Join for a conversation with the co-authors of The Injustice of Place alongside Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee. Released in August 2023, The Injustice of Place sheds light on America’s most disadvantaged communities, tracing the legacies of our nation’s places of deepest need—including inequalities shaping people’s health, livelihoods, and upward social mobility for families. Wrung dry by powerful forces and corrupt government officials, the “internal colonies” in these regions were exploited for their resources and then left to collapse.
The book's co-authors will reflect briefly on the book, followed by an armchair conversation drawing from Congressman Kildee's own work to combat poverty in the city of Flint and beyond.
About The Injustice of Place
Three of the nation’s top scholars – known for tackling key mysteries about poverty in America – turn their attention from the country’s poorest people to its poorest places. Based on a fresh, data-driven approach, they discover that America’s most disadvantaged communities are not the big cities that get the most notice. Instead, nearly all are rural. Little if any attention has been paid to these places or to the people who make their lives there.
This revelation set in motion a five-year journey across Appalachia, the Cotton and Tobacco Belts of the Deep South, and South Texas. Immersing themselves in these communities, pouring over centuries of local history, attending parades and festivals, the authors trace the legacies of the deepest poverty in America—including inequalities shaping people’s health, livelihoods, and upward social mobility for families. Wrung dry by powerful forces and corrupt government officials, the “internal colonies” in these regions were exploited for their resources and then left to collapse.
The unfolding revelation in The Injustice of Place is not about what sets these places apart, but about what they have in common—a history of raw, intensive resource extraction and human exploitation. This history and its reverberations demand a reckoning and a commitment to wage a new War on Poverty, with the unrelenting focus on our nation’s places of deepest need.
From the speaker's bio
Born and raised in Flint, Congressman Dan Kildee is a lifelong Michigander. In Congress, he has proven he will work with anyone to bring people together, focus on kitchen table issues and get results for mid-Michigan.
Congressman Kildee serves on the Ways and Means Committee, the oldest and most powerful committee, and the Budget Committee. As a member of these committees, Congressman Kildee works to protect the earned benefits of Social Security and Medicare, lower the costs of health care premiums and prescription drugs, negotiate fair trade deals to ensure Michigan farmers and manufactures have a seat at the table and make sure our tax system benefits working families, not just the wealthy and well-connected.
Before being elected to Congress, Congressman Kildee co-founded and served as the president of the Center for Community Progress, a national non-profit organization focused on urban land reform and revitalization. He also founded Michigan's first land bank—the Genesee County Land Bank—which is responsible for tens of millions of dollars in redevelopment in Flint. The Genesee County Land Bank later served as a model for over 250 other land banks across the nation. Previously, Congressman Dan Kildee served as the Genesee County Treasurer, on the Genesee County Board of Commissioners and on the Flint Board of Education. Additionally, he worked for eight years at the Whaley Children's Center, a residential treatment facility in Flint for children who have experienced trauma and abuse.