Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America

Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America A public media initiative from WNET in New York reporting on the people, policy, issues and solutions surrounding poverty and opportunity in America.

Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is WNET’s multi-platform public media Initiative that aims to provide a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society: what life is like below the poverty line, its impact on our economic security and on our children, and what has happened to our age-old dream of striving for a better life. We’ll also highlight solutions: what has worked – and what is working to bring people out of poverty – and what lessons we can and must learn for the future. Chasing the Dream news reports can be found online and on air on PBS NewsHour Weekend, MetroFocus, Long Island Business Report and NJTV News. The initiative will also include a signature nationally distributed one-hour documentary that will focus on one or more of the promises, pitfalls, and/or paradoxes in the search for the American dream and in-depth reporting on the ongoing economic challenges of Atlantic City as it struggles with the implosion of its casino industry and the loss of more than 8,000 jobs. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Mission: A public media initiative from WNET in NY reporting on poverty in America -- the deep impacts and promising solutions.

From childcare to eldercare, a universal family care system could greatly relieve the stress of working Americans with c...
12/01/2019
Is It Time for Government to Offer Universal Family Care?

From childcare to eldercare, a universal family care system could greatly relieve the stress of working Americans with caregiving needs. [Next Avenue]

The idea behind a plan for child care, paid family leave and long-term care.

11/29/2019
GOODTalks: Meet Danny Wright

Who are the people that have shaped your life? Take the "Dream Team" quiz to find out: to.pbs.org/2QzKo8i

Feeling thankful? Take our quiz and we'll list out all the people you need to thank this holiday.
11/27/2019
My Dream Team: 21 Questions to Thank Everyone in Your Life

Feeling thankful? Take our quiz and we'll list out all the people you need to thank this holiday.

Name every person, every place, and every organization that helped you throughout your life. That would only scratch the surface of your Dream Team.

How will Representative Ilhan Omar’s $1 trillion plan change public housing over the next 10 years? [via CityLab​]
11/26/2019
There's a Big Housing Problem. Here's a Huge Plan to Fix It.

How will Representative Ilhan Omar’s $1 trillion plan change public housing over the next 10 years? [via CityLab​]

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is proposing building 12 million new homes in the U.S. over 10 years, mostly as public housing.

There are so many people who have helped us get to where we are today. These are just a few.Take the “My Dream Team” qui...
11/25/2019

There are so many people who have helped us get to where we are today. These are just a few.

Take the “My Dream Team” quiz at to.pbs.org/2QzKo8i

Who are all the friends, family, places and inspirations that have shaped your life? The “My Dream Team” quiz makes it e...
11/22/2019
My Dream Team: 21 Questions to Thank Everyone in Your Life

Who are all the friends, family, places and inspirations that have shaped your life? The “My Dream Team” quiz makes it easy to thank them this holiday.

Name every person, every place, and every organization that helped you throughout your life. That would only scratch the surface of your Dream Team.

For the growing number of NYC school-aged children in temporary housing, this is what it takes to make it through one sc...
11/20/2019
114,000 Students in N.Y.C. Are Homeless. These Two Let Us Into Their Lives.

For the growing number of NYC school-aged children in temporary housing, this is what it takes to make it through one school day. [via The New York Times]

The number of homeless students has swelled by 70 percent over the past decade. For Darnell and Sandy, school is the only stable place they know.

11/19/2019
GOODTalks Ep. 3: Joel Mowbray

The American Dream comes with inevitable tradeoffs -- what did you sacrifice for the American Dream?

Political commentator and author Joel Mowbray shares his thoughts in “GOODTalks.” GOODProjects

11/16/2019
GOODTalks on Spending in America

What are your tips for living a more low-cost life? Award-winning journalist and political commentator Joel Mowbray gives his thoughts on “GOODTalks”

11/14/2019
My Everyday Hustle: The Street Cart Vendor

It's International Street Vendor Day, and Walid Abdelwahab is one of the many vendors in New York that keep locals fed! See how a community rallied to protect his business. #MyEverydayHustle

11/12/2019
A Dream Deferred Ep. 1: Behind The Concrete Walls

When a woman booked an Airbnb in a NYCHA apartment, it raised some unsavory images of the city's public housing authority.

We went behind the concrete walls of NYCHA and learned from residents about what it's like to live there: to.pbs.org/2Rb8Pas

"For them, it has been 2009 for 10 years. That does something to people, psychologically."Best-selling memoirist Tara We...
11/11/2019
The Places Where the Recession Never Ended

"For them, it has been 2009 for 10 years. That does something to people, psychologically."

