Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Asset Poverty: "One Crisis Away"



On February 27 @ 7pm KERA’s Krys Boyd Moderates Free Public Forum
on Asset Poverty in North Texas at Dallas City Performance Hall 

DALLAS/FORT WORTH – Imagine being so close to the financial edge that a single life event could push you and your family over. According to a study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, 29 percent of North Texans are classified as "asset-poor" – meaning they don’t have sufficient assets to live for three months at the federal poverty level if they lose their income. KERA, the North Texas public broadcasting station, and Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) present One Crisis Away, a free public forum discussing asset poverty in North Texas at Dallas City Performance Hall on Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m.

The free public forum is the culmination of the ongoing One Crisis Away news series launched by KERA News in November 2013, following four families bravely telling their stories of living on the financial edge. The news series includes radio and video stories; conversations on KERA FM’s Think; and a television program of the public forum scheduled to broadcast Thursday, March 27 at 7 p.m. on KERA TV.

“KERA partnered with Communities Foundation of Texas to build awareness around the growing issue of asset poverty,” said KERA President and CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff. “Almost one-third of all North Texans are a step away from financial ruin, which means it could be your friends, neighbors or family members. Or, it could be you. One Crisis Away explores what living with ‘asset poverty’ means and elevates public dialogue about this increasing reality.”

Moderated by KERA’s Krys Boyd, the One Crisis Away event will feature an in-depth discussion on asset poverty with three leading experts: Andrea Levere, president, Corporation for Enterprise Development; Alfreda Norman, vice president and community development officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; and Larry James, president & CEO, CitySquare. Join the discussion by submitting questions for the panelists on Twitter @keranews using the hashtag #onecrisisaway.

“Asset poverty extends far beyond those living below the federal poverty line,” says Alfreda Norman, vice president and community development officer of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “One-third of those households that earn $45,655 to $70,000 annually is asset poor or has less than three months of savings, and one in five of those that earn $70,015 to $107,000 could not weather a job loss without falling into poverty.”

"These stories of local families bring the data to life. They give a startling revelation of how many of us are in or very close to serious financial trouble," says Brent Christopher, president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas. “We applaud KERA for creating programming that educates and empowers families in our community with the skills to sustain themselves through a crisis if or when the time comes.”

The One Crisis Away forum will begin promptly at 7 p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall. The event is free but seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., so arrive early for best seats. To attend the One Crisis Away free public forum, please RSVP by Tuesday, February 25.

KERA’s One Crisis Away project is funded in part by Communities Foundation of Texas, Allstate Foundation, Dallas Women's Foundation, The Fort Worth Foundation, Thomson Family Foundation, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

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