“Remaking America”

Record unemployment, corporate avarice, empty houses but homeless families, dwindling opportunities in a politically paralyzed nation—these are the realities of America, land of the free and home of the perennially poor and the new poor: the former middle class.

In January 2012, Tavis convened a panel of thought leaders and advocates to explore how to restore prosperity in America. The nationally televised discussion, “Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity,” aired for three nights on PBS beginning January 16 through January 18.

Explore panelists’ bios, links to their work and a White Paper that details the Great Recession’s impact on the poor.

Remaking America – Panel discussion, Part 1

Remaking America – Panel discussion, Part 2

Remaking America – Panel discussion, Part 3

Inside This Feature

  • A White Paper requested by Tavis and published by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs has found that many Americans are poor or "at risk" of becoming poor due to the Great Recession, and they continue to struggle during the recovery.
  • Personal finance expert, motivational speaker and nine-time best-selling author Suze Orman is a contributing editor to Oprah's O magazine and the host of her own show on CNBC.
  • Environmental activist Majora Carter founded and served as executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, a non-profit that introduced Americans to the concept of urban green-collar job training and coined the phrase "Green the Ghetto."
  • Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore gained critical acclaim and popular success with his 1989 documentary Roger & Me.
  • Writer and journalist Barbara Ehrenreich is best known for her 1998 book Nickel and Dimed, in which she went undercover as a waitress, sales clerk and maid to reveal what life is like for the "unskilled" work force.
  • Dr. Cornel West is a Princeton professor, provocative world-renowned scholar and a best-selling author, best known for his classic Race Matters.
  • Feeding America president and CEO Vicki B. Escarra helped to build the domestic hunger-relief network into a billion-dollar organization.
  • Attorney Roger A. Clay, Jr. is president of Oakland, CA-based Insight Center for Community Economic Development.
  • As we enter 2012, the picture for many of our nation’s children is grim. The recently released Kids Count report found that 42 percent lived in families with incomes below twice the federal poverty line in 2009. That’s 31 million children. And with the economy’s slow recovery, that number may be even higher today.
Last modified: October 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm