Right now 50 million Americans are living in poverty. The panel was meant to kick off a national conversation about poverty, broadcaster Tavis Smiley is calling on everyday people from coast to coast to make poverty a national priority.
Additional panelists included: Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate; Rose Ann Demoro, Executive Director of National Nurses United; John D. Graham, dean, Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs and author of America's Poor and the Great Recession; Jonathan Kozol, author of Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America; Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; and Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary Professor and author.
"With 1 in 2 Americans living in or near poverty, we must move from denial to game-changing action," said Smiley. "It's time to imagine an America without poverty, and do the requisite work to make the future conform."