Past Event

Waging a Living: The Struggles of America’s Low-Wage Workers

One out of every four families in America is considered low-income, living paycheck to paycheck, often without health care or a real opportunity for advancement.

A new documentary “Waging a Living,” directed by Roger Weisberg and funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Ford Foundation, takes an in-depth look at the struggles of three low-wage workers trying to make ends meet. The Brookings Center on Children and Families presented a 30-minute documentary titled, “Waging a Living: Opportunities for Action,” on July 26. The full documentary will premiere on PBS’ Emmy award-winning P.O.V. (Point Of View) series on August 29.

Following the preview, Brookings hosted a panel discussion with leading experts and program directors to address the obstacles facing low-income workers and steps that can be taken by employers and federal, state, and local policymakers to provide better lives for their families.

Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Center on Children and Families, Ron Haskins, provided introductory remarks. Jason DeParle, staff writer at the New York Times and author of American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare, moderated.

Introduction:
Ron Haskins
Senior Fellow, and Co-Director, Brookings Center on Children and Families

Moderator:
Jason DeParle
Staff Writer, New York Times

Panelists:
Jared Bernstein
Senior Economist, Economic Policy Institute

Lashawn Richburg-Hayes
Senior Associate, Young Adults and Postsecondary Education Policy Area MDRC

Harry Holzer
Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Kate Jesberg
Interim Director, D.C. Department of Human Services, Washington, DC

Larry Temple
Executive Director, Texas Workforce Commission

Agenda

Waging a Living: The Struggles of America's Low-Wage Workers

Following the preview of a new PBS doucmentary, "Waging a Living," Brookings hosted a panel discussion with leading experts and program directors to address the obstacles facing low-income workers and steps that can be taken by employers and federal, state and local policy-makers to provide better lives for their families.

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