By official count, more than one out of every six American children live beneath the poverty line. But statistics alone tell little of the story. The roots of the problem include the ineffectual remnants of our social welfare system, entrenched racism, and an unmotivated government.

Join us on Thursday, February 20 at 6:00 PM for a discussion with child poverty policy experts, including TCF’s Jeff Madrick, author of the new book Invisible Americans: The Tragic Cost of Child Poverty. Together we will examine the devastating consequences of growing up poor and investigate which bold and targeted actions will make the most difference in ameliorating these devastating effects. 

Stick around after the program for a book signing and to continue the conversation at a wine and cheese reception.


  • Jeff Madrick, author, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, and director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative
  • David Garza, president and CEO at Henry Street Settlement
  • Janet C. Gornick, professor of political science and sociology at Graduate Center–CUNY and director at James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality
  • Dr. Kathryn Edin, professor of sociology and public affairs at Woodrow Wilson School and co-director at the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW)

Please note: this location is not wheelchair accessible.

Sponsored by The Century Foundation’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative.

About the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative

The Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative was founded in 2011 with one broad mission: countering the anti-government ideology that has grown to dominate political discourse in the past three decades.

Speaker Bios:

Jeff Madrick is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation and director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative. He is editor of Challenge Magazine, visiting professor of humanities at The Cooper Union, and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books. He is a former economics columnist for the New York Times. Before Invisible Americans, Madrick published Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World (Knopf) in 2014, which makes a comprehensive case against prevailing mainstream economic thinking. He is the author of a half dozen other books, including Taking America (Bantam) and The End of Affluence (Random House), both of which were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Taking America also was chosen by Business Week as one of the ten best books of the year.  He edited a book of public policy essays, Unconventional Wisdom (The Century Foundation) and also authored the book Why Economies Grow (Basic Books/Century) and Age of Greed (Knopf). His book The Case for Big Government (Princeton) won a PEN America non-fiction award.

He has written many public policy papers and has written for many other publications, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Institutional Investor, The Nation, American Prospect, the Boston Globe, Newsday, and the business, op-ed, and magazine sections of the New York Times. He has appeared on Charlie Rose, The Lehrer News Hour, Now With Bill Moyers, Frontline, CNN, CNBC, CBS, and NPR. He was formerly finance editor of Business Week Magazine and an NBC News reporter and commentator. His journalism awards include an Emmy and a Page One Award. He was educated at New York University and Harvard University, and was a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard. 

David Garza is the president and CEO of Henry Street Settlement, a 126-year-old Lower East Side social service, arts, and health care organization serving more than 50,000 community members each year. Appointed in 2010 after nine years at the settlement, Garza—a long-time advocate for expanding education and employment opportunities, fair and affordable housing, and strong and healthy families—had previously led the agency’s workforce development center. David is a graduate of Harvard College and the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management at Columbia Business School. He serves on the boards of the Betances Health Center, Citizens Committee for Children, Human Services Council, New York City Employment and Training Coalition, and United Neighborhood Houses. In 2019, he was appointed as a member of the NYC Regional Economic Development Council.

Janet C. Gornick attended Harvard University, where she was awarded a BA (psychology and social relations, 1980), an MPA (Kennedy School, 1987), and a PhD (political economy and government, 1994). She is currently a professor of political science and sociology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. From September 2006 to August 2016, she served as director of LIS (formerly the Luxembourg Income Study), a cross‐national data archive and research center located in Luxembourg, with a satellite office at The Graduate Center. Since September 2016, she has served as director of the new James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Socio‐Economic Inequality, and as director of the U.S. Office of LIS.

Dr. Kathryn Edin is one of the nation’s leading poverty researchers, working in the domains of welfare and low-wage work, family life, and neighborhood contexts. A qualitative and mixed-method researcher, she has taken on key mysteries about the urban poor that have not been fully answered by quantitative work. Dr. Edin has authored eight books and some eighty journal articles. The hallmark of her research is her direct, in-depth observations of the lives of low-income women, men, and children. 

Dr. Edin is currently a professor of sociology and public affairs and co-director of The Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Social Insurance, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Margaret Mead Fellow at the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. She is a trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and an affiliate of the Institute for Poverty Research at the University of Wisconsin and the Stanford Poverty Center. 

David B. Harris is the president of the Children’s Research and Education Institute, a nonprofit organization that educates the public on the effect of politics and policies on children and families. He is a partner at Kids Project, an advocacy organization on child and family policy. Dr. Harris is an affiliate of the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University and the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University. Dr. Harris has appeared at conferences, on the network news, on the radio, and in major national papers. He has received the Public Advocacy Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the “Fighting for Families Award” from the National Community Tax Coalition. Dr. Harris has been an early childhood teacher in both independent and public schools in New York City.