Institute on Assets and Social Policy

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What's New

What's New 2018

April 2017

Congratulations to IASP Director of Community Engaged Research, Jessica Santos for receiving this year's Heller Teaching Award, and Associate Director Tatjana Meschede for receiving the Heller Mentoring Award for a 2nd time.

What's New 2017

March 2017

Taylor presents "The Great Equalizer?" at the Tenth Biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference

Joanna Taylor will present the paper: The Great Equalizer? Exploring K-12 Education and Wealth Outcomes, authored by Joanna Taylor, Tatjana Meschede, Alexis Mann, at the Tenth Biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference titled Strong Foundations: The economic futures of kids and communities, March 23-24 in Washington DC. In this work, IASP explored the link between school quality and young adult economic outcomes, building on the IASP Leveraging Mobility and Panel Study of Income Dynamics data.

ONLINE TRAINING: Looking Upstream: Systemic Oppression as a Key Determinant of Health Inequities

As part of a new initiative at the Center for Global Policy Solutions called Allies for Reaching Community Health Equity, Jessica Santos has developed and is giving an online module for their Culture of Health Institute for Leadership Development on March 15. The training provides participants with shared language and conceptual frameworks for understanding the role of systemic oppression in creating and maintaining health inequities, and outlines core principles for effective health equity practice.

What's New 2016

October 2016

Workforce Diversity presentation

Senior Research Associate Jessica Santos presented "Workforce Diversity in New Hampshire: Findings from the Employer Research Initiative" at the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on the Healthcare Workforce, together with research partners from the NH Office of Health Equity. This was part of a larger presentation about lessons learned from the NH Health Profession Opportunity Project, a federally-funded workforce development program which trained and employed over 600 TANF and other low-income individuals in health professions. 

Meschede a panelist at A Nation That Works Conference

Research Director Tatjana Meschede was a panelist on the session "Aligning and Coordinating Systems to Improve Employment Outcomes for Rapid Re-housing Participants" at the 2016 A Nation That Works Conference. The conference is part of the Heartland Alliance's National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity.

Meschede moderates panel at EMPath Conference

Research Director Tatjana Meschede moderated a panel at EMPath's "Disrupting the Poverty Cycle 2016" conference at UMass Boston. The panel looked at "Neighborhood Poverty and Family Financial Security." 

Santos presents "Inside Inequality" at Dartmouth College

Senior Research Associate Jessica Santos led an interactive workshop, "Inside Inequality: Power & Privilege Across the Life Course," at Dartmouth College as part of Dartmouth initiative to address inequities on its campus. Her talk highlighted findings from her research on opportunity hoarding and other mechanisms that perpetuate racial inequality.

September 2016

Shapiro receives 2016 Assets & Opportunity Award

Director Thomas Shapiro was presented with the 2016 Assets & Opportunity Award at CFED's Assets Learning Conference in Washington, D.C. This award was given in recognition of his work with Melvin Oliver, who also received the award, on Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality. Congratulations, Tom!

Santos leads workshop in New Hampshire

Senior Research Associate Jessica Santos led a workshop that introduced the Culturally Effective Organizations Framework for the New Hampshire Health & Equity Partnership. This workshop provided a foundation for a new work group in Manchester.

Provost Research Award Presentations

Janet Boguslaw presented "Outsourced at Home: The Impacts for Job Quality, Public Resources," and Tatjana Meschede and Sara Chaganti presented a poster on "Homeless Families: Can Targeted Workforce Development Improve Employment and Housing?" at Brandeis University September 15, 2016. These research projects had been supported by University Provost Research Awards.

Boguslaw editorial appears in Boston Globe

Featured on Labor Day, an editorial by IASP Associate Director Janet Boguslaw and Heller Senior Research Associate Margot Trotter Davis addressed what happened to the Hyatt 100 and why we should care. 

June 2016

Boguslaw named Kellogg Fellow at Rutgers

Associate Director Janet Boguslaw was selected as a W. K. Kellogg Fellow for 2016-17 at the Rutgers University School of Labor and Management Relations She will be contributing to a study on the value of different forms of capital sharing in the workplace for low- and moderate-income families' financial security and wealth building. 

Boguslaw chapter published

Associate Director Janet Boguslaw and others authored a chapter in a new book, Innovation in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors: A Public Solutions Handbook. The chapter, "Chelsea's CONNECT: Building Economic Resilience through Multiservice Cross-Sector Collaborations," is a case study describing how cross-sector collaborations can improve access to economic opportunity.

Chaganti selected as an Emerging Scholar, presents at conference

Research Associate Sara Chaganti has been selected as an Emerging Scholar at the 2016 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency. She presented a poster titled "Supporting Self-Sufficiency through Cross-Systems Collaboration: An Innovative Service Delivery Model for Homeless Families," based on data from IASP's evaluation of the Secure Jobs Initiative. 

Boguslaw presents at Rutgers Symposium

Associate Director Janet Boguslaw presented on the panel "The W. K. Kellogg Foundation Study of Worker Ownership and the Middle Class" at The Beyster Symposium in LaJolla, CA.

Boguslaw presents at Pew Trust Convening

Associate Director Janet Boguslaw presented on a panel at the Pew Trust convening "Employer-Sponsored Benefits and Family Financial Security: The Current Landscape and Opportunities for the Future" in Washington, D.C. 

May 2016

Boguslaw presents at Labor and Employment Relations Association annual meeting

Associate Director Janet Boguslaw presented "Outsourced at Home: The Impacts on Job Quality, Public Resources, and Family Well-Being" at the 68th annual LERA meeting in Minneapolis.

Shapiro, Traub discuss Racial Wealth Audit in webinar

IASP Director Thomas Shapiro and Amy Traub of Demos discussed the Racial Wealth Audit in a webinar sponsored by the National Consumer Law Center. "Minding the Gap: Using the newly developed Racial Wealth Audit to measure the impact of state and national policies on the racial wealth gap." 

Meschede and Shapiro present at symposium

Research Director Tatjana Meschede and IASP Director Thomas Shapiro were invited to research and discuss the impact of family financial transfers on the racial wealth gap of college-educated households at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank's symposium, "Does College Level the Playing Field?" The paper drafted by the IASP research team, including Alexis Mann and Joanna Taylor, illustrates how racial disparities in receiving and giving financial transfers promote wealth growth for white households and add to wealth loss for black households. 

Chaganti leads workshop 

Research Associate Sara Chaganti led a workshop, "Job Readiness Training for Homeless Families," at the Commonwealth Workforce Coalition's 13th annual Sharing Skills~Building Connections conference on May 17. This conference brought together workforce development practitioners to share best practices and innovative solutions to unemployment.

APRIL 2016

Sullivan and Meschede on Race and Gender

Senior Research Associate Laura Sullivan and Research Director Tatjana Meschede publish Race, Gender, and Senior Economic Well-Being: How Financial Vulnerability over the Life Course Shapes Retirement for Older Women of Color. The article appears in Public Policy & Aging Report 2016.

Final report from the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative released

After four years and seven research papers, the summary report from the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative was released. This final report, Good Jobs Good Health: Diversifying the Workforce through Policy and Practice, summarizes key findings from this research and reflects contributions made by multiple team members and partners.

Meschede leads workshop on homelessness

Research Director Tatjana Meschede leads a workshop titled Creating Opportunities for Homeless Job Seekers at the Housing Ohio 2016 conference. She shares results from IASP's implementation and outcome evaluation of Secure Jobs Massachusetts, which is leading the field in innovative practices on how to best connect heads of homeless families with jobs.  

MARCH 2016

Latest paper in Healthcare Employer Research Initiative published

The seventh paper in the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative, Patient and Family Advisory Councils: Advancing Culturally Effective Patient-Centered Care, was published. The paper provides guidance for healthcare organizations that seek to identify successful approaches to the development of diverse and effective PFACs.

Shapiro and Thomas are guest editors

IASP Director Thomas Shapiro and Hannah Thomas are guest editors of a special Race and Wealth issue of Race and Social Problems. This special issue puts front and center the intersection of race and wealth, providing depth to our understanding of how the racial wealth gap plays out over the life course.

Meschede article on wealth inequality published

Research Director Tatjana Meschede published "Wealth Inequalities in Greater Boston: Do Race and Ethnicity Matter?", a Community Development Discussion Paper from the Boston Federal Reserve Bank. Findings point to the need for wealth building opportunities in communities of color and further investigation of the causes and consequences of financial disparities between groups of color disaggregated by ancestral origin.

Senior Researcher interviewed

Senior Research Associate Laura Sullivan was interviewed on Chicago radio station WVON. She discussed IASP's recent work on how government policies could narrow the staggering racial wealth disparities in the U.S. 

Meschede, others publish two articles

Research Director Tatjana Meschede is lead author on two articles published this month. "Wealth Mobility of Families Raising Children in the Twenty-First Century" and "Inequality in the "Cradle of Liberty": Race/Ethnicity and Wealth in Greater Boston" appeared in Race and Social Problems.


Meschede delivers talks in Germany

Research Director Tatjana Meschede delivered two lectures on racial wealth disparities in Germany this month. February 4 she spoke at the Sociology Department of the Technical University in Dresden, and on February 16 repeated this talk at the Bildungszentrum Hospitalhof in Stuttgart. Meschede discussed trends, drivers, and policies to turn the course of the ongoing and widening racial wealth disparities in the US.

JANUARY 2016   

New reports on homeless shelter users issued

IASP, in partnership with Father Bill's & MainSpring, completed two reports on the characteristics and service needs of homeless shelter users (read the report here) and the successes and limitations of current service delivery approaches in the shelter system (read the report here). This information will support strategic planning for improved shelter models that include day centers for homeless individuals.   

New brief focusing on NH's healthcare workforce published

The latest brief focusing on the healthcare workforce in New Hampshire and elsewhere, Improving Quality and Performance: Cultural Competence and Workforce Diversity Strategies, shows that employing a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community while simultaneously achieving cultural competence benchmarks can have multiple benefits including a positive impact on the bottom line.

What's New 2015


Policy Link and IASP co-host webinar on Tipping the Scale brief

As a follow-up to the publication of "Tipping the Scale: How Assets Shape Economic Wellbeing for Women and Families," a webinar was held December 10 jointly by IASP and Policy Link. 


Third Secure Jobs brief applies systems thinking to social change

By forging a strong link between traditionally separated services, Secure Jobs creates the infrastructure to institutionalize service provision through a collaborative network, in which providers of different types of services partner with each other to examine and address clients’ multiple challenges in an integrated package.

