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StraightTalk SC: Can't Win for Losing

StraightTalk SC
Can't Win for Losing:The Crisis of the Working Poor

Presented in partnership with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Furman

Tuesdays: July 22, July 29, August 5 and August 12, 2014
Younts Conference Center, Shaw Hall, Furman University
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. each week

To view biographies, click here.

To read about these events, click here.  

All sessions were moderated by Mark Quinn, director of member and public relations, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, and former host of SCETV’s Big Picture (bio).

July 22: Who in South Carolina Gets to Live the American Dream?

Jessica Hennessey, Ph.D., Furman University assistant professor of economics (bio), opened our series with a historical and a current perspective on the definitions and measures of those who are poor or near poor and how South Carolina compares to the rest of the nation.  She also looked briefly at three federal policies that have a tangible impact on the group of people we refer to as the “working poor.”

For Dr. Hennessey's powerpoint presentation, click here.

South Carolina State Representatives Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-District 66) (bio) and Kenny Bingham (R-District 89) (bio) joined Mark Quinn for a conversation about the role of state government in improving the plight of the working poor.


July 29: Questioning the American Dream: Families and Neighbors Living on the Brink

Kyle Longest, Ph.D., Furman University assistant professor of sociology (bio) led an interactive session looking at the bills, dollars and pennies of a family who is “barely getting by in South Carolina.”

Danny Avula, M.D., deputy director of the Richmond City Health Department (bio), presented what he has discovered during the last decade as his family has lived in intentional community with neighbors very different from themselves.

To view Straight Talk SC Storify from Session II, click here



August 5: Chasing the American Dream: What Does It Take to Climb the Income Ladder?

Sarah Sattelmeyer, senior associate, Financial Security and Mobility, Pew Charitable Trusts (bio), gave an overview of the state of economic mobility in the U.S. and describe what Pew's research indicates are the drivers behind it.

For Sara Sattelmeyer's powerpoint presentation, click here.

Tammi Hart, executive assistant, Day and Zimmerman (bio), and Dawn Dowden, vice-president of operations, Homes of Hope (bio), shared their real life experiences of poverty and economic mobility.

To view Straight Talk SC Storify from Session III, click here.


August 12: Revitalizing the American Dream

Carol Naughton, senior vice-president, Purpose Built Communities (bio), spoke about the importance of community development and revitalization in building up the working poor. Curt McPhail, project manager, Northside Development Group (bio) presented an overview of Spartanburg’s transformative Northside Initiative.

For Carol Naughton's powerpoint presentation, click here.

For Curt McPhail's  powerpoint presentation, click here.

Mark Quinn hosted a roundtable discussion with Carol Naughton; Curt McPhail, Russell Booker, Superintendent of Education, Spartanburg District 7 (bio)Phil Feisal, president, Spartanburg Medical Center (bio)Tony Thomas, president of the Northside Neighborhood Association (bio), and David Wood, Ph.D. Senior Vice President for Development, Wofford College (bio) on the collective vision and committed partnership that is revitalizing Spartanburg’s Northside, one that brings together the resources and ideas of government, faith communities, public and higher education, the hospital, foundations, and neighborhood associations. 

Jim Sinegal, co-founder and former CEO of Costco Corporation (bio), provided a business leader’s perspective on why paying good wages is good for business and good for the economy.

To view Straight Talk SC Storify from Session IV, click here


Press Coverage

Olli and The Riley Institute Present Summer Series, Crisis of The Working Poor. UpstateBizSC

The Summer Series is presented by The Riley Institute at Furman
and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Furman