Poverty Forum

Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder and CEO, PolicyLink

Angela Glover Blackwell is founder and chief executive officer of PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity.  By Lifting Up What Works®—using research to understand and demonstrate the possibilities for positive change—PolicyLink presents new and innovative solutions to old problems. 

Since its inception in January 1999, PolicyLink has partnered with a cross-section of stakeholders to ensure that equity issues receive the highest priority in addressing major policy questions, including: ensuring reinvestment in low-income communities, encouraging smart growth, bridging the digital divide, eliminating racial health disparities, and developing leaders for policy change. PolicyLink is also working to promote equitable rebuilding in Louisiana, bringing the voices of local and displaced residents into the post-Hurricane Katrina reconstruction planning process.  

Blackwell is a national authority on poverty issues, recently contributing a chapter to Ending Poverty in America:  How to Restore the American Dream (The New Press, 2007), an anthology edited by former Sen. John Edwards. She also collaborated with Tavis Smiley to develop The Covenant with Black America—a New York Times best-selling book of community and policy strategies for economic and social empowerment—and the follow-up, Covenant in Action.  Along with Manuel Pastor and Stewart Kwoh, she co-authored Searching for the Uncommon Common Ground: New Dimensions on Race in America (W.W. Norton, 2002), a book that demonstrates the existence of continuing racial inequity and explores new policy framings to address the challenges that lie ahead. She is also a frequent guest in the media and her appearances include ABC's Nightline, NOW with Bill Moyers, and National Public Radio.  She has been published in the opinion pages of The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle; and has lectured widely on concentrated poverty and equitable development, appearing before audiences at the Chautauqua Institution, the State of the Black Union, the Global Women's Action Network for Children, and the Aspen Ideas Festival. 

Blackwell founded PolicyLink after serving as senior vice president for The Rockefeller Foundation from 1995 to 1998. She directed the foundation's domestic and cultural divisions and developed the Next Generation Leadership and Building Democracy programs, centered on issues of inclusion, race, and policy. In 1987, she founded the Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, California, and received national recognition for pioneering a community building approach to social change through in-depth understanding of local conditions, community-driven systems reform, and an insistence on accountability. For a decade beginning in 1977, Blackwell served as a partner with Public Advocates, a nationally renowned public interest law firm representing the underrepresented. She successfully litigated class action suits and developed innovative non-litigation strategies in the areas of employment, education, health, and consumer affairs.

Blackwell earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University, and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.  She co-chairs the Center for American Progress task force on poverty and sits on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America. She currently sits on the boards of the Children's Defense Fund, Sojourners, and the Corporation for Enterprise Development.



Each member of The Poverty Forum participated as an individual and not as a representative of any association. Their individual support and association with any and all proposals may not reflect the agency for which they work.


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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.

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