IASP and Demos release study of student debt

"Less Debt, More Equity: Lowering Student Debt while Closing the Black-White Wealth Gap" is published. Using the Racial Wealth Audit (TM), a framework developed at IASP to assess the impacts of policies on the racial wealth gap, the report highlights how new policies can both lower overall student debt burdens and reduce racial wealth disparities among young households.  

New Leveraging Mobility Brief examines how assets affect women's choices

The seventh brief in the Leveraging Mobility series, "Tipping the Scale: How Assets Shape Economic Wellbeing for Women and Families," is published. The brief examines how women and families leverage resources to protect themselves from gendered, wealth-stripping forces when caregiving responsibilities and changes in household composition create financial challenges.  

Presentation at Gerontological Society Scientific Meeting

Research Director Tatjana Meschede and Senior Research Associate Laura Sullivan presented "Key Assets for Building Retirement Security: Institutional, Community, and Extended Family" at the 68th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America.  The meeting was held November 18 to 22 in Orlando, FL.  

IASP co-host of webinar on Wealth Inequality and the Tax Code

The Tax Alliance hosted a webinar focusing on communications and advocacy around wealth inequality and the tax code. Participants included PolicyLink, CFED, Americans for Tax Fairness, and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The webinar was held November 9 from 3pm to 4pm. 


IASP Director at Equity 2015

IASP Director Thomas M. Shapiro spoke on Toxic Inequality: Challenges and Solutions for the Racial Wealth Gap at Equity Summit 2015. The conference was held in Los Angeles, CA, from October 27 to 29. To read more about Equity 2015, go here.

Socially Responsible Investments discussed

Associate Director Janet Boguslaw and co-author Alexander B. Kaufman contributed a chapter, "Gaining Traction: Socially Responsible Investments, Targeted Markets, Sustainable Impacts," to Inequality, Uncertainty, and Opportunity: The Varied and Growing Role of Finance in Labor Relations, Christian E. Weller, ed. The book was published by the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Impacts of race and place on Katrina evacuees

IASP Research Associate and PhD candidate Sara Chaganti is co-author of a new paper that studies the impact of long-term displacement and race on changes in post-Katrina survivors’ employment status. Chaganti and co-author Jasmine Waddell find across their analyses that displacement has a negative effect on employment status and that African-Americans suffered a larger loss of full-time employment status than did whites. 

IASP Director delivers keynote address

Director Thomas Shapiro delivered a keynote speech at the Pathways to Prosperity 2015 Regional Conference, held October 13-15 in Cary, NC.  He spoke on "Looking Ahead: Impacting the Racial Wealth Gap over the next 20 years."  

Empowering Prosperity: Integrating Asset Building within Human Services Webinar

IASP and its partner, The National Human Services Assembly, presented a webinar to review and discuss the new guidebook Empowering Prosperity: Strengthening Human Services Impacts through Asset Integration. Held on October 15, participants discussed supporting human service agencies' efforts to incorporate asset building into their practices. Moderated by IASP Associate Director Janet Boguslaw and Senior Research Associate Rebecca Loya, other speakers included Tonya Wiley-Robinson (National Human Services Assembly); Nancy Yuill (Innovative Changes); Michael Roush (National Disability Institute); Kathryn Crumpton (Aurora Family Service); and Christine Robinson (Kresge Foundation).  


Quality Workforce = Quality Health Care

IASP and its partners held an interactive research and policy forum to share findings from the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative and Beyond Supply and Demand.  Titled "From Research to Practice: Expanding and Diversifying New Hampshire's Healthcare Workforce," the event took place at Manchester Community College on September 25.  

Asset building within human service organizations 

IASP and The National Human Services Assembly publish Empowering Prosperity: Integrating Asset Building within Human Services, a guidebook outlining key asset development approaches underway in human service agencies in the U.S.  A webinar will be held in October to review and discuss this new publication.  

Career success for healthcare professionals focus of new paper

IASP researchers published The Networked Workforce:  Maximizing Potential in Health Careers.  This paper examines the importance of strategic relationships and connections to career success for healthcare professionals.   


Santos successfully defends dissertation

Jessica Santos successfully defended her dissertation, Beyond Supply and Demand: Networks of Opportunity and Inequality in Health Careers, on August 6. Dr. Santos conducts applied research aligned with her expertise in workforce development and diversity, and refugee and immigrant integration. At IASP she works on two complementary projects, the "Employer Research Initiative," and "Beyond Supply and Demand," both of which investigate aspects of workforce diversity in New Hampshire's health care sector. Dr. Santos holds a Master's degree in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training and a BA in International Studies from Middlebury College.

JULY 2015

First report for BHA Enhanced FSS Program issued

IASP has issued the initial report to the John T. Gorman Foundation evaluating the new Family Self-Sufficiency program it is supporting at the Bangor Housing Authority. To learn about the early results, check out BHA Enhanced FSS Program Process and Implementation Report.  

Dietrich successfully defends dissertation

Lars Dietrich successfully defended his dissertation, Bullying in Schools: How School and Student Characteristics Predict Bullying Behaviors in American Secondary Schools, on July 22. Dr. Dietrich is a political scientist and Fulbright Scholar from Austria who has many years of work experience with asylum seekers. He is a social policy researcher with a focus on education and racial/ethnic inequality using quantitative and qualitative methods. His expertise is in policy research in bullying behavior in schools, racial/ethnic achievement gaps, employment inequality, and the racial wealth gap.

Graduate Research Associate accepts new and exciting position

Giselle Routhier, a Graduate Research Associate at IASP, has accepted a position at the Coalition for the Homeless in New York City.  As Policy Director, Giselle will be working at the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless men, women and children.

JUNE 2015

Building an Equitable Retirement System for the 21st Century

IASP and PolicyLink hosted a webinar to discuss the newly released brief in the Leveraging Mobility Study, “Navigating an Unclear Path: Preparing for Retirement in the 21st Century” Moderated by Alexandra Bastien, Program Associate at PolicyLink, other webinar speakers included: Laura Sullivan (Senior Research Associate at IASP), Ramsey Alwin (Director of the Economic Security Initiative at the National Council on Aging) and Jody Blaylock (Policy Associate with the Financial Empowerment Policy Project at Heartland Alliance). Click to view webinar.

Research Director Lead Co-Author on Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Brief

Tatjana Meschede, visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Regional & Community Outreach department was lead co-author of Family Financial Resources Among Boston Residents: Flow by Race and Ethnicity. The brief reveals new data collected for the Boston metro area, as part of the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey. For the first time this study provided detailed information on financial assets that allow analysis to be broken down beyond the traditional black-and-white divide at the metropolitan-area level.

MAY 2015

Elsevier Publishes IASP Research Director and Graduate Research Associate's Paper on Evaluation and Program Planning

The use of short-term rental subsidy vouchers offers a new approach to addressing the housing needs of families facing homelessness. IASP's Tatjana Meschede and Sara Chaganti co-authored Home for now: A mixed-methods evaluation of a short-term housing support program for homeless families. This mixed-method case study complements staff and participant interview data with participant survey and administrative data to evaluate the implementation and short-term outcomes of Family Home in one region. Data point to improved family well-being in housing but also persistent barriers to achieving longer-term housing and economic stability. This research points to the need for integrating supportive services from the program’s start, including targeted workforce development, to plan for the end of the short-term rental subsidy. 

IASP Receives 2 Provost's Research Fund Awards

Recently, the Provost awarded grants to support research across Brandeis University.  IASP received 2 of the awards. IASP Associate Director, Janet Boguslaw, received funding for "Outsourced at Home: The Impacts for Job Quality, Public Resources, and Family Well-Being".  IASP Research Director, Tatjana Meschede, received funding for "Homeless Families: Can Targeted Workforce Development Improve Employment and Housing Outcomes?"

The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters Webinar

Director Tom Shapiro, Catherine Ruetschlin (Senior Policy Analyst, Dēmos), and Anne Price (Managing Program Director, Insight Center for Community Economic Development) introduced the Racial Wealth Audit™, a new tool that prepares advocates, policymakers, and analysts to proactively reduce the racial wealth gap through policy analysis and design during a highly anticipated webinar.  To read more about this tool, download The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters.

Associate Director Presents at Strategic Philanthropy Webinar

IASP's Associate Director Janet Boguslaw and Daria Sheehan from the Citi Foundation discussed the strategic framework of asset development during a webinar hosted by Asset Funders Network.  As part of the release of the brief Strategic Philanthropy: Integrating Investments in Asset Building, developed by IASP and the Asset Funders Network, this webinar addressed how integrating investments in asset building can impact sector-based strategies, and revealed examples of how funders and community-based organizations are applying this strategic approach to effect greater social and economic impact. 

APRIL 2015

New Report Focuses on New Hampshire's Healthcare Workforce

IASP, in partnerships with Trinidad Tellez, Director of the NH Office of Minority Health and Refugee Affairs, released Culturally Effective Healthcare Organizations: A Framework for Success.  This brief outlines strategies that organizations can take to embark on an ongoing organizational process of improvement to keep pace with changing patient and workforce demographics, and to achieve health equity. 

Research Director Lead Co-Author on Financial Supports Paper

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released a Community Development Discussion Paper that examines the extent to which family financial transfers occur among Boston residents of color, as compared with national estimates.  Financial Resources in Kinship and Social Networks: Flow and Relationship to Household Wealth by Race and Ethnicity among Boston Residents. Authored by IASP's Tatjana Meschede, visiting scholar in the Bank’s Regional & Community Outreach department, the study analyzes new data collected for the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as part of the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey. The survey provides detailed information on assets and debts that allows analysis to be broken down by race, ethnicity, and country of origin for targeted groups.

Research Associate Joins Racial Wealth Audit™ Project

Lars Dietrich has accepted a part-time position as Research Associate.  He is a political scientist and Fulbright Ph.D. student and a social policy researcher with a focus on education and racial/ethnic inequality using quantitative and qualitative methods. His expertise is in policy research in bullying behavior in schools, racial/ethnic achievement gaps, employment inequality, and the racial wealth gap. At the Institute, Lars is working on the Racial Wealth AuditTM project by running statically analysis, writing and editing, and presenting findings. Lars received a Master's in Political Science at the University of Vienna, and a Master's in Social Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.  He is a PhD candidate, currently working on his dissertation which focuses on the causes, consequences and racial/ethnic differences of bullying behavior in schools.

