Poverty Forum

The Poverty Forum is composed of a select group of leaders and policy experts representing divergent political perspectives but sharing biblical values surrounding God's concern for the poor and a commitment to address poverty. Through constructive dialogue about domestic poverty issues, the Forum has built consensus around a set of practical, common ground policy solutions that will be shared both in the public arena and with the new Administration and Congress for implementation.

In the most recent year that census data is available (2006), more than 12 percent, or approximately 36 million, Americans were living below the poverty line – about 5 million more than similar estimates in 2000. Even as the wealth in our country increased between 2001 and 2007, four million additional Americans fell into poverty. The current indicators of economic downturn and hardship loom large, necessitating the creation of a proactive process of policy development. With the recent passing of the economic rescue bill, a deepening recession, increasing numbers of families in trouble, and the recent transition of power; this year presents an unprecedented opportunity to make poverty reduction a serious national policy priority. Too often the poor have been trapped in the debate surrounding poverty. The Poverty Forum seeks to break through this ideological stalemate and identify sensible and effective programs and policies that garner broad support.


  • To raise poverty as a critical domestic policy issue, increasing both public and political will in the fight against poverty.
  • To create a mechanism for constructive dialogue about poverty issues among progressive, moderate, and conservative Evangelicals and theologically orthodox Christians.
  • To identify and make policy recommendations about effective poverty alleviation measures that share broad support among the faith community.


  • To create a set of policy recommendations for poverty alleviation that can serve as a resource for the President as they seek to craft a comprehensive domestic policy agenda and to inform the First 100 Days of the new administration.
  • To publish these policy recommendations and distribute them widely to members of Congress, the Administration, organizations, and the media to raise poverty as a critical domestic issue that requires a prominent place among presidential and congressional priorities.
  • To establish a collaborative working group that has the ability to serve as a strong foundation for ongoing bipartisan work on poverty issues as needed.

Read The Poverty Forum Executive Summary.

This project was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. We thank them for their support but acknowledge that the recommendations presented are those of the project participants, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Foundation.


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Acces information on poverty policy & other resources

The Poverty Forum is made up of 8 teams who came up with 25 policy proposals addressing domestic poverty. Brief summaries, complete white paper policy proposals, and a press kit can be found on our Resource page.

Go to Resources
Listen to the Press Conference