Michael M. Davis Lecture Series The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America

The Center for Health Administration at the Crown Family School invite you to

Michael M. Davis Lecture Series

“The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America”


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. Immersing themselves in rural 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. This history in America 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.

Learning Objectives

  • Learning about a five-year study of poverty across Appalachia, the Cotton and Tobacco Belts of the Deep South, and South Texas.
  • Seeing data showing that America’s most disadvantaged communities are not the big cities, but rather are rural.
  • Learning about a history of raw, intensive resource extraction and human exploitation in the United States.


Presented by H. Luke Schaefer, Ph.D., Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Public Policy, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Moderated by Reuben Miller, Associate Professor in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice; Associated Faculty, Department of Sociology, The University of Chicago; Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation


Tuesday, October 3, 2023

12:30PM-1:50PM (CT)

Live and interactive on Zoom


The event is free open to the public. Registration required.

1.5 CEUs available for $25, select Add-On.


About CEUs

  • Eligibility for CEU’s requires indication at registration, attendance to an interactive event, and completion of the post-event survey.
  • Post event, pending attendance verification, a PDF copy of the CEU certificate will be sent to the email provided during registration.
  • 1.5-hour CEU’s are available for $25. The Professional Development Program (PDP) is a licensed State of Illinois provider of Continuing Education for social workers (LSW/LCSW), clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors (LPC/LCPC). License #s 159.000140, 168.000115, and 268.000004.


About the Presenter

H. Luke Shaefer, Ph.D. is the Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy and Associate Dean for Research and Policy Engagement at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is also a professor of social work and the inaugural director of Poverty Solutions, an interdisciplinary, presidential initiative that partners with communities and policymakers to find new ways to prevent and alleviate poverty. Through his role at Poverty Solutions, Shaefer acts as a special counselor on anti-poverty policy to the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Shaefer’s research on poverty and social welfare policy in the United States has been published in top peer-reviewed academic journals in the fields of public policy, social work, public health, health services research, and history, and his work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S. Census Bureau among other sources. He has presented his research at the White House and before numerous federal agencies, has testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and has advised a number of the nation’s largest human service providers. His work has been cited in media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, The Atlantic, and Los Angeles Times, and he has been featured on such programs as Marketplace and CNBC’s Nightly Business Report. Shaefer received his BA in politics from Oberlin College and AM and PhD from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration.


About the Moderator

Moderated by Reuben Jonathan Miller, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the University of Chicago Crown Family School and in the Department of Race, Diaspora and Indigeneity, and a Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation. He was named a 2022 MacArthur Foundation Fellow. Prior to joining the Crown Family School, Dr. Miller was an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan where he served as a Faculty Associate in the Population Studies Center and a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Afro American and African Studies. His work has been published in journals of criminology, human rights, law, psychology, sociology, social work and public health and he is frequently called upon to offer commentary on issues of crime, punishment, racism and poverty. It has been funded by federal agencies and philanthropic foundations ranging from HUD and NIH to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Miller was selected as a Member in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ (2016-17), a visiting scholar at Dartmouth University (2018) and at the University of Texas at Austin (2019), and an Eric and Wendy Schmidt National Fellow at the New America (2019). In 2021, he was selected for an academic writing residency by the Rockefeller Foundation at the Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy. A native son of Chicago’s Southside, Dr. Miller received his Ph.D from Loyola University Chicago, an AM from the University of Chicago, and a BA from Chicago State University.

If you have any questions about access or to request a reasonable accommodation that will facilitate your full participation in this event such as ASL interpreting, captioned videos, Braille or electronic text, food options for individuals with dietary restrictions, etc. please contact the event organizer.