Utilizing Economic Mobility to Advance our Understanding About How People and Communities Get Ahead

IASP Research Director, Tatjana Meschede, presented "Wealth Mobility of Families Raising Children in the 21st Century" at the Ninth Biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference. Over the years, this unique event has aimed to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice on key issues facing the country. The 2015 conference seeks to inform a robust public conversation about economic mobility.

MARCH 2015

A Discussion About the Urgency of Addressing Wealth Inequality and Providing Opportunity for All 

IASP Director, Thomas Shapiro, was a panelist at the Boston Fed's Regional & Community Outreach team's Color of Wealth Summit. The panel discussion included a presentation on new findings on wealth inequality in the Boston metropolitan area.

New Tool Measures Impact on Public Policy Choices

Jointly, IASP and Dēmos released The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters. This brief explains the Racial Wealth AuditTM tool and how it can be used to evaluate the impact of housing, education, and labor markets on the wealth gap between white, black, and Latino households.


Race Today: A Symposium on Race in America

This day-long symposium brough a group of the nation’s most respected intellectuals on race, racial theory and racial inequality together to consider the troubling state of black life in America today.  IASP's Director, Thomas Shapiro, spoke on "Black Wealth/White Wealth: Hidden Costs of Being Black".


IASP Presents at LERA's ASSA/AEA Annual Meeting

Associate Director Janet Boguslaw, Senior Scientist Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson, Research Associate Jessica Santos and Graduate Research Associate Sara Chaganti spoke at the Labor and Employment Relations Association's ASSA/AEA Annual Meeting.  Janet and Sara presented "Beyond Wages: Structuring Inclusion in Wealth Building Employment Opportunities", Laurie presented "Elements of a Culturally Effective Health Care Organization", and Jessica spoke about "Employment Networks and Access to Good Jobs: Employment Policy for Social Relations".  LERA organized 27 sessions.  LERA is an umbrella organization where professionals interested in all aspects of labor and employment relations network to share ideas and learn about new developments, issues, and practices in the field. The American Economic Association encourages economic research, issues publication on economic subjects and encourages perfect freedom of economic discussions.

A Job Is More Than Income

Associate Director, Janet Boguslaw, and Graduate Research Assistant, Sara Chaganti, presented "A Job is More Than Income: The Role of Employment Capital in Producing Long-Term Financial Stability" at the Society for Social Work and Research conference "The Social and Behavioral Importance of Increased Longevity" in New Orleans, LA.  The presentation drew on recently published briefs in the Leveraging Mobility Series.  Click on the following link to learn more about the Society for Social Work and Research.


What's New 2014


New Brief Asks "What Will It Take?"

IASP released Strengthening New Hampshire's Health Care Workforce: Strategies for Employers and Workforce Development Leaders, which presents key program and policy implications of research conducted through the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative.

Who Benefits from Federal Tax Subsidies?

IASP, PolicyLink, CFED, the Asset Funders Network, along with others hosted a webinar that explored who benefits from federal tax expenditures by income, race, ethnicity, and zip code.  The webinar featured new data and insights, along with a discussion about how tax policy proposals expand savings and investment opportunities for lower-income households and households of color.  The webinar will be posted here when it becomes available.

Phase One Report on Secure Jobs Initiative Released

After completing the first year evaluation of the Secure Jobs Initiative, IASP releases Secure Jobs, Secure Homes, Secure Families Phase One Outcomes of the Massachusetts Secure Jobs Pilot, which summarizes short-term employment and housing outcomes for Secure Jobs Phase One participants as well as participant, employer, trainer, and staff assessments of this new initiative. The Secure Jobs Initiative is designed to link homeless families who were participating in Massachusetts’ HomeBASE program to the resources and services they need to enter and sustain employment.


Location, Location, Location Webinar

Utilizing IASP's most recent brief in the Leveraging Mobility Series, "Location, Location, Location: The Role Neighborhoods Play in Family Wealth and Well-Being", this webinar explored how policy can help create a fairer distribution of opportunity by neighborhood.  Moderated by Alexandra Bastien of PolicyLink, participants included: Alexis Mann, IASP Research Associate; Deborah Goldberg, Special Projects Coordinator at the National Fair Housing Alliance; and Christopher Brown, Director of Government Affairs at PolicyLink.

Research Director Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Passage of the Opportunity Act

IASP's Research Director, Tatjana Meschede, participated in a panel discussion, State of the State: Poverty and Inequality in Massachusetts. As part of MASSCAP's "Joining Together: Ending Poverty Now", this symposium celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act and featured a major report on poverty and inequality in Massachusetts from Poverty to Opportunity. Congressman Jim McGovern was the keynote speaker. 


Phase One Report on Secure Jobs Initiative Released

After completing the first year evaluation of the Secure Jobs Initiative, IASP releases Secure Jobs, Secure Homes, Secure Families Phase One Outcomes of the Massachusetts Secure Jobs Pilot, which summarizes short-term employment and housing outcomes for Secure Jobs Phase One participants as well as participant, employer, trainer, and staff assessments of this new initiative. The Secure Jobs Initiative is designed to link homeless families who were participating in Massachusetts’ HomeBASE program to the resources and services they need to enter and sustain employment.

Director Shapiro Speaks at Gettysburg College

As part of Gettysburg College's Civil Rights Movement Series, IASP Director, Thomas Shapiro, spoke to students and faculty on "Navigating Toxic Inequality".  

Director Shapiro Speaks at Neighborhood Partnership RE: Conference

Thomas Shapiro was the lunch plenary speaker at the Neighborhood Partnership RE: Conference this year.  He presented the fourth brief in the Leveraging Mobility Series, "The Web of Wealth: Resiliency and Opportunity or Driver of Inequality".  Attendees included those interested in housing opportunity, nurturing small business, increasing access to the tools and resources needed to thrive, and providing individuals and families the financial bedrock needed to overcome the barriers of everyday life.


IASP Presents at CFED Asset Learning Conference

IASP Associate Director, Janet Boguslaw, and Senior Research Associate, Hannah Thomas, presented at this year's CFED Asset Learning Conference.  Janet discussed "Wealth Building and Protection in the Workplace" and Hannah spoke on "Household Economic Well-Being and Mobility".  Both drew from findings in recently released briefs from the Leveraging Mobility Study.


Director Shapiro Appears on Al Jazeera America

On August 25, Director Tom Shapiro appeared on Real Money with Ali Velshi to discuss the role that homeownership plays as a key driver of the racial wealth gap. Director Shapiro explained, using Ferguson, MO as a real-life comparison, that housing is the largest driver of the racial wealth gap.  Real Money with Ali Veishi airs on Al Jazeera America weekday evenings at 7 pm, click to check your local listings.

JULY 2014

Web of Wealth Webinar

Asset Funders Network hosted a webinar that explored the role of extended family wealth networks in providing resiliency and opportunity, examined how wealth networks drive inequality, and discussed the implications for funders and practitioners.  Hannah Thomas, Senior Research Associate, presented findings from the latest IASP Leveraging Mobility Series brief "The Web of Wealth: Resiliency and Opportunity or Driver of Inequality?.  To view the webinar, click here.

Research Director selected as Visiting Scholar at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank

IASP Research Director, Tatjana Meschede, was selected to be this year’s Visiting Scholar at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank, joining the Department of Community Development to carry out two projects analyzing recently collected data, the National Asset Scorecard and Communities of Color (NASCC) survey for Boston.  Dr. Meschede’s projects include a description of the Boston Racial Wealth Gap and analyses on the impact of financial resources in kinship and social networks on household wealth by race and ethnicity. Dr. Meschede will also collaborate with colleagues at the Bank on additional analyses using this new data set.

JUNE 2014

Strengthening Family Resiliency Webinar

Senior Research Associate, Hannah Thomas, presented the findings of latest report, "Keeping Dreams Alive: The Lane-Changer Costs of Financial Disruptions", in the Leveraging Mobility series. Hosted by PolicyLink, additional insights were provided by David Pate, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin, Marissa Guananja, Director of Chelsea CONNECT, and Mattias Kraemer, Deputy Director of Asset Building at Mission Economic Development Agency. Click to view webinar.

IASP Presents at Work and Family Researchers Network Conference

Associate Director, Janet Boguslaw, and Senior Research Associate, Hannah Thomas, spoke at the 2014 Work and Family Researchers Network Conference. They discussed "Family Wealth and Well-Being in the 21st Century: A Job Is More than Income". The theme of this years conference was "Changing Work and Family Relationships in a Global Economy".  

Associate Director Speaks at Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce Conference

Janet Boguslaw participated in a panel discussion on "Where We Are: The Faces of Poverty" at the Poverty at Home/Reasons for Hope conference. In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Economic Opportunity Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted a  symposium to discuss the current economic trends in the community, explore the causes of poverty in the community and provide inspiration to change the patterns that lead to poverty.

MAY 2014

IASP Presents at WREC Conference

Senior Research Associate, Hannah Thomas, spoke at the 17th Annual WREC Conference in Washington, D.C. Hannah discussed the drivers of economic mobility and which factors matter for families' who are trying to move up the economic ladder.  

Senior Research Associate Selected to be an SSRC Emerging Scholar

Hannah Thomas, Senior Research Associate at IASP, is a SSRC Emerging Scholar.  SSRC’s Emerging Scholars Initiative publicizes the work of emerging scholars who have produced research on topics relevant to economic self-sufficiency for low-income individuals and families. Each SSRC Emerging Scholar serves a three-month term and four scholars are featured each year. During her term Hannah will host a Webinar to present and discuss her research with SSRC users.

APRIL 2014

Director Receives Asset Builder Champion Award

On April 30 Director Tom Shapiro received the Asset Builder Champion Award.  Tom has dedicated his career to bringing awareness to racial inequality. His most recent work includes identifying key drivers of the racial wealth gap.  Also receiving the award is Kilolo Kijakazi of the Ford Foundation. Kilolo has long been a powerful advocate for economic security issues. The award is part of the 2014 Color of Wealth Summit which is organized in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Director Speaks at University of New Hampshire

IASP Director, Thomas Shapiro, addressed the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute on April 28.  Director Shapiro's lecture, "The Racial Wealth Gap: Moving Evidence and Narrative Into Policy", examined the art of creating and moving evidence into the public arena as an oppositional narrative. From strategic research to partnering, to grass roots community conversations to communications to dissemination to impact.

Director Presents "Navigating Toxic Inequality" at University of Pittsburgh

The Center on Race and Social Problems hosted a lecture on "Navigating Toxic Inequality" presented by IASP Director, Tom Shapiro. Director Shapiro spoke about the struggles that families face to financially stay above water while wealth inequality is at an all time high. 

