A conventional if shocking estimate is that one in five American children live in poverty, but we will argue even this measure is inaccurate. The true number is undoubtedly considerably higher, closer to two in five. We already know that even by conventional measures, one in three of our children live in poverty some part of the year. For the outright poor, and and others who live in near poverty, this rock-bottom level of cash means a life of persistent hunger, personal shame, crowded and dilapidated housing, inadequate education, inattention to medical treatments, and little faith in the future. In many other rich nations, closer to one or two in twenty children are poor.

Our podcast asks why these scandalous numbers, and what can we do change them. We talk with policy makers, researchers and famlies to come up with some answers to the questions—and solutions to the problems. Together, we can end hunger and deprivation for the most vulnerable of us.

Jeffrey Madrick, co-host

Jeff Madrick has been an economics writer and commentator for fifty years. He has written a dozen books, all well-received in major book review sections such as The New York Times, Washington Post and New York Review of Books. About one of his books, Paul Krugman wrote that “Jeff Madrick has clarified my own thinking.”

Madrick’s journalistic career has included stints at Business Week, Money and The New York Times, where he wrote the economic scene column. He is now a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. His major interests have included economic growth, productivity, public investment, and poverty. His book, The Case for Big Government, won a non-fiction literature prize from Pen America.

He has also been a TV correspondent for WNBC and NBC News. He won an Emmy for reporting and commentary. 

His latest book, Invisible Americans, is about child poverty. It had a significant impact on the federal adoption of the more generous child tax credit. Wrote The Washington Post, “Overall, ‘Invisible Americans’ does an excellent job pulling together and synthesizing the latest research on the dynamics of child poverty in the United States. It is a clarion call to address this most unjust blight upon the American landscape.”

Carol Jenkins, co-host

While President and CEO of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality she testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform about the impoverishment of women and children in America. As a member of the Coalition board, she continues to work for amending the Constitution as part of the solution, while singling out her outrage that children go hungry in one of the richest countries in the world. The Invisible Americans podcast that she co-hosts, exposes the persistent problems of child poverty.

Carol is a former chair and current member of the board of Amref Health Africa/ USA—the US branch of the largest health organization, with a staff of nearly a thousand, on the African continent—headquartered in Nairobi and working in over 30 countries to provide health, water and sanitation to millions of Africans, with the countries’ children as a focal point.

An Emmy winning former television journalist, she was also the founding president of The Women’s Media Center, a non-profit that enhances women’s participation and representation in the media. In her current position as host of Black America on CUNY TV, now in its 8th season of conversations, she also produced and anchored its two award winning documentaries—one, the PBS-aired opening of the Smithsonian African American Museum; and the Telly award winning Conscience of America, on the Birmingham Civil Rights Monument established by President Obama. She is the co-author with her daughter Elizabeth Hines of an award-winning biography of her uncle, Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire.