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About Joanne Samuel Goldblum
Joanne Goldblum serves as chief executive officer of National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) and co-author of Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending Us Poverty (Feb. 2021, Benbella Books).
NDBN leads a nationwide movement dedicated to helping individuals, children and families access the basic necessities they require to thrive and reach their full potential…including clean, dry diapers, period supplies and other basic needs. Launched in 2011 with the support of founding sponsor Huggies®, NDBN is dedicated to creating awareness, providing assistance, and building community to #EndDiaperNeed in the U.S. Its active membership includes more than 200 diaper banks, diaper pantries, and food banks serving local communities in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia.
In her role as CEO, Joanne also directs the Alliance for Period Supplies, a program of the National Diaper Bank Network. Launched in May 2018 with the support of founding sponsor U by Kotex®, the Alliance for Period Supplies is focused on addressing period poverty in the U.S., and works to help get essential period products to individuals in need so they can participate fully in daily life
Joanne is also the founder of The Diaper Bank of Connecticut, formerly the New Haven Diaper Bank, and she serves on the board of directors of FitHaven and Let There Be Light International. Her work has been recognized by NPR, The Nation, Good Morning America, The Huffington Post, Time, People, and ABC World News Tonight, among others.
In 2007, Joanne was named a Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leader. She served as a clinical faculty member at Yale Child Study Family Support Service from 1998-2005. Joanne earned her B.A. from New York University and an M.S.W. from Hunter College School of Social Work.
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Nearly 40 million people in the United States live below the poverty line—about $26,200 for a family of four. Low-income families and individuals are everywhere, from cities to rural communities. While poverty is commonly seen as a personal failure, or a deficiency of character or knowledge, it's actually the result of bad policy.
Public policy has purposefully erected barriers that deny access to basic needs, creating a society where people can easily become trapped—not because we lack the resources to lift them out, but because we are actively choosing not to. Poverty is close to inevitable for low-wage workers and their children, and a large percentage of these people, despite qualifying for it, do not receive government aid.
From Joanne Samuel Goldblum and Colleen Shaddox, Broke in America offers an eye-opening and galvanizing look at life in poverty in this country: how circumstances and public policy conspire to keep people poor, and the concrete steps we can take to end poverty for good.
In clear, accessible prose, Goldblum and Shaddox detail the ways the current system is broken and how it's failing so many of us. They also highlight outdated and ineffective policies that are causing or contributing to this unnecessary problem.
Every chapter features action items readers can use to combat poverty—both nationwide and in our local communities, including the most effective public policies you can support and how to work hand-in-hand with representatives to affect change.
So far, our attempted solutions have fallen short because they try to "fix" poor people rather than address the underlying problems. Fortunately, it's much easier to fix policy than people. Essential and timely, Broke in America offers a crucial road map for securing a brighter future.
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