Director Participates in Launch of The State of Black America 2014 Report

On April 3, the 38th edition of the State of Black America, One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America was released.  IASP Director Tom Shapiro participated as a panelist discussing the Equality Index™ which includes a newly added metropolitan section that ranks approximately 80 U.S. citis from most-to-least equal in employment and income.  

Final Report on Multi-Year Assessment of FSS Program finds Promising Outcomes

IASP Research Associate Delia Kimbrel and Policy Director Sandra Venner completed the final report for Compass Working Capital. This 3 year evaluation focused on how families use this opportunity to move toward economic stability, positive impacts sustained after program graduation, and the cost-effectiveness of taking the program to scale.

MARCH 2014

Associate Director Presents Employment Capital Report During Webinar

Janet Boguslaw, Associate Director, participated in a Webinar "The Work to Wealth Escalator: Why a Quality Job is More than Just Income" hosted by members of the Building Economic Security Over a Lifetime Initiative of the Ford Foundation, PolicyLink, Jobs with Justice, and Family Values @ Work.  The webinar focused on the second report in IASP's Leveraging Mobility series, Employment Capital: How Work Builds and Protects Family Wealth and Security.  Click to listen to the webinar.


New Assessment on the Bangor Housing Authority FSS Program Development Completed

Policy Director, Sandra Venner, and Research Associate, Deliah Kimbrel, completed an assessment on the Bangor Housing Authority Family Self Sufficiency and Savings Development program.  Findings were presented to the funder and the housing authority along with other key organizations that can be instrumental in future program design and implementation.  To view the report click here.  

"Leveraging Mobility: How Employment Builds and Protects Family Wealth and Security" Webinar

Senior Research Associate, Hannah Thomas presented findings from the Leveraging Mobility study in a webinar sponsored by the Center for Financial Security, University of Wisconsin-Madison. A summary of her presentation can be downloaded here.  Presenters also included Erin Currier, Director of Economic Mobility for The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Ray Boshara, Senior Adviser and Assistant Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis presented 

IASP Research Director Addresses the Pressing Concerns of Homelessness

Tatjana Meschede, Research Director at IASP and Senior Lecturer at the Heller School for Social Policy, presented at 'DEIS Impact.  During the conference titled, "A Focus on Homelessness in Local Communities,"  Research Director Meschede shared her knowledge and experience on homelessness and spoke about the pressing concerns regarding homelessness.  The conference was sponsored by members of Habitat for Humanity and Hunger and Homelessness, along with active clubs under the Waltham Group.  

Congratulations to IASP Graduate Research Assistant

Alicia Atkinson, MPP '13, has accepted a position at CFED as a Policy Analyst.  While at IASP Alicia assisted with social media and research on the leveraging mobility project.  She also co-authored "Employment Capital: How Work Builds and Protects Family Wealth and Security".  CFED is a nonprofit based in Washington, DC dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for low-income families and communities in the US. 


IASP Director Honored for Lifetime Work

Thomas Shapiro, Director at IASP, received the "Distinguished Member Award" from the Sportsmen's Tennis and Enrichment Center.  This award recognized Tom's dedication to social justice, racial inequality, and the racial wealth gap. The Sportsmen's Tennis and Enrichment Center is a nonprofit tennis club built by and for the African American community whose focus is on the well-being of youth and the improvement of the health of the entire community.

What's New 2013


Webinar Now Available from October: Associate Director Shares Her Experience on HPOGUP Research Project

Janet Boguslaw, Associate Director at IASP, presented an overview of the current research project on the study of employment and advancement of racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities in New Hampshire. During the webinar Dr. Boguslaw noted how the research is relevant to the self-sufficiency of HPOG program participants and presented examples of how IASP has worked with HPOG program partners to incorporate new features of data collection and analysis into their work.

Second Report in New Brief Series Looks at the Role Employment Plays in Building and Protecting Assets

IASP releases the second brief in the Leveraging Mobility series "Employment Capital: How Work Builds and Protects Family Wealth and Security". This brief explores how the characteristics of employment facilitate a pathway to accumulating wealth that income alone can not provide.


New Brief Series Launches with an Overview on How Families Build Wealth

IASP releases the first brief in the Leveraging Mobility series "Leveraging Mobility: Building Wealth, Security and Opportunity for Family Well-Being".   This brief highlights some surprising key findings and will be the first in a series that will continue throughout 2014.

New Report Focuses on Workforce Diversity Opportunities and Challenges in Health Care in New Hampshire

IASP in partnership with the Health Profession Opportunity Project (HPOP), and New Hampshire Office of Minority Health and Refugee Affairs (OMHRA) releases “Perspectives and Practices of New Hampshire Health Care Employers, Improving Quality, Reducing Costs, and Planning for the Future by Building Culturally Effective Health Care Organizations” which focuses on New Hampshire’s health care employers and the workplace, to learn about what they are doing, what they can do, and what kind of support they need to make health care jobs and health care outcomes in the state the best in the nation.


Release of Evaluation on Workforce Development Program for Homeless Families

IASP releases “Secure Jobs, Secure Homes, Secure Families Process Evaluation of the Massachusetts Secure Jobs Pilot” evaluating the implementation and early outcomes of this Secure Jobs Initiative.   Funded by the Paul & Phyllis Fireman Foundation, this report documents the process of implementing a new approach to workforce development for homeless families.

IASP Senior Research Associate published in journal

Hannah Thomas, Senior Research Associate and author of "The Financial Crisis Hits Home: Foreclosures and Asset Exhaustion in Boston" published in Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 23, No. 4, 01 Oct 2013 is now available on Taylor & Francis Online. This article reviews the depletion of financial assets that families in foreclosure experienced in Boston.


Associate Director shares her experience on HPOGUP research project

Janet Boguslaw, Associate Director at IASP, presented an overview of the current research project on the study of employment and advancement of racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities in New Hampshire. During the webinar Dr. Boguslaw noted how the research is relevant to the self-sufficiency of HPOG program participants and presented examples of how IASP has worked with HPOG program partners to incorporate new features of data collection and analysis into their work.

MAY 2013

White paper calls for supporting development of social and personal assets

Asset Funders Network releases “Strategic Philanthropy: Creating Opportunity, Building Wealth and Driving Community Change”. This paper describes how investments in programs that adopt an asset building framework can lead to greater economic outcomes for low-income families.

APRIL 2013

Second Year Report Finds Promising Results for Innovative FSS Program

IASP reports on the implementation and early outcomes of the Compass Financial Stability and Savings Program, an innovative variation on HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, with an eye to its replicability. In two years, Compass has increased FSS participation by 275% in the city of Lynn.

Research Director receives 2013 Mentorship Award

Tatjana Meschede, PhD, scientist, senior lecturer and research director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy, received the 2013 Mentorship Award. Her current research addresses the financial security of U.S. seniors and racial wealth disparities. She teaches a course on working with national data sets to inform policy analysis and recommendations. Student nominators praised Meschede for her attention to their research interests and support in developing the skills needed to pursue them.

MARCH 2013

The PEW Charitable Trusts Releases New Study Utilizing IASP Research

Applying IASP's research, PEW released "Making Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment" which looks at how American families manage financial resources during economic uncertainty and how those decisions impact their financial future.

February 2013

IASP Releases NEW Study on the Factors Driving the Racial Wealth Gap

IASP's report "The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap, Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide" presents breakthrough research on what has been fueling our country's growing racial wealth divide for the past 25 years, 

January 2013

IASP Middle Class Report Released

In connection with AARP's middle class security project, IASP's report "Tracking the Decline: Middle-Class Security in the 2000s" is released on January 15, 2013.

What's New 2012

November 2012

Senior IASP Advisor Speaks at Poverty Symposium

IASP Senior Advisor Bob Herbert was the keynote speaker at "(Re)Discovering Harrington's 'The Other America': A Symposium on Poverty Since the Great Society." Sponsored by the MPP Poverty Alleviation Concentration at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice. Herbert urged people to come together to resume the fight against poverty.

September 2012

Becca Loya Accepts Post-doctorate Position

IASP Graduate Research Assistant Becca Loya, PhD, completed her dissertation on "Economic Consequences of Sexual Violence for Survivors: Implications for Social Policy and Social Change," and has accepted a post-doctorate position at Brown University.

July 2012

The Institute on Assets and Social Policy inaugurates a Senior Advisory Board

The Institute on Assets and Social Policy is pleased to inaugurate a Senior Advisory Board. Members Bob Herbert, Melvin L. Oliver, and Paula Paris, MMHS '79, share IASP’s mission of promoting a better understanding of how assets and asset-building opportunities improve the well-being and financial stability of individuals and families left out of the economic mainstream.

Mr. Herbert is an award winning journalist with a long and distinguished career including an Op-Ed column on politics and social trends in The New York Times. He has been a regular correspondent for “The Today Show” and “NBC Nightly News” and has been honored by the American Society of Newspaper Editor’s for distinguished newspaper writing and by the Meyer Badge Award for coverage of New York City.

Dr. Oliver is an expert on racial and urban inequality and poverty as well as the SAGE Sara Miller McDune Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He co-authored Black Wealth/ White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality (2006) with IASP Director Dr. Tom Shapiro. In addition, Dr. Oliver has vast experience in philanthropy from his time as Vice President of the Asset Building and Community Development (Assets) Program at the Ford Foundation and serves on numerous non-profit boards.

Ms. Paris is Deputy Director at JFYNetWorks and has broad experience in commercial banking, fundraising in education and the arts, and public policy research, specifically workforce development. In addition to serving as an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University’s School of Community Economic Development since 1999, Ms. Paris is a member of Heller’s Board of Overseers and a Heller alumna.

February 2012

Rapid Re-Housing and Short-Term Rental Vouchers for Homeless Families

IASP released a research study brief of a pilot rapid re-housing program for homeless families in Massachusetts. While the program offers many benefits over living in a shelter, key findings detail the economic challenges families face and their anxiety about the short- term nature of the rental subsidies.

January 2012

Assessing Diversity in NH’s Healthcare Workforce

IASP was awarded a University/Community Partnership grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, for the Study of Employment and Advancement of Racial, Ethnic and Linguistic Minorities, focused on workforce diversity opportunities and challenges in health care in New Hampshire.

