What Happens When You Give People Money? The Future of Economic Security for Children and Families

Natalie Foster and Aisha Nyandoro

November 9, 2021 5:30 pm

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Sulzberger Distinguished Lecture Series

Dr. Aisha Nyandoro and Natalie Foster will discuss the powerful impacts a guaranteed income has on children and families. They will also suggest how the U.S. can make permanent the Child Tax Credit expansion, which provides a national guaranteed income for families under the American Rescue Plan.

Nyandoro is CEO of Springboard to Opportunities and founder of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust guaranteed income program. Foster is co-founder and co-chair of the Economic Security Project and an advisor to the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative. 

Since its founding in 2017, the Economic Security Project (ESP) has been at the forefront of the national conversation around guaranteed income. ESP’s support helped launch the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, the first ever mayor-led pilot in the nation that provided 125 Stockton residents with $500 monthly payments for two years. This pilot laid the foundation for the creation of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income and similar guaranteed income initiatives in cities across the country. ESP has also fought for meaningful cash programs in the policy arena through its work advocating for expansion and modernization of the Earned Income Tax Credit, recurring stimulus checks during COVID-19, and codifying the temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit.

Springboard To Opportunities launched The Magnolia Mother’s Trust in 2018, creating an initiative that provides $1,000 cash on a monthly basis to low-income Black mothers in Jackson, Mississippi—no strings attached—for one year. Now in its third cohort, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust program has supported more than 200 families. While there had been several initiatives for a guaranteed income worldwide, this was the first that specifically targeted extremely low-income families headed by Black women living in affordable housing in the United States. Preliminary findings show significant increases in participants’ ability to pay all bills on time without support, budget more money for food and household costs, save money for an emergency, and purchase health insurance for their family.

Learn more from Foster and Nyandoro about how findings from their work provide the foundation to make permanent the Biden Administration’s expansion of the Child Tax Credit, and how that could be a stepping stone for a full federal guaranteed income program.

This lecture is made possible through an endowment from the Arthur Sulzberger Family.