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West Coast Poverty Center

Dialogues on Research and Poverty

With support from the Center and the UW Vice Provost for Research, the Dialogues on Research and Poverty initiative selects Faculty Scholars who work with graduate students to work together on an academic paper that advances a specific area of their current research on poverty and policy issues. They complete regionally-focused, practitioner-oriented research on poverty, using state-level samples from national data sets and/or more specialized data sources for their research. The Center works with the researchers to identify three to five senior policy practitioners at the national and regional levels who can review the research findings and participate in a facilitated conference call on implications for policy and practice in the region. The Center then develops and disseminates a publication for web posting and mailing that combines a 4-6 page, easily accessible summary of each research project with a summary of the practitioner’s comments and insights about its implications for practice. Additional web-only resources are made available on the WCPC website.

DIALOGUE No. 1: Food Insecurity and State/Nonprofit Collaboration on the West Coast

Mark Edwards, Associate Professor of Sociology at Oregon State University and recipient of a WCPC Western Poverty Small Grant, examined how state and nonprofit organizations on the west coast have collaborated in the aftermath of welfare reform to serve families who are food insecure.   Read more about Dialogue 1.

DIALOGUE No. 2: Ethnic Residential Clustering and Health in West Coast States

UW Sociology doctoral student Emily Walton, with UW Professor of Social Work David Takeuchi, conducted an analysis of the effects of ethnic enclave characteristics such as poverty on health across different racial and ethnic groups in west coast communities, using national self-reported health data and a new method of enclave mapping. Read more about this Dialogue 2.

DIALOGUE No. 3: Spatial Variations in West Coast Poverty: Beyond Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan

In our third DIALOGUES Project, UW Associate Professor of Public Affairs Rachel Kleit and Geography doctoral student Man Wang conducted an analysis of typologies of rural and urban communities and their implications for the understanding of poverty, its concentration, and urban and rural differences in inequality, and discussed the findings with state and nonprofit policy practitioners. Read more about Dialogue 3.

DIALOGUE No. 4: Economically Disconnected Families and the Child Welfare System

With support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Administration for Children and Families, researchers from Partners for Our Children (POC) and the West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC) examined data from a survey of child welfare-involved parents in Washington State to measure the extent and nature of “economic disconnection” among these families.  Read more about Dialogue 4.

DIALOGUE No. 5: Assets, Credit, and Debt: Issues and Opportunities for Low-Income Families

With support from the Northwest Area Foundation, WCPC Affiliate and Professor of Public Affairs Marieka Klawitter and Colin Morgan-Cross analyzed patterns of credit, debt, and asset-holding across households with a focus on how low-income families differ from other families. WCPC shared these findings with a group of practitioners from northwest states and hosted a conversation between the researchers and practitioners.  Read more about Dialogue 5.

DIALOGUE No. 6: Class, Race, and Military Service in the Recent Wars

In this DIALOGUE, we explore the socioeconomics of recruitment and service in the military. We build on research by Washington State University Associate Professor Alair MacLean that asked whether the men who served during the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan came disproportionately from minority and low-income families. The WCPC invited five practitioners and policy experts to discuss Professor MacLean’s work and its implications. Read more about Dialogue 6.

DIALOGUE No. 7: Variation in State Safety Net Provision

In this DIALOGUE, we explore and compare safety net policies across states during a period of expanding state discretion. We build on a multi-part research project by University of Washington Professor and WCPC Founding Director Marcia Meyers, University of Iowa Assistant Professor Sarah Bruch, and City University Professor Janet Gonick that explores what predicts state policy choices across safety net policies and programs and what the consequences are for child/family economic security . Read more about Dialogue 7.