United for a Fair Economy, the national nonpartisan organization that spotlights the growing inequality of income and wealth in the United States, and one of the six organizational sponsors of the Shadow Conventions, will convene a daylong program August 14th in Los Angeles on "Poverty and the Wealth Gap." UFE co-director Chuck Collins stated today that the day-long program in Los Angeles of speakers, panels and discussions stands as a direct challenge to the neglect of "real issues" by Republicans and Democrats. "We are organizing the Shadow Conventions because both major parties are forgetting about the substantial percent of the population that has been left out of the economic boom," Collins added.
UFE's participation in the August 14th program will coincide with the release of "Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity" (The New Press, 2000), co-authored by Collins and UFE co-director Felice Yeskel. Harvard University professor and author William Julius Wilson termed the new study a "clear viewpoint on the growing economic inequality in the United States and how to combat it."
The Shadow Convention's "Poverty and Wealth Gap Day" day will kick off with a 10:00 AM rally with confirmed speakers including Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), Jim Wallis, Jim Lawson, Jonathan Kozol, Angelica Salas, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and former California Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa. Collins will moderate a roundtable on "Poverty and Inequality in the New Global Economy" from 1 pm to 2:15 pm. All the day's activities, which are being coordinated with fellow Shadow conveners Call to Renewal and the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support, will take place at Patriotic Hall, 1816 Figueroa St. (Cross street: Washington), the site of the Shadow Convention.
Chuck Collins is the co-founder and co-director of United for a Fair Economy. In 1997, he also co-founded Responsible Wealth, a UFE project, to bring together business leaders and investors to publicly speak out against economic policies and corporate practices that worsen economic inequality. In addition to "Economic Apartheid," his publications include "Robin Hood Was Right: A Guide To Giving Your Money For Social Change" (WW Norton & Co., 2000); "Shifting Fortunes: The Perils Of The Growing American Wealth Gap" (UFE, 1999).
To schedule interviews on site or via phone, contact Betsy Leondar-Wright at
617-423-2148 (Boston) or Chuck Collins (cell phone in Los Angeles, 8/13-14) 617-308-4433