Best-selling memoirist Tara Westover on Trump, the urban/rural divide, and mutual misunderstanding in America. [via The Atlantic]

A conversation with Tara Westover on the urban/rural divide

Happy 50th Anniversary Sesame Street! Thank you for being a place where children of all circumstances can feel seen.
11/10/2019
Why Sesame Street connected food insecurity to family homelessness – Chasing the Dream

Happy 50th Anniversary Sesame Street! Thank you for being a place where children of all circumstances can feel seen.

By: Nina Joung Lily is a young girl who loves the color purple, enjoys spending time with her friends and, unfortunately, has been experiencing housing insecurity. She may be a Muppet on “Sesame Street,” but she represents a growing concern among young children and their families: homelessness. ...

"You’re selling me the American dream, but you’re really just dangling it in my face."Bridget Huber argues that college ...
11/03/2019
Colleges Should Not Have to Have Food Pantries

"You’re selling me the American dream, but you’re really just dangling it in my face."

Bridget Huber argues that college food pantries are a band-aid solution. [Via The Nation Magazine]

With no federal assistance in sight, colleges are scrambling to fill the void with food pantries, loans, vouchers and other interventions. But the patchwork approach only goes so far.

Thousands of Chicago’s public-school teachers will return to classrooms on Friday, ending the longest school strike in t...
10/31/2019
Chicago Teachers’ Strike Ends

Thousands of Chicago’s public-school teachers will return to classrooms on Friday, ending the longest school strike in the city since 1987. [via The New York Times]

Teachers in Chicago Public Schools, the country’s third-largest district, went on strike after failing to reach a contract deal with the city’s new mayor.

Some wealthy survivors of California's wildfires used insurance money to rebuild houses worth more than the ones that bu...
10/30/2019
Despair for Many and Silver Linings for Some in California Wildfires

Some wealthy survivors of California's wildfires used insurance money to rebuild houses worth more than the ones that burned, while those who lost everything still have nothing years later. [via The New York Times]

Natural disasters are another prism through which California’s vast income inequalities can be viewed.

The criminal justice system can make the American Dream a living nightmare.NPR's Aarti Shahani discusses her family’s 14...
10/29/2019
In her memoir, NPR's Aarti Shahani shares her father's "American Nightmare" in Rikers Island

The criminal justice system can make the American Dream a living nightmare.

NPR's Aarti Shahani discusses her family’s 14 year legal battle, and the resulting fight to keep her father from being deported. [Amanpour and Company]

[The following post has been edited from its original version to more accurately reflect Aarti Shahani and her father's experiences. We apologize for this error.]

Wrongfully convicted for a crime, Aarti Shahani's father lived a traumatizing and painful American experienced due to the mass incarceration system.

Miami is one of the worst cities in the U.S. to live in when it comes to affordable housing, and climate change is only ...
10/28/2019
Many Miami residents are one economic or natural disaster away from homelesssness

Miami is one of the worst cities in the U.S. to live in when it comes to affordable housing, and climate change is only making that problem worse. [PBS NewsHour Weekend]

Miami is one of the worst cities in the U.S. to live in when it comes to affordable housing, and residents pay among the highest share of their incomes on rent. Combined with the city’s vulnerablabiltiy to sea level rise, an economic But a recent plan endorsed by the city would pave the way for .....

"School strikes have put teachers in the spotlight. But demands for more counselors, nurses and psychologists are growin...
10/26/2019
It’s More Than Pay: Striking Teachers Demand Counselors and Nurses

"School strikes have put teachers in the spotlight. But demands for more counselors, nurses and psychologists are growing." [via The New York Times]

School strikes have put teachers in the spotlight. But demands for more counselors, nurses and psychologists are growing.

To find affordable housing, some immigrants are forced underground. An intimate look at three immigrant families living ...
10/23/2019
Underground Lives: The Sunless World of Immigrants in Queens

To find affordable housing, some immigrants are forced underground. An intimate look at three immigrant families living in basements. [via The New York Times]

The basements of Queens are the open secret of a literal underground economy, driven by a steady influx of immigrants and the need for affordable housing.

“We were living the American dream,” Ms. Byas said after a company schemed to buy her home for $120,000.That's about 10 ...
10/22/2019
Why Black Homeowners in Brooklyn Are Being Victimized by Fraud

“We were living the American dream,” Ms. Byas said after a company schemed to buy her home for $120,000.

That's about 10 percent of the property’s value. [via The New York Times]

Deed theft, or stealing the title to a house, has become a worrisome crime in Brooklyn, targeting rapidly gentrifying communities of color.

