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Poverty scholar Sheldon Danziger will visit McDaniel College Thursday to discuss social programs implemented 50 years ago which are still influencing social programs today, as well as the war on poverty.

Danziger will speak at McDaniel's annual Ridington Lecture and present his research entitled "Legacies of the War on Poverty," conducted through the Russell Sage Foundation in New York, according to a news release from the college.

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Danziger said he studies how changes in the economy, public policy and demography affect trends in poverty and income equality. Practically, this field of research looks to identify what changes are needed to reduce poverty.

Danziger said the applications of his research — though it reaches to the administration of President Lyndon Johnson — are very present in current policy discussions.

"All of the presidential candidates are talking about poverty and inequality and how they have the 'silver bullet' to raise the living standards of middle-income families, reduce unemployment and reduce inequality," he said.

Danziger has a doctorate in economics and said he did his dissertation on inequality and the urban crisis of the 1960s and 1970s, which lead to a fellowship at the Institute for Research and Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After teaching for almost 40 years at the university, Danziger said he doesn't need to tailor his presentation for college audiences.

"Colleges remain one of the few places where we can still conduct fact-based discussions of complex social problems," he said. "I have to tailor my discussion for Congressional testimony or media appearances, arenas where it has become very difficult to carry on complex conversations."

Danziger is the author of several books, including "Changing Poverty, Changing Policies," "Detroit Divided" and "America Unequal," according to the news release.

Reach staff writer Heather Cobun at 410-857-7898 or email heather.cobun@carrollcountytimes.com.

If You Go

What: Ridington Lecture featuring Sheldon Danziger

Where: McDaniel College, Decker Center Forum, 2 College Hill, Westminster

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Cost: free and open to the public

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