Medicare, A Vital Component of Economic Security for U.S. Seniors, Must Be Protected

An IASP report finds that dismantling Medicare by changing its fee-for-service structure into an annual premium support program would have a devastating effect on the economic security of seniors.  Under Rep. Ryan’s proposal, economic security among seniors will fall from 24% to only 18%, and health security will fall from 41% to a meager 3%.

What's New 2011

December 2011

Neighborhoods: Foreclosure’s Silent Victims

In an article in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Winter 2012 publication of Communities & Banking, Hannah Thomas, Research Associate at IASP, illustrations how neighborhoods are interested parties in foreclosures yet have no legal redress to lessen the impact of foreclosed properties on neighborhood well-being.

November 2011

Compass Financial Stability and Savings Program Pilot Evaluation

Aimed at helping low-income families save and build assets, Compass Working Capital’s Financial Stability and Savings Program is an innovative variation on HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. IASP’s report analyzes the implementation strategies and early outcomes of this pilot program. First year results demonstrate great promise for future program replication. Effective outreach and marketing have increased FSS program participation by almost 200% in the city of Lynn, MA. The Compass program’s financial education and coaching are helping participants develop asset building strategies and encourage employment that has resulted in over one-third of participants beginning to accrue savings in an escrow account.

October 2011

Rising Economic Insecurity Among Senior Single Women

Nearly half (47%) of all senior single women in America do not have adequate retirement resources to meet even their most basic needs for the remainder of their lives, and this number is rising. This distressing statistic is among the findings from a report released today by IASP and Dēmos, the latest in the Living Longer on Less series. This report finds that rising housing expenses, fixed and inadequate household budgets, and very low levels of retirement assets are contributing to rapidly rising economic insecurity among senior single women. Single women are especially vulnerable to economic insecurity in retirement due to the limited lifetime asset building capacity many women face, driven by the persistent wage gap, high levels of part-time work and ineligibility for retirement benefits, as well as extended periods out of the labor force due to family care-giving duties.

Webinar: "From Bad to Worse: Senior Economic Insecurity on the Rise"

In only four years, seniors at risk of outliving their resources increased by nearly 2 million households. Using the Senior Financial Stability Index, economic insecurity among senior households increased by one-third, rising from 27% to 36% from 2004 to 2008. This steady and dramatic increase was in progress even before the full force of the Great Recession hit. This webinar, hosted by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), explores the findings of IASP's two recent studies on this issue: From Bad to Worse: Senior Economic Insecurity on the Rise and The Crisis of Economic Insecurity for African-American and Latino Seniors. Speakers include IASP Research Director Dr. Tatjana Meschede (lead author), as well as Ramsey Alwin, Director of NCOA's Economic Security Initiative. Listen to the Recording or View the Presentation.

Foreclosure Fiasco: Documentation Challenges and Policy Solutions

Sponsored by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and presented by Suffolk Law School, the "Foreclosure Fiasco" conference explored policy responses that could alleviate the immediate fiasco created by problematic loan documentation and prevent a recurrence in the future. Challenges for lawyers (who represent borrowers), tenants, lenders, servicers, title companies, and people who buy homes at foreclosure sales were addressed. See the coverage of the conference in Banker & Tradesman.

September 2011

OUP Empowerment Series "Homelessness" Webcast

IASP Research Director Tatjana Meschede was a featured participant in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of University Partnerships (OUP) Empowerment Series "The Key to Unlocking Homelessness in America: Emerging Trends in HUD-Sponsored Research" webinar.

Minding the Wealth Gap

IASP Director Tom Shapiro joins award-winning journalist Callie Crossley of WGBH's The Callie Crossley Show to discuss escalating poverty rates, the top one percent, and forces behind the widening racial wealth gap. 

The Crisis of Economic Insecurity for African-American and Latino Seniors

New research from IASP and Dēmos reveals crisis levels of economic insecurity among current African-American and Latino seniors. The latest report in the “Living Longer on Less” series, “The Crisis of Economic Insecurity for African-American and Latino Seniors,” found that 52% of African-American and 56% of Latino Seniors do not have adequate retirement resources to meet their basic needs throughout their expected life-spans. Driven by extremely low levels of asset wealth and high housing costs, most seniors of color are struggling financially during their elder years. Forced to rely on adult children and public programs just to get by, these distressing statistics both exacerbate and are a by-product of the growing racial wealth gap.

New Programs Aim To Close The Wealth Gap (Part 2)

In Part Two of  NPR's report, IASP Director Tom Shapiro discusses children's savings accounts as tools for narrowing the racial wealth gap.

Making It In The US: More Than Just Hard Work (Part 1)

August 2011

IASP Director Tom Shapiro discusses the racial wealth gap on NPR's Morning Edition

IASP Director Thomas Shapiro appears on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" to discuss the effect of the financial crisis on low and middle income families and how current public policy is enabling a growing income disparity in America. (NOTE: Dr. Shapiro's appearance begins 8:20 into the video, which begins with a short commercial message.)

July 2011

From Bad to Worse: Senior Economic Insecurity on the Rise

IASP's and Demos' newest report in the "Living Longer on Less" series. "From Bad to Worse: Senior Economic Insecurity on the Rise" shows a troublesome trend of increased economic insecurity among senior households in just four years (2004-2008). Economic insecurity among seniors increased by one-third, from 27% to 36%. These statistics are especially of concern because today's seniors are better prepared for retirement than subsequent generations will be, mostly due to the decline in employer based retirement savings and rising debt experienced by the younger households.  View Press Release

April 2011

Presentation at Aging Conference

On April 27, 2011, IASP's Tatjana Meschede presented at the American Society on Aging's annual Aging in American conference at a session titled "Achieving Economic Security: How Do Seniors Fare?" with National Council on Aging's (NCOA) Sandra Nathan and Wider Opportunities for Women's (WOW) Stacy Sanders. 

March 2011

From Street Life to Housing: Consumer and Provider Perspectives on Service Delivery and Access to Housing

IASP Research Director Tatjana Meschede's in-depth study on chronically homeless street dwellers and their service providers is published in Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research. This research details achievements and failures of services that attempt to reach those most likely left out of the homeless-services delivery model- the chronically homeless street population. Results underscore important differences between service providers and homeless street dwellers in their perceptions and theories of homelessness, service needs of street dwellers, and service provision.

What's New 2010

December 2010

Shapiro to do Fulbright Research

IASP Director Tom Shapiro has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to conduct research in South Africa during the first six months of 2011. His project concerns "The Wealth Gap: Reconciliation and Transformation in South African and the United States?" Shapiro will be situated at the University of Cape Town's Center for Social Science Research. The South African Research Project examines the process of confronting history and reconciliation, with particular emphasis on the patterning of race and wealth accumulation and post-Apartheid legal, administrative, and policy measures to redress wealth inequality. South Africa has constructed a legal and policy framework for redressing the economic imbalances of the past. This project will analyze the capacities, limitations, and effectiveness of that effort because of its relevance for societies confronting severe historical economic discrimination. South Africa provides the best (and only) case study capable of exploring pivotal dynamics of reconciliation and transformation.

During Dr. Shapiro's absence, Janet Boguslaw, IASP Associate Director, will serve as Acting Director of the Institute. She can be reached at (781)736-3738 or

The Fulbright Program, America's flagship international educational exchange program, was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, operates in more than 155 countries. Since its inception, the program has provided nearly 300,000 individuals the opportunity to observe one another's political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, exchange ideas, and embark upon joint ventures of mutual interest.

November 2010

IASP Expands Work on Senior Economic Security

IASP will expand its work on long-term economic security and risks for seniors, focusing on vulnerable households such as seniors of color and women.  This work entails enhancing IASP's Senior Financial Stability Index with more recent survey data, and qualitatively illustrating vulnerable sectors' economic circumstances through personal interviews.  This multi-year project is funded by Atlantic Philanthropies. For more information, contact Tatjana Meschede, IASP Research Director, at (781)736-8678 or

September 2010

Identifying Bridges and Barriers to Housing

IASP Research Director Tatjana Meschede's dissertation research on chronically homeless street dwellers is published in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) publication, Collaborating for Change: Partnerships to Transform Local Communities. This article details interviews with project partners and the research's programmatic and policy impacts.

August 2010

New Project on Housing First for Homeless Families

The new model of Prevention, Diversion, Triage (instead of shelter) and Stabilization for housing families in Massachusetts began in September of 2009. To date, more than 160 families have been successfully placed in permanent housing. IASP will evaluate the program provided by Father Bill's & Main Spring, a large homeless service provider for the South Shore. The goal of this two-year evaluation is to inform the agency about the successes and challenges of their Housing First for Homeless Families program by integrating perspectives of all stakeholders (administrators, service providers, program participants, community members) and analyzing data collected for the program.

July 2010

New Report on Super VITA Site Pilot

IASP has teamed up with the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) to increase asset formation opportunities for low-income families across the state.  The latest report for the Asset Formation Initiative examines the integration of services at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites beyond promotion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) by using the provision of free tax preparation as a vehicle to increase access to other financial and support services.  IASP researched current practices nationally, and surveyed and interviewed participating tax filers and program directors locally to identify effective strategies.  The results are outlined in the report VITA -- More than Tax Prep: Community Action Agencies Promote Asset Formation by Integrating Additional Services with the EITC at Volunteer Tax Assistance Sites.

Keynote at Aging Conference

IASP's Research Director Tatjana Meschede was invited by Senior Service America to speak at the Closing General Session at the national n4a (Advocacy, Action, Answers on Aging) conference in St. Louis, MO.  Drawing from findings of three IASP studies, she spoke about economic challenges faced by seniors of color at the session titled, "Economic Insecurity among Older Americans: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times?"  In her presentation, Dr. Meschede shared findings from the Senior Financial Stability Index, the Racial Wealth Gap, and preliminary data from a field study.  Discussion with conference participants focused on the implications for older adults and the agencies that serve them.

May 2010

The Racial Wealth Gap Increases Fourfold

Assessing the wealth holdings of the same families for 23 years (1984-2007) shows that the wealth gap between whites and African Americans increased more than 4 times, from $20,000 in 1984 to $95,000 in 2003. This gap persisted for African Americans and white families in the same income range. For example, middle-income white households had greater gains in financial assets than high-income African Americans; by 2007, they had accumulated $74,000, whereas the average high-income African American family owned only $18,000. At least 25% of all African American families had no assets to turn to in times of economic hardship.
View Research Brief

View Press Release

View CNN coverage of this research

WEBINAR: The Widening Racial Wealth Gap and the Future of Our Economy

On May 17th, IASP, in partnership with the Insight Center's Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative and Demos, held a webinar to discuss the report's findings, the reasons for the gap, and innovative policy solutions to close the racial wealth gap and ensure economic security for all Americans.

