Casual Friday on the blog–some different approaches to poverty

Have you visited TED gathers smart people for topical conferences and then offers us the speeches in video form, organized both by topic and by user classification–persuasive, beautiful, funny, etc. You’ll find people you’ve heard of, like Al Gore and Bono, and many more you may want to hear from.

We’ve found a couple short speeches that describe some different and successful approaches to reducing poverty. First, Jacqueline Novogratz, who operates a market-oriented non-profit, provides an entertaining overview of micro-credit and other mechanisms allowing poor African women to improve their lives and those of their families. Novogratz argues persuasively that alleviating poverty requires creative approaches and providing individuals with the tools and the opportunities to help themselves.

Closer to home, Majora Carter, the president of Sustainable South Bronx in New York, makes a persuasive connection between environmental policy and fighting poverty. She describes her transition from believing that beautification programs in the ghetto were “a little bit naive” to a conviction that urban design and renewal still must be part of a comprehensive attack on poverty.

OK Policy is dedicated to expanding opportunity and alleviating poverty in Oklahoma. We advocate government policies that help people in need not just through cash and other assistance, but through opening up opportunities that have been closed off to our lower-income neighbors. TED offers some great ideas on this and a host of other important issues.


Paul Shinn

Paul Shinn served as Budget and Tax Senior Policy Analyst with OK Policy from May 2019 until December 2021. Before joining OK Policy, Shinn held budget and finance positions for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Department of Human Services, the cities of Oklahoma City and Del City and several local governments in his native Oregon. He also taught political science and public administration at the University of Oklahoma, University of Central Oklahoma, and California State University Stanislaus. While with the Government Finance Officers Association, Paul worked on consulting and research projects for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and several state agencies and local governments. He also served as policy analyst for CAP Tulsa. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Oklahoma and degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Maryland College Park. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife Carmelita.

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