About the Initiative

CtDLogoBlock

Providing Support for PBS.org Learn More

Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America explores the human stories of poverty and showcases promising solutions. Our goal is to better inform with facts that go beyond personal biases, media narratives, and presumptions about the American Dream. Over 40.6 million Americans are living below the poverty line, including 13.3 million children. Our reporting focuses on inequality: both economic and structural inequities informed by issues of race, age and class.

A few decades ago, if you had a job, you probably did not live in poverty. But today, fulltime, well-paying manufacturing and blue-collar jobs that were once a ticket to upward mobility have disappeared, and income disparity is growing. Increasingly, people working full-time in low wage jobs are living in poverty, and today, more and more of those making minimum wage are adults trying to support families. We focus in on what has worked – and is working — to bring people out of poverty, and what lessons we can learn for the future.

This is a multi-platform reporting project from WNET, New York, distributing stories since 2014.Chasing the Dream has produced more than 200 reports across EVERY platform of public media on air and online – including national documentaries, news reports on the PBS NewsHour, NewsHour Weekend, PBS WORLD channel, along with regional reporting on MetroFocus, NJTV News and Long Island Business Report and WNYC radio, Next Avenue and on PBS member stations across the country. Our digital projects, like the American Dream Score and My Everyday Hustle, create measurable output, impact and community engagement.

Funding for Chasing the Dream is provided by The JPB Foundation and Ford Foundation. Additional funding was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.