William Darity
, Professor of Public Policy, Professor of African and African-American Studies and Economics, Duke University  
Jose Garcia
, Associate Director for Research and Policy, Demos
Meizhu Lui,
 Director, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative
Tom Shapiro, Ph.D.,
 Director, Institute for Assets and Social Policy, Brandeis University

OP-ED: Shapiro Dives in to Racial Wealth Gap

In an op-ed in the Root, an online magazine exploring daily news from black perspectives, IASP Director Tom Shapiro introduces The Racial Wealth Gap Increases Fourfold, explores its policy implications, and examines its importance to society at large. According to Dr. Shapiro, "We should care about extreme wealth inequality because small amounts of financial resources can touch and transform the lives of families and communities." 

Severe Financial Insecurity Among African American and Latino Seniors

This new report in the Living Longer on Less series, released by IASP and Demos finds that 91% of both African American and Latino seniors face financial vulnerability. Lack of assets and housing expenses are the leading causes for the high financial insecurity among seniors of color. These findings reveal that African Americans and Latinos are particularly at-risk of poverty and financial instability in their later years. This report identifies policy action for comprehensive reforms that support working age adults and help families prepare for retirement.

March 2010

Accessing Housing: Exploring the Impact of Medical and Substance Abuse Services

IASP Research Director, Tatjana Meschede's dissertation research is published in the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Volume 20, Issue 2, 153. In the article, "Accessing Housing: Exploring the Impact of Medical and Substance Abuse Services on Housing Attainment for Chronically Homeless Street Dwellers", Dr. Meschede details the service use of a group of homeless street dwellers in Boston over a three year period and analyzes the impact of these services on housing outcomes. Supported by the MA Department of Public Health and HUD, this research creates a unique database that points to a number of critical factors increasing the odds of leaving the streets.  For more information please contact Tatjana Meschede at (781) 736-8678 or email at

View abstract

Leveraging Mobility over the last ten years

IASP is starting a new project "Leveraging Mobility" to understand the importance of assets in families' lives over the last ten years. Of particular interest is understanding how assets have impacted families' social, educational and economic decisions. The project will involve IASP staff interviewing 180 families who were originally interviewed in 1998 and 1999 in Boston, Los Angeles and St. Louis. Funding is provided by the Ford Foundation.  For more information please contact Hannah Thomas at (781) 736-3819 or by email at

February 2010

Contributors to "Future of Fair Housing"

IASP's Hannah Thomas was invited by the Ohio State University Kirwan Institute's Future of Fair Housing initiative to write a paper, An Ethnographic View of Impact: Asset Stripping for People of Color, describing the impacts of foreclosure on families in Boston.  This work is based on in-depth interviews with families in foreclosure in 2007 and 2008 and points to the ways that foreclosure can lead to asset stripping for people of color.

IASP's Director, Thomas Shapiro, served as a consultant to the initiative and its report Fair Credit and Fair Housing in the Wake fo the Subprime Lending and Foreclosure Crisis that emerged from a series of meetings around the country to look at the global credit system and the current subprime crisis.

What's New 2009

December 2009

The Long-Term Economic (In)Security of Seniors

An article on the Senior Financial Stability Index was featured in the December 2009 issue of New England Community Developments, a publication on emerging issues in community development and consumer affairs produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. This article introduces the Index developed by IASP and Demos to highlight major areas of concern for long-term senior economic security, and points to promoting asset-building opportunities, strengthening of public social insurance, and controlling the growth of expenses for seniors as critical policy interventions.

November 2009

The Asset Security and Opportunity Index

In this research and policy brief, IASP critically reflects on the conceptualization and measurement of "asset poverty" and introduces a new approach for practice and research. The Asset Security and Opportunity Index reconceptualizes past approaches in three areas: income in the absence of employment income such as unemployment benefits; an alternative poverty measure that reflects a more realistic coverage of essential needs; and capturing asset opportunities, investments and resources that can be leveraged for mobility, security, and stability. Findings show that four out ten U.S. households lack asset security. Two out of three households of color do not have sufficient assets to sustain themselves when faced with unemployment, and only one in five households among them has financial assets for mobility investments.  View Press Release

October 2009

Why Don't Lenders Renegotiate More Home Mortgages?

Paul Willen, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, discussed the incentives lenders have which may answer the question of why more of them are not renegotiating troubled mortgages.  View Presentation

September 2009

Community Assets

In "Community Assets - Expanding Beyond Individual Asset Ownership" Hannah Thomas and Thomas Shapiro build a case for  the asset field to look not only to individual forms of ownership but also to community forms of ownership that resonate with a place-based approach to community development.  This article appears in Chapter 18 of Building Healthy Communities: A Guide to Community Economic Development for Advocates, Lawyers and Policymakers, edited by Roger Clay, Jr. & Susan R. Jones.  Hannah Thomas presented the community assets framework at the annual American Bar Association conference for Affordable Housing and Community Development on October 9, 2009. View Abstract

IASP Study Cited in New York Times Editorial

Barbara Ehrenreich and Dedrick Muhammed cite the IASP report "The Downslide before the Downturn: Declining Economic Insecurity among Middle Class African Americans and Latinos, 2000-2006" to illustrate the tenuous economic status of black middle class families before the current recession. In particular, they cite the large proportion of black families in danger of falling out of the middle class. View Editorial

New Project on Health and Wealth

Tatjana Meschede and Laura Sullivan were awarded funding through the PSID small grant competition operated by the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research for their study "Negative Health Events and Wealth Trajectories for Working Age Adults: A Longitudinal Analysis and Exploration by Race and Ethnicity." This study investigates the impact of negative health events on life cycle savings and wealth building with a specific focus on African-Americans and Latinos. Findings will serve to help the research and policy communities better understand the lasting effects of health problems on economic security and on the ability of families to build assets. Findings will also provide new evidence on the long-term implications of health events on family wealth that has not been captured before. View Study Abstract

July 2009

Convening of Foreclosure Researchers, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston - July 23, 2009

Ten researchers working on real estate foreclosure research in Massachusetts convened at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to share details of their projects.  Although some projects had results to report and others are still in process, the convening expanded knowledge of local activity in the field as communities across the state and nation are facing the impact of foreclosures.  The July 3rd event was organized by IASP, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Citizen's Housing and Planning Association.

June 2009

Asset Development: Removing Barriers, Building Futures

The Massachusetts Asset Development Commission's report, prepared by IASP, recommends ways to better assist low- to moderate-income families to build and retain assets. The report, released at a State House event with Governor Patrick and legislative leaders, puts forward strategic recommendations for administrative actions, regulatory reforms, and legislative proposals.  View The Boston Globe's Coverage of the Report.  View Editorial on the report. Commentary

IASP Director Tom Shapiro's commentary, "Close the Racial Wealth Gap," is featured as part of CNN's Black in America series. Dr. Shapiro frames racial wealth inequality as the hidden fault line of American democracy, arguing for a new civil rights movement for the 21st century that focuses on economic opportunity, inclusion and closing the racial wealth gap.

May 2009

The Downslide Before the Downturn: Declining Economic Security Among Middle Class African Americans and Latinos, 2000-2006

Based on the Demos/IASP Middle Class Security Index, this new report shows that households of color experienced much larger declines in middle class economic security than the overall middle class. While nationally middle class economic security declined by 5 percentage points (from 29% to 24%) in 2005, it declined by 10 percentage points (from 26% to 16%) for African Americans, and by 11 percentage points (from 23% to 12%) for Latino middle class households. These declines are mostly driven by dramatic losses in financial assets for middle class households of color.  View Press Release

Statement on Better Understanding the Economic Security of Seniors

Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Demos, and IASP issued a statement on the complementary nature of our two measures of senior economic security and senior long-term financial stability.

April 2009

Boston Globe Editorial based on IASP study

This Boston Globe editorial from April 10, 2009 cited the recent IASP report, Achieving Greater Financial Stability: The Role of the EITC and Financial Education in Advancing the Asset Formation Efforts of Community Action Agencies. This study was conducted in partnership with MASSCAP and the Community Action Agencies across the state. The editorial notes how the combination of the credit to reward work provided by the EITC and financial education "...helps many families jump-start a savings program or take steps toward building assets."

Special Event:  The Untold Costs of Subprime Lending:  The Impacts of Foreclosures on Communities of Color in California

Carolina Reid of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco discussed the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act on subprime lending and foreclosures, joined by Jim Campen of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston.  This event took place on April 15, 2009 in the Schneider Family Building at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.  View PresentationView Carolina Reid's Paper

March 2009

Living Longer on Less in Massachusetts: The New Economic (In)security of Seniors

This IASP report finds that 68% of all senior households in Massachusetts are financially vulnerable, lacking sufficient resources to meet essential expenses and cover projected costs over their lifetimes. Economic insecurity is particularly pronounced for Massachusetts' single senior households -- with 82% among them fancying financial insecurity. These ominous trends for older adults have been accelerated by the current economic crisis, increasing the urgency to stabilize and enhance retirement resources. Future retirees will be worse off unless we attend to policies that grow their resources for the future, and combat the rising costs of essential expenses for seniors. View Press Release

February 2009

Achieving Greater Financial Stability: The Role of the EITC and Financial Education in Advancing the Asset Formation Efforts of Community Action Agencies

In partnership with MASSCAP, and with the support of grants from The Boston Foundation, IASP conducted research to guide implementation of asset formation programs at Community Action Agencies. The combined services of free tax preparation and basic financial education are viewed as critical building blocks in the asset formation and retention strategy of community-based organizations. View Report

CBS Evening News features IASP and Demos Report, Living Longer on Less

View Video

January 2009

Progress Report of the Massachusetts Asset Development Commission

This report of the Asset Development Commission, appointed by Governor Patrick and the legislature, puts forward 18 recommendations for immediate administrative and legislative action. These recommendations are to advance its mission to "ensure Massachusetts residents, especially those who are low- and moderate-income or asset poor, throughout life have new opportunities to developed the assets necessary for sustainable economic security and improved quality of life, and the capacity to end intergenerational cycles of poverty." IASP aided in the drafting of this report as it will the Commission's final report to be released in June 2009.

Enhancing Social Security for Low-Income Workers: Coordinating an Enhanced Minimum Benefit with Social Safety Net Provisions for Seniors

Selected by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) as one of twelve scholars to compose a policy paper on improving Social Security for vulnerable groups, IASP discusses three spheres to enhance Social Security benefits for low-income workers. These include enhancing the existing special minimum benefit, considering program interactions to ensure economic security for beneficiaries of the new minimum, and updating asset limits in the Supplementary Social Security (SSI) program to reflect, at a minimum, inflation since program implementation.  View IASP Report.  View NASI Final Report.  View Press Release.

Living Longer on Less: The New Economic (In)Security of Seniors

This new report by IASP and Demos finds that 78% of all senior households are financially vulnerable when it comes to their ability to meet essential expenses and cover projected costs over their lifetimes. Economic insecurity is particularly pronounced for single senior households -- with 84% among them facing financial insecurity. These sobering statistics serve as an economic distress signal for older Americans and a wake-up call for younger and middle-aged Americans. View Press Release.  View Fact Sheet

What's New 2008

November 2008

From Middle to Shaky Ground: The Economic Decline of America's Middle Class, 2000-2006

Published by the policy center Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social policy, this report is based on the Middle Class Security Index which uses government data and measures the financial security of the middle class by rating household stability across five core economic factor assets, educational achievement, housing costs, budget and healthcare. According to the new report, 76% of American middle class households are not financially secure at this time.

IASP Associate Director Janet Boguslaw publishes chapter in Sustainable Challenges and Solutions at the Base of the Pyramid: Business, Technology and the Poor.

October 2008

IASP's Middle Class Work Featured on NBC Nightly News

IASP's work on the middle class was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Wednesday night, October 29th.  NBC used the findings from our recent Economic (In)Security report - in collaboration with Demos - to provide insight into how the middle class is faring in the current economic downturn, particularly African-American and Latino households.  The segment included graphics showcasing our findings and an interview with Jennifer Wheary, Demos Senior Fellow and co-author of the report.

September 2008

IASP Director Thomas M. Shapiro publishes article in The American Prospect

IASP Director and Heller School's Professor of Law and Social Policy along with Melvin L. Oliver wrote "Sub-Prime as a Black Catastrophe" published in The American Prospects's October special report on narrowing racial divides.  Despite legal gains in civil rights, asset inequality in America has been growing rapidly over the last twenty years.  As minorities received a disproportionate share of sub-prime mortgages, they are suffering a disproportionate share of the burden and losses as well.

July 2008

IASP Receives Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Award to Strengthen Social Security for Vulnerable Groups

A proposal submitted by IASP's Tatjana Meschede, Laura Sullivan, and Thomas Shapiro is among twelve policy projects selected by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) to compose policy papers identifying specific ways to improve Social Security for a range of vulnerable groups. Specifically, the IASP team will study and recommend innovative policies to strengthen Social Security for low-wage workers. Final papers of all selected policy scholars will be synthesized and made available to policy makers, congressional staff, executive branch transition teams, and other stakeholder communities. Click to View Full Announcement of Award.

June 2008

Strategy Meeting for Asset-Building Coalitions in States

Over 60 individuals representing 28 different state coalitions, national intermediary organizations and several foundations gathered in St. Louis to share coalition achievements and challenges, learn about successful tactics and available resources and technical assistance, and begin to develop strategies to sustain and advance the work. Under the sponsorship of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, IASP teamed up with the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University and CFED to plan and facilitate the first-ever strategy meeting for emerging and developed statewide asset building coalitions.

May 2008

FDIC Alliance for Economic Inclusion Forum at Brandeis

IASP Director Tom Shapiro joined Timothy Delessio, FDIC Community Affairs Officer, in welcoming participants at the joint Boston and Worcester Alliances for Economic Inclusion General Forum on Innovation in Saving and Wealth-Building. Lisa Lynch, incoming Dean of the Heller School, presented opening remarks on "The Importance of Savings and Financial Security." Peter Tufano, Professor of Financial Management and Senior Associate Dean, Harvard Business School, addressed "Financial Innovations to Support Savings: From Coercion to Excitement." The morning's agenda also included the presentation "Wealth Inequity, Debt, and Savings: Implications for Policy and Financial Services," by Sandra Venner, IASP Program Director.

March 2008

Massachusetts Asset Development Commission

The first meeting of the Massachusetts Asset Development Commission was held on March 13th. IASP Director Thomas Shapiro was invited to make the introductory presentation to his fellow commissioners. Undersecretary Tina Brooks and Rep. James Eldridge were selected as co-chairs by the Commissioners who had been appointed by the Massachusetts legislature and the Governor. The Commission will conduct research, engage constituencies, and make policy recommendations to ensure low and moderate income Massachusetts residents have opportunities to develop assets throughout life for sustainable economic security and improved quality of life. IASP will assist the Commission in achieving its mission through supporting research and community engagement. The network of organizations involved in IASP's Massachusetts Asset Policy Initiative will work with state and national officials to see through implementation of the recommendations of the Commission.

February 2008

Economic (In)Security: The Experience of the African-American and Latino Middle Classes

IASP and Dēmos released a second report in the "By A Thread" report series on the state of the African-American and Latino middle class and its ability to achieve the American Dream. This landmark study is based on the new "Middle Class Security Index." Major findings demonstrate that three out of four African-American and four out of five Latino middle class families are either borderline or at high risk of falling out of the middle class altogether. Click to view Boston Globe article.

What's New 2007

December 2007

IASP partners with the Massachusetts Community & Banking Council and others to sponsor Working Together to Build Wealth in Lower-Income Communities

Nearly 75 representatives from financial institutions, public officials, community organization directors, and academic researchers gathered to gain a better understanding of the financial difficulties encountered by lower-income families and the services and policies that can make a difference.  New approaches to program delivery and collaborative program models were presented.

Thomas Shapiro, Director of the Institute, delivered the luncheon keynote address, "Are Financial Assets All You Need?"  Professor Shapiro stated that to the extent that there is a policy agenda for upward mobility into America's middle class today, it is happening in the assets arena. View Report

November 2007

By a Thread:  The New Experience of America's Middle Class

When we think of the middle class, we think of having financial security, raising a family with a reasonable standard of living, building a solid future for the next generation, receiving quality healthcare, and retiring in comfort.  This type of security does not just happen.  Rather, it is supported by a range of factors.

By a Thread recommends policies to help open access to, and strengthen, America's middle class.  Legislative proposals in this report cover a range of important issues, including asset building and debt reduction, making higher education more accessible and affordable, and addressing the healthcare crisis.

Thomas Shapiro discusses economic mobility and race on NPR's Talk of the Nation

IASP Director Tom Shapiro and colleagues discuss a new study showing that the income gap between black and white families widened in the last three decades.

August 2007

We are pleased to announce that Tatjana Meschede, Ph.D., has joined the Institute on Assets and Social Policy as a Senior Research Associate and Project Manager for the MacArthur Funded project, "Family Financial Well-Being in the 21st Century:  Strategic Positioning of Data Tools for Policy Impact."

Previously with the UMass Center for Social Policy (CSP,) Dr. Meschede has extensive experience in research on homelessness, collaborating with Massachusetts' state departments (DTA, DPH, DHCD) and local communities.  As the statistical expert for CSP, she was also responsible for quantitative analyses on CSP's projects on food and nutrition, the technology divide, and access to the labor market for persons with barriers.  She will continue to serve on the faculty of the Masters in Public Affairs Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she teaches research methods and statistics.

June 2007

Northwest Jacksonville Community Asset Analysis

IASP embarked on a partnership in 2006 with the War on Poverty Florida, Inc (WPI) to apply the asset development model in Florida minority communities.  A comprehensive assessment of qualitative and quantitative data and utilization of GIS mapping software culminated in the Northwest Jacksonville Community Asset Analysis.  This analysis serves as a research-based catalyst within the War on Poverty's vision of progress for minority communities.

May 2007

In April 2007, IASP was awarded a three-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation for the project, "Family Financial Well-Being in the 21st Century: Strategic Positioning of Data Tools for Policy Impact."  In partnerships with the organizations Demos and CFED, the IASP will collaborate to create and analyze data on family well-being and the role of the social contract in creating opportunities for economic security and stability in this nation. Press Release

March 2007

In the Media: Thomas Shapiro and the sub-prime "smoking gun"

Dr. Thomas Shapiro, IASP Director and Heller professor, talks to the Boston Globe about subprime mortgage loans to blacks and Latinos. View Article

January 2007

In the Media: Help in Achieving Economic Security

IASP Program Director Sandra Venner and co-author, Joseph Diamond, Executive Director of Massachusetts Association for Community Action, urge Governor Patrick to adopt programs that help vulnerable people build assets and create economic security. View Boston Globe's Op-Ed Piece

What's New 2006

December 2006

State and City Asset Building Initiatives

Several states are at varying stages in forming statewide initiatives that take a holistic approach to asset policy development.

November 2006

Asset Building Policies in Massachusetts

The report presents the current status of numerous policies in Massachusetts and across the nation.

"13 Myths About Affirmative Action: A Special Series on Public Policy Under Siege"

This 13-part series is written and produced in collaboration with Kimberly Williams Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum, and aired on the Michael Eric Dyson Talk Radio Show. Each installment in the series explores a widely held belief or assertion about affirmative action, and upon closer inspection shows that belief to be false, distorted, or unsupported by the evidence. The November 3rd installment features IASP Director Thomas Shapiro discussing the myth that individual effort and hard work determines who becomes prosperous and wealthy in the United States. 

July 2006

Pioneering plan for Florida's minority communities

The Institute, in partnership with the Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition, has launched a comprehensive project to support economic revitalization, workforce development, homeownership and financial literacy in ten communities in Florida. The Institute will aid in community asset assessment and organizational capacity building, as well as provide policy analysis and research in this initiative to wage a war on poverty through assets for change. View Document

March 2006

Wage War - A red-state wedge issue, but for the progressive side: the minimum wage

In this American Prospect article, authors Daphne Hunt and J. Larry Brown report on how local and state policy advocates view raising the minimum wage as an issue that crosses party lines and can carry with it support for progressive candidates and other progressive issues in the future.

