May 08, 2015

This week on To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, our panelists discuss the anti-poverty experiment “Move to Opportunity”, #Talkpay for pay equity, and Behind The Headlines: Melissa Cistaro’s book, Pieces of My Mother.

On the panel this week joining host Bonnie Erbe is Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Journalist Anushay Hossain, Former Bush White House Aide Mercy Viana Schlapp, IWF Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer

Click read more to see what they had to say!

Re-Examining “Moving to Opportunity”

A new study compares how one’s childhood environment could affect their future in the long run.

  • Del. Norton: "The home is one place, but then there’s the school, there’s the neighborhood, what else is there for a child...? For a child, that is the world, and that is how the child learns what they believe the wider world is about”

  • Sabrina Schaeffer: "I think this is such a core women’s issue, for so long women have been on the forefront in terms of helping those in need,and helping re-build cities, ever since the beginning of the country ”

  • Anushay Hossain: "I don’t think your geography should set your destiny, especially so young.”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “Where you go to school has a huge effect on how far you may go in life.”

  • Mercy Viana Schlapp: "Take a crime infested area, versus a peaceful neighborhood, and guess what, if the child grows in a peaceful neighborhood they’ll have a greater chance of succeeding”


The hashtag #talkpay started a conversation about pay equity on twitter.

  • Del. Norton: "We’ve broken it down, even occupation by occupation, and occupation by occupation, the man will earn more as a surgeon than the women would earn .”

  • Sabrina Schaeffer: "The reason I like this social media campaign is that I think it takes the conversation away from the issue of legislation, and it actually makes women feel empowered again”

  • Anushay Hossain: "A lot of times women are completely unaware that their coworker is getting payed more just because he’s a guy”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “ A middle class person, who makes less than their male counterpart, who wants to file a lawsuit, it’s extremely expensive, and unless you have a really good case, no lawyer is going to take it on contingency. Even if something horrible is going on, proving it in court is an entirely different matter ”

  • Mercy Viana Schlapp: "9 out of 10 of the highest paid fields are dominated by men, so how can we get these women to go into the sciences, engineering, where they could compete with the money?”

Pieces of My Mother

Author Melissa Cistaro’s new book depicts life after her mother abandoned her children.

  • Del. Norton: "I really think women walk away for the same reason men do, they weren't meant to be mothers, they’re escaping responsibility.”

  • Sabrina Schaeffer: "I think it’s sort of a lesson to all of us, maybe we’ve raised the bar a little to high for people, and sometimes its good to take a step back at the end of the day, and not think of all the things you didn't accomplish..sometime maybe we’re all putting too much pressure of whats expected of parenting”

  • Anushay Hossain: "I think it also says a lot about how much we invest and take seriously women's health, women’s mental health... these are things we are just really starting to talk about in the past 5 or 10 years.”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “Why is it so much more difficult when a mom leaves?”

  • Mercy Viana Schlapp: "You realize as a mother, it is incredibly overwhelming. Especially when you have this new born child, and you’re like ‘ what am I suppose to do? There's no instruction manual coming with this .”

Be sure to tune in this week for more discussion! Click here to check your local listings.