addition he is Chair of the Congressional Postal Caucus and is a Regional Whip in the Democratic Caucus. Congressman Davis has distinguished himself as an articulate voice for his constituents and as an effective legislator able to move major bills to passage despite his relative lack of seniority. His initiative to quadruple the Access to Jobs funding in the 105th Congress, one of only two successful amendments to the transportation authorization bill, and his bi-partisan Community Renewal Act in the 106th Congress, designed to bring investment and jobs to economically impacted communities are examples of his successes. Congressman Davis introduced the 2nd Chance Act, which continues to gain support in the 109th Congress. The Act is designed to rehabilitate and to prepare ex-offenders for a healthy and positive reentry into normal society once they are released from correctional facilities and institutions and to reduce recidivism. Congressman Davis has developed an unique and energetic style of communication and interaction with his constituents setting up dozens of advisory task forces to consider significant questions of public policy. He hosts several weekly television and radio shows which feature calls from audience members and produces regular newsletters mailed to every household in the district. In addition, he maintains weekly office hours in the district and is widely sought after as a speaker at district events. Prior to becoming a Member of Congress he served on the Cook County Board of Commissioners for six years. Previously, he served for eleven years as a member of the Chicago City Council as Alderman of the 29th Ward. Before seeking public office Congressman Davis had productive careers as an educator, community organizer, health planner/administrator and civil rights advocate. He has received hundreds of awards and citations for outstanding work in the areas of health, education, human relations, politics and advocacy. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has spent time in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and in South and Central America. Congressman Davis has been an officer and member of many other civic, professional and social organizations. Congressman Davis moved to the Westside of Chicago in 1961, after having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arkansas A.M. & N. College (now known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). He subsequently earned both Masters and Doctorate degrees respectively from Chicago State University and the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Peter Edelman is a Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and poverty law. A member of the faculty since 1982, he has served in all three branches of government. He took leave during President Clinton’s first term to serve as Counselor to HHS Secretary Donna Shalala and then as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Professor Edelman has been Associate Dean of the Law Center, Director of the New York State Division for Youth, and Vice President of the University of Massachusetts. He was a Legislative Assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and was Issues Director for Senator Edward Kennedy’s Presidential campaign in 1980. Prior to working for Robert Kennedy, he was a Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg and before that to Judge Henry J. Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He also worked in the U.S. Department of Justice as Special Assistant to Assistant Attorney General John Douglas in the Civil Division, and was a partner in the law firm of Foley & Lardner. Mr. Edelman has written extensively on poverty, constitutional law, and children and youth. His article in the Atlantic Monthly, entitled “The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done,” received the Harry Chapin Media Award. Professor Edelman has chaired and been a board member of numerous organizations and foundations. He is chair of the recently created District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, and is currently board president of the New Israel Fund and board chair of the National Center for Youth Law. In addition, he is a board member of the Public Welfare Foundation, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the American Progress Action Fund, and a number of other nonprofit organizations. He is currently a member of the American Bar Association Presidential Task Force on Access to Justice and a co-chair of the Center for American Progress’s National Poverty Initiative Task Force. Mr. Edelman has been a United States-Japan Leadership Program Fellow, was the J. Skelly Wright Memorial Fellow at Yale Law School, and has received numerous honors and awards for his work, including the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award from the D.C. Bar in 2005. He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Harry J. Holzer joined the Georgetown Public Policy Institute as Professor of Public Policy in the Fall of 2000, and is also currently a Senior Affiliate of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, a National Fellow of the Program on Inequality and Social Policy at Harvard University, and a Research Affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Prior to coming to Georgetown, Professor Holzer served as Chief Economist for the U.S. Department of Labor, Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, and professor of economics at Michigan State University. He has also been a Visiting Scholar to the Russell Sage Foundation in 1995, and a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Holzer’s research has focused primarily on the labor market problems of low-wage workers and other disadvantaged groups. His books include The Black Youth Employment Crisis (coedited with Richard Freeman, University of Chicago Press, 1986); What Employers Want: Job Prospects for Less-Educated Workers (Russell Sage Foundation, 1996); Employers and Welfare Recipients: The Effects of Welfare Reform in the Workplace (with Michael Stoll, Public Policy Institute of California, 2001); Moving Up or Moving On: Who Advances in the Low-Wage Labor Market (with Fredrik Andersson and Julia Lane, Russell Sage Foundation, 2005); Reconnecting Disadvantaged Young Men: Improving Schooling and Employment Outcomes (Urban Institute Press, 2006); and Workforce Policies for a New Economy (coedited with Demetra Nightingale, Urban Institute Press, forthcoming). Professor Holzer teaches courses in quantitative methods at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, as well as a course on urban labor markets and poverty. In his past life at Michigan State, he has taught courses in labor market policy and institutions, poverty, and introductory macroeconomics.

Ronald B. Mincy is currently a professor with the Columbia University School of Social Work, working on a variety of issues including family support, income security policy, U.S. labor market policy, urban poverty and fragile families. Mincy formerly served at the Ford Foundation in several programmatic positions related to the treatment of low-income fathers by U.S. welfare, child support, and family support systems. He previously taught in the economics departments at Purdue University, Bentley College, the University of Delware, and Swarthmore College, and also worked at the U.S. Department of Labor and the Urban Institute. He is a former co-chair of the Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce and is a Board Member of the Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families.

Hugh B. Price joined the Brookings Institution as a senior fellow in February 2006. His activities will include writing and editing books, preparing policy briefs and convening roundtables on topics of longstanding interest, such as education, civil rights, equal opportunity, criminal justice and nonprofit organizations. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1966, Mr. Price began his professional career as a legal services lawyer representing low-income clients in New Haven, CT. During the turbulent late 1960s, he served as the first executive director of the Black Coalition of New Haven. In 1978, Mr. Price and his family moved to New York City, where he served until 1982 as a member of the editorial board of The New York Times. He wrote editorials on an array of public policy issues, including public education, welfare, criminal justice, and telecommunications. He then served for six years as senior vice president of WNET/Thirteen in New York, the nation’s largest public television station. In 1984, Mr. Price became director of all national production. Notable series developed or produced for PBS under Mr. Price include Nature, Great Performances, The Mind, American Masters, Dancing, Art of the Western World, Childhood, and Global Rivals. Mr. Price was appointed vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1988. He oversaw its domestic investments to improve education for at-risk youth and increase opportunities for people of color. He was instrumental in conceiving and launching such innovative initiatives as the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Corps, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and the Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth. Taking the helm of the National Urban League in July 1994, Mr. Price led the way in tripling the League’s endowment; restructuring and strengthening its board of directors and staff; defining a new mission and strategic vision for the 21st century; conceiving and launching the League’s historic Campaign for African-American Achievement; establishing the League’s new research and policy center, known as the National Urban League Institute for Opportunity and Equality; reviving Opportunity, the League’s landmark magazine; and establishing its new headquarters on Wall Street in New York City. Following the National Urban League, Mr. Price served for two years as senior advisor and co-chair of the Non-Profit and Philanthropy Practice Group at the global law firm of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP.
Mr. Price is the author of two books – Acheivement Matters: Getting Your Child the Best Education Possible and Destination: The American Dream. His articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and journals, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Phi Delta Kappan, Washingtonian, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Education Week, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Review of Black Political Economy.

Derek Douglas is the Associate Director for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress. At the Center, Derek directs the Economic Mobility Program, which focuses on issues that bear directly on the economic condition and social mobility of low- and middle-income families, such as higher education, housing and debt. Prior to joining the Center, Derek was a Counsel in the Strategic Counseling Practice Group at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he advised clients on matters with a close nexus to politics, legislation or regulation. In this capacity, Derek worked with members of Congress, Administration officials and their respective staffs in advising clients on matters involving congressional hearings and investigations, federal and state legislative developments, and international and federal regulatory enforcement issues. Before joining O’Melveny, Derek was an Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), where he specialized in the area of education. At LDF, Derek litigated an array of educational issues, including: educational equity, public school choice, affirmative action, high stakes testing, and the reduction of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic isolation in public schools. Derek also developed and directed legislative and community outreach efforts in support of his litigation. Derek joined LDF by way of a Skadden Fellowship, which is a public interest fellowship given each year to 25 law school graduates throughout the country. Derek graduated from the University of Michigan with Highest Honors in Economics, and from the Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale, Derek clerked for The Honorable Timothy K. Lewis on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Derek also worked in the Economic Studies Program at The Brookings Institution as a Research Assistant to Dr. Charles Schultze.