The Truly Disadvantaged

Over twenty-five years ago, after the big city riots, the bipartisan President’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Riot commission) concluded, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.”

The following year, after the assassinations of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the bipartisan President’s National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (the National violence Commission) concluded, “The greatness and durability of most civilizations has been finally determined by how they have responded to the challenges from within. Ours will be no exception.”

Since those commissions, the divide between rich and poor has become greater in the United States and the challenges from within are more formidable. The truly disadvantaged were the focus of the two Commissions, and the question of how to close the divide continues to challenge policy makers, social scientists and practitioners. The following links summarize efforts to date: