Category Archives: Social Justice

Innocent and Behind Bars

Of the over 2 million Americans behind bars, about 100,000 didn’t do it. They are innocent. The Innocence Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School is on the cutting edge of helping to exonerate the wrongfully convicted, including Steven Avery.

Dick’s guest is Keith Findley, law professor and co-founder and co-director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project. He is also the past president of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of 68 Innocence Projects around the world.

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Understanding U.S. Poverty Programs

How does the federal government assist the poor? Is the level of support declining? How does our economic compassion for the poor compare to other industrialized countries? What are the specific poverty programs? Who gets the benefits? What change in poverty programs policies could have a huge positive impact on poor families with children and cost nothing?

Dick’s guest is Dr. Tim Smeeding, one of the nation’s leading experts on poverty. He is the Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics . He was director of the Institute for Research on Poverty from 2008–2014.

He was the founding director of the Luxembourg Income Study from 1983-2006. Professor Smeeding’s recent work has been on social and economic mobility across generations, inequality of income, consumption and wealth, and poverty in national and cross-national contexts.

His books include: SNAP Matters: How Food Stamps Affect Health and Well Being (Stanford University Press, 2015); Monitoring Social Mobility in the 21st Century (Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2015); From Parents to Children: The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage(Russell Sage Foundation, 2012); Persistence, Privilege and Parenting: The Comparative Study of Intergenerational Mobility (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011); The Handbook of Economic Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2009); Poor Kids in a Rich Country: America’s Children in Comparative Perspective(Russell Sage Foundation, 2003); and The American Welfare State: Laggard or Leader?, (Oxford University Press, 2010). Dr. Smeeding earned a B.A. at Canisius College, an M.A. at the University of Connecticut, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wisconsin.

His recent work also has been on inequality, wealth, and poverty amongst elders, children and young unmarried families, including the children of immigrants in a cross-national context.

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Getting Low Income Kids Kindergarten Ready

How do you do this? Why is this so crucial? Is this more important than what happens once school starts?

Dick’s guests are Kaleem Caire, Founder and CEO of Achieve 64, a consulting firm helping corporations with diversity issues and Founder and CEO of One City Early Learning Centers preschool and Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatrician, assistant professor at UW-Madison Medical School and part of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin.

Kaleem CaireDipesh Navsaria

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Forgotten Minority? Issues Facing Hispanics in America

How is the discrimination of Hispanics similar and/or different than that facing African-Americans?

Dick’s guests are Dora Zuniga, President of Inspira Consulting LLC and former Executive Director of Centro Hispano and Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Dane County and Juan Lopez, Director of the Migrant Refugee and Labor Services Bureau of the State of Wisconsin.

Juan José López • Director of the Bureau of Program Management ...

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White Privilege

What is it? Why is it important for white people to understand it?

Dick’s guests are Harold Gates who is on faculty at Madison College and the founder of the Midwest Center for Cultural Competence and Reverend Michael Schuler who is the Senior Minister at the First Unitarian Society in Madison, Wisconsin and teaches a course he authored about white privilege.

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Harold Gates
Reverend Michael Schuler
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Sex Offender Registries

Do they actually protect the public? Are some offenders unnecessarily victimized by this system? Where does politics intersect with this issue?

Dick’s guest is Dr. Wesley G. Jennings, a criminologist and associate professor at the University of South Florida, recently named the number one criminologist in the world in recognition of his peer reviewed scholarly publications, of which there are 175 to date.

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Racism in a Liberal College Town

Paul Fanlund, white editor of the liberal Madison, Wisconsin newspaper The Capital Times shares what he has learned about racism through an  ongoing investigation in his paper. He also discusses how a well meaning, well educated white person often doesn’t see racism that is clearly evident to minorities.

Paul Fanlund Editor of The Capital Times
Paul Fanlund, Editor
The Capital Times
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Disabilities: What the Rest of Us Need to Know

How can you be most helpful to someone with a disability? How can you avoid doing hurtful or insensitive things?

Dick’s guest is Shelley Peterman Schwarz, a former teacher to the hearing impaired. She retired in 1981 due to MS and has since been a motivational speaker, regular newspaper columnist for 20 years, has appeared frequently on t.v., published many articles on flourishing while being disabled and offers a look at the disabled world from the inside out.

For more information on Shelley Peterman Schwarz, visit http://makinglifeeasier.com/

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Gay Marriage Today

In what areas are straight and gay marriage very different and where are they the same? What has changed the most over the years?

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Dick’s guests are Reverend Eldonna Hazen, Minister of the  First Congregational United Church of Christ and performs pre-marital counseling as part of her duties, and Dr. Dennis Christoffersen, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also at Child & Family Psychological Services. Each of them are in long term committed same sex    relationships and have children aged from pre-school to adulthood.

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Examining Income Inequality in the U.S.

Why is it getting greater? How serious is this problem? What can be done to close the income gap and reduce poverty?

Dick’s guest, Dr. Tim Smeeding, a distinguished Professor of Economics & Public Policy and Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shares how we got here and the five things that will best improve this situation.

For more information on Dr. Smeeding or IRP, please visit: www.irp.wisc.edu

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