Perspective: NWO's as Institutions for Asset Building

Nelson Merced and Melvyn Colon discuss how organizations such as NeighborWorks America (r) and its local NeighborWorks Organizations (NWO) can be understood as institutions for asset building. View Document

February 2006

Perspective: Medical Debt and Household Asset Stability

Jeffrey Prottas, Professor at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University and Director of Evaluations for the Robert Wood Johnson ACCESS Project, speaks about the ways medical debt undermines asset building and the kinds of policy initiatives that should be addressed.  View Document

January 2006

Perspective: Making Boston the "Opportunity City"

Paul S. Grogan, President & CEO, The Boston Foundation, speaks about asset building related to education, workforce development and housing in the city of Boston. View Document

What's New 2005

December 2005

Innovative State Policies to Reduce Poverty and Expand the Middle Class: Building Asset Security Among Low-Income Households

This analysis suggests a number of states are charting new territory in the arena of social investments that are designed to address the root causes of poverty and wealth inequality in the nation. By highlighting specific policies that are designed to enable households to build assets and by examining how they came about, this document can serve as a roadmap for policymakers, advocates and interested individuals.

Minimum Wage: Creating an Asset Foundation

This report examines the significance of federal and state minimum wage laws, explores the impact of the minimum wage since its inception and the arguments for and against increases over time. This is the first of a series that will focus on the building blocks for an integrated asset policy framework emerging through state policies and practices that are advancing asset development at the state level and may drive change in federal policy.

Perspective: Statewide Initiative in Illinois to Build Assets of Low-Income Families

Ricardo A. Millet, President of Woods Fund Chicago, writes about their relationship with the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and how their initiatives are working to build economic security for low-income families in Illinois.  Click to View Document

November 2005

Perspective: Racing to the Top: Building and Preserving Assets in a Global Economy

Robert Reich, Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, writes about the global economy and the need to promote a race to the top to build and preserve assets and opportunity. Click to View Document

October 2005

Perspective: Women and Wealth: Expanding the Asset Development Paradigm

Anita F. Hill, Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's Studies at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, writes about the need to improve and expand asset policies and development opportunities for women. Click to View Document

September 2005

Perspective: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

Thomas Shapiro, Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, and Melvin Oliver, Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology, College of Letters & Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara, both write about racial wealth inequality in America. Click to View Document

July 2005

Building a Real "Ownership Society"

In this publication, J. Larry Brown, Robert Kuttner and Thomas M. Shapiro challenge the White House over how to build a true “ownership society.” The authors note that the Administration's stated goal of promoting ownership is being undermined by proposed policies which are at odds with how social investments actually built the nation's middle class. This cutting-edge analysis is expected to provide an alternative vision that holds promise to be successful.

Perspective: Building Assets for Individuals, Communities and Business

Elizabeth Y.A. Ferguson, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Bay Area Family of Funds, writes about how the business community in the Bay Area, California, works to improve economic opportunities and asset building for individuals and communities. Click to View Document

June 2005

Affordable Housing in the Suburbs: Tools for Citizen-Led Affordable Housing Development

The Institute partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Fannie Mae Foundation to sponsor a conference exploring issues, strategies and messages to improve access to affordable housing in the suburban Boston region. Nearly 140 citizen leaders, elected officials and non-profit, municipal and state staff attended this conference. 

Perspective: Creating a Genuine Opportunity Society

Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) writes about how progressive values of opportunity, fairness, tolerance, and respect for others can expand asset-building opportunities for all hard working Americans.  Click to View Document

May 2005

Perspective: Youth and Financial Assets

Andrew Hahn, Ph.D. '78, a member of IASP and Professor at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, talks about the current state of youth asset-building policy in the U.S.  Click to View Document

A Black Tax on Wealth Accumulation

This commentary by IASP member Thomas Shapiro, Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, reveals how history is defining the future for Black families with few assets.

April 2005

Asset Opportunity Ladder

The Asset Opportunity Ladder charts the many policies that can impact the ability to build assets over a lifetime. At each life stage innovative state and federal policies can aid in creating an asset foundation, strengthening human capacities, and building financial wealth. The gains extend not only to the social and economic well-being of individuals and their families, but also benefit the larger community and the economy.

Perspective: Building Assets and Asset Wealth

William H. Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Chuck Collins, co-founder and Senior Fellow at United for a Fair Economy, propose creating a GI bill-style wealth-broadening program for future generations based on tax revenue generated from a reformed federal estate tax. Click to View Document

March 2005

Building a Real "Ownership Society"

Transcript of a speech given by J. Larry Brown at the American Public Human Services Administrators conference. Dr. Brown was asked to debate Clarence Carter, former Director of the Federal Office of Community Service (OCS) under the Bush administration, over the definition of the "Ownership Society" concept.

Perspective: A Real Ownership Society

Robert Kuttner, a member of IASP and a syndicated columnist and co-editor at The American Prospect, talks about what a real "Ownership Society" looks like and how President Bush's plan will take us down the wrong road.  Click to View Document

Social Security's generation gap

In this article recently published in USA Today, IASP faculty member and former secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration Robert Reich describes the dangers facing younger generations if President Bush's Social Security plan were to pass.

February 2005

Defending the Dream: Economic Opportunity and Tax Fairness" Conference, February 6-8, 2005, Washington, DC

The aim of this conference was to bring together a diverse group of constituencies from different issues and provide them with a chance to share ideas. Participants were able to learn what progressive tax reform might look like, how we might link the fair taxes conversation to a renewed commitment to broad-based asset building, closing the racial wealth divide, and building a progressive rather than regressive ownership society. Planning partners included: Institute on Assets and Social Policy (Brandeis), The American Prospect, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, National Council of La Raza, and United for a Fair Economy.

January 2005

Perspective: What Would Privatization Do to Social Security Insurance?

J. Larry Brown explains how the privatization of Social Security would undermine the guaranteed protections we all receive under this national insurance plan. Click to View Document

What's New 2004

November 2004

Raising the Bar

This article was co-authored by Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Ph.D. student Daphne Hunt and focuses on the need to reward better-trained child-care and preschool teachers. Hunt recently joined the Institute on Assets and Social Policy as a Research Assistant.

October 2004

Running in Reverse

This commentary on the widening wealth gap for Hispanic and African-American families in the current economy by Dr. Tom Shapiro first appeared on the American Progress Action Fund web site. Shapiro is Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, and a member of its Institute on Assets and Social Policy.

September 2004

Institute Co-Hosts D.C. Conference on Bootstrap Capitalism

The Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, joined the New America Foundation and policyAmerica to co-host a meeting examining asset policy expansions in the arenas of banking and financial services. 250 representatives from Congress, various foundations, and national advocacy and policy organizations attended this conference. Dr. J. Larry Brown joined Professor Michael Sherraden (author of the 1991 book Assets and the Poor) on a panel to discuss the future of asset policy. Other Institute participants included Dr. Thomas Shapiro and The American Prospect editor, Robert Kuttner.

July 2004

Asset Development for Low-Income Women: A Framework for Success

Presentation and handouts by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy's Sandra Venner, during the National Conference of State Legislatures' Annual Meeting on July 21, 2004, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

May 2004

Poverty and Inequality: Albatross or Opportunity?

Recent keynote speech given by Dr. J. Larry Brown at the Tri-State Community Action Agencies (CAA) Conference on Cape Cod, MA, on May 19, 2004.

Center recognized in recent book by N.Y. Times reporter Richard Rothstein

The work of Dr. J. Larry Brown and the Center on Hunger and Poverty has been covered extensively in New York Times education reporter Richard Rothstein's new book, Class and Schools (Columbia University, 2004).

March 2004

Poverty In America: How Did the Working Get So Poor?

Recent keynote speech given by Dr. J. Larry Brown at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs in Boston on February 22, 2004.

Creating a Genuine "Opportunity Society"

This recent speech by Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), delivered at the Center for Humanities, City University of New York, proposes major new initiatives to create a genuine opportunity society, including new policies to help families build the assets they need for social mobility and economic security.

February 2004

Book review on The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality

 of Dr. Thomas M. Shapiro's new book entitled The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality. Dr. Shapiro is Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

January 2004

Syndicated columnist highlights Center's asset policy work

This recent column by Robert Kuttner in the Boston Globe highlights some of the Center's work around asset policy issues.

What's New 2003

September 2003

Pathways to Getting Ahead

This booklet is targeted to young adults, and aims to spur thinking about the importance of asset building in their personal lives and about how larger policy decisions impact the choices they make. It identifies numerous ways to locate important information through local sources, 800 numbers, and the web. The booklet is a joint project of the Public and Community Affairs Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and ADI.

Inclusion in the Economic Mainstream: The Promise of Asset Development

Larry Beeferman was an invited presenter at the session on Race, Immigration and Wealth: Interactions and Policy Directions at Harvard University's 2003 Color Lines Conference, August 29 - September 1.

July 2003

Maximizing Income and Assets to Help Low-Income Workers

Larry Beeferman was an invited panelist on the National Governors Association' Center for Best Practices' July 9, 2003 Webcast on "Making the Most of Limited Resources to Help Low-Income Workers." Click to read the background document for his remarks

Connecting the Dots for Poor Children

Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, Dean of The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, writes in the Boston Globe that the welfare reauthorization process should be driven by long-term investment in the healthy development and behavior of our nation's most vulnerable children.

What's New 2002

September 2002

The Asset Index: Assessing the Progress of States in Promoting Economic Security and Opportunity

A new Asset Development Institute report provides the first state-by-state comparative study of key assets that all Americans need to succeed in today's economy. The 39 indicators paint a multi-faceted portrait of the progress that has been made in different regions of the country and in particular states. Read the press release and full report.

May 2002

Brown gives keynote address at the USDA's Children, Youth, and Families at Risk conference

Read J. Larry Brown's keynote address given May 29th in New Orleans.

January 2002

The Promise of Asset Development Policies, Realizing the Promise: Individual Development Accounts

The Winter 2002 issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Communities and Banking magazine features Larry W. Beeferman describing the promise and elements of an asset development policy framework.  Read the article

What's New 2001

December 2001

What comes after welfare reform?

In an article in the Boston Review, J. Larry Brown and Larry W. Beeferman argue that the welfare reauthorization debate is the domestic policy opportunity of the near future.

October 2001

Discover the opportunities asset development policies provide

In a new Asset Development Institute report, Larry W. Beeferman writes on how consensus might be reached on the new policy opportunity asset development provides.

September 2001

New U.S. poverty estimates released

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the overall poverty rate fell in 2000, but poverty rates for African Americans and Latinos are still double that of other groups of people, and the gap between the rich and poor persists.

June 2001

Families Who've Lost Welfare Need Help

Read the op-ed by J. Larry Brown and Dorie Seavey featured in The Boston Globe. For a copy, please contact the Center.

April 2001

Asset Development Institute releases report on Promising State Asset Development Policies

A new Asset Development Institute report identifies state policies and programs that demonstrate the potential to turn domestic policy on its head, by investing in the capacity of all American households to maximize economic well-being and productivity.

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