The American Dream is different for each race, ethnicity, gender, and social class -- “Rocky V” Actor Richard Gant explo...
10/20/2019
GOODTalks Ep. 2: Richard Gant – Chasing the Dream

The American Dream is different for each race, ethnicity, gender, and social class -- “Rocky V” Actor Richard Gant explore what it means for African American men. [GOODProjects]

clip GOODTalks Ep. 2: Is Student Debt “The American Standard?” October 11, 2019 | GOODTalks While education promises opportunity, is the "American Standard" being trapped under debt?

10/15/2019
GOODTalks Episode 2: Richard Gant

Five African Americans share their honest thoughts about privilege and opportunity within their community. This is #GOODTalks with GOODProjects.

“This is not some emotional trick to stir up people hearts so they would give blindly, nor is this a license [sic] for t...
10/12/2019
'A Wanderer': Victim Of Homeless Attacks Kept A Detailed Online Diary

“This is not some emotional trick to stir up people hearts so they would give blindly, nor is this a license [sic] for those who are homeless to do what they want because they are homeless. But rather to talk deeply about homelessness that it needs order, and those who are homeless do have rights."

An excerpt from Anthony Manson's personal blog. He was one of the murder victims in Chinatown last weekend. [via Gothamist]

Calling himself "Anthony, the priestly artist," Anthony Manson reflected on everything from religion to philosophy to the value of local libraries before he was killed on the street last weekend.

For college students relying on the DACA program, the financial costs of being undocumented can be overwhelming. [via PB...
10/10/2019
For DACA students, it's hard to focus on a bright future when faced with deportation fears

For college students relying on the DACA program, the financial costs of being undocumented can be overwhelming. [via PBS NewsHour]

Like many college students, 19-year-old Jimmy Rodriguez has a lot on his plate. But unlike most of his peers, Rodriguez, a DACA beneficiary, is pursuing a degree and a future in a country he may one day be forced to leave. Hari Sreenivasan reports on the unique challenges faced by undocumented stude...

Six of the Democratic presidential candidates want to pay stay-at-home parents. Here's why. [via The New York Times]
10/09/2019
Stay-at-Home Parents Work Hard. Should They Be Paid?

Six of the Democratic presidential candidates want to pay stay-at-home parents. Here's why. [via The New York Times]

The idea, a favorite of social conservatives, is now supported by several Democratic presidential candidates.

After four homeless men were beaten to death in New York's Chinatown this past weekend, THE CITY NY asks why the homeles...
10/08/2019
Homeless Seek an Elusive Safe Refuge in the Subways

After four homeless men were beaten to death in New York's Chinatown this past weekend, THE CITY NY asks why the homeless find subways safer than the streets.

The slayings of four men underscored the fears of vulnerable New Yorkers who avoid city streets and shelters. But life underground is getting tougher.

"Examine the typical American family’s monthly budget, line by line, and a larger story emerges about how the middle cla...
10/07/2019
The Middle-Class Crunch: A Look at 4 Family Budgets

"Examine the typical American family’s monthly budget, line by line, and a larger story emerges about how the middle class has evolved." [via The New York Times]

Most Americans think of themselves as middle class. For many, the line between a stable life and a fragile one is thinning.

In a case about privilege, parents who have plead guilty in the college admissions scandal are offering "tone-deaf" argu...
10/04/2019
Parents Paid to Open College Doors. Now They’re Spending to Limit Prison Time.

In a case about privilege, parents who have plead guilty in the college admissions scandal are offering "tone-deaf" arguments in hopes of lessening their sentences. [via The New York Times]

Some parents who have pleaded guilty in the admissions fraud case are turning to consultants and doctors in an effort to secure lenient sentences.

10/03/2019
Honoring the voices of kids behind bars

"These are kids without a voice from families without resources, from communities without power. And that's got to change somehow."

Photographer Richard Ross on documenting the U.S. juvenile justice system and honoring the voices of children behind bars.

"I would never advise a 19-year-old student to get married for financial aid purposes. The fact that I made such a despe...
10/02/2019
I Was Forced To Get Married To Finish College. Here's Why And What Has To Change.

"I would never advise a 19-year-old student to get married for financial aid purposes. The fact that I made such a desperate decision speaks to the kind of reform we need within the federal financial aid program." [via The Huffington Post]

The fact that I made such a desperate decision speaks to the kind of reform we need in this country.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and "The Squad" are tackling the affordable housing crisis. [via The Nation Magazine]
09/30/2019
AOC’s Plan to Decommodify Housing

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and "The Squad" are tackling the affordable housing crisis. [via The Nation Magazine]

With a new bill that complements the Sanders campaign’s policy, the representative wants to protect renters, not landlords.

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