Commonly know as the ‘Genius Grants,’ The MacArthur Fellows Program “awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” You cannot apply for a MacArthur — you are chosen. Need to Know was ahead of the curve in appreciating the work of the Family Independence Initiative’s Maurice Lim Miller.
Find out about his work in this June 2012 report from Mona Iskander.
We travel to the Bay Area to examine the Family Independence Initiative, a program designed to help the working poor help themselves emerge from poverty.
The organization pays people in low-income communities to track changes in income, assets, debt, health care and education on a monthly basis and it pays them when there are positive developments in their lives. Participants also meet with others in their community to advise each other and hold each other accountable to stated goals. The idea is that these new networks will help them devise solutions to family and financial problems rather than rely on government assistance or non-profit organizations.
We meet with several participants to find out why they decided to join the Family Independence Initiative, and with Maurice Lim Miller, the founder of the organization.