Chasing the American Dream

Who’s left behind, how do they get ahead?

event | June 05, 2014

  • New America

Chasing the American Dream : Who’s left behind, how do they get ahead?

Thursday, June 05, 2014

9:30am – 11:00am

New America Foundation

1899 L Street NW Suite 400

Washington, DC 20036

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Barriers to achieving the American Dream have become more visible than success stories. More than four years after the Great Recession officially ended, 10.5 million people are out of work - and millions more struggle to make their paychecks stretch as far as their needs. One out of every 34 Americans is either behind bars, on probation, or on parole, relegating them to the margins of society, the economy, and even democracy.

Too often, what should be temporary setbacks like these create permanent roadblocks to getting back on track. And, with new technologies, past misfortunes and mistakes live on in public view and can prevent access to employment, a bank account, housing - or even the public assistance needed just to put food on the table.

What happens to the American Dream in the face of these modern realities and what will it take to restore its promise to more Americans? New America's Asset Building Program hosted an exploration of these questions with Mark Rank and Thomas Hirschl, the authors of new book Chasing the American Dream, as well as a distinguished panel of experts.

Join the conversation online using #ShapeOurFortunes and following @AssetsNAF.

alt american dream book cover

Participants

Aleta Sprague Policy Analyst, Asset Building Program, New America Foundation

Mark Rank Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare, Washington University in St. Louis. Co-author, Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes

Thomas A. Hirschl Professor of Development Sociology, Cornell University Co-author, Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes

Harry J. Holzer Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Nicole Austin-Hillery Director and Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice, Washington, D.C. Office

Seeta Gangadharan Senior Research Fellow, Open Technology Institute, New America Foundation

Moderator

Rachel Black Senior Policy Analyst, Asset Building Program, New America Foundation