What could you do with a few thousand dollars? Author Bob Friedman says you can change the world

What would you do with a few thousand dollars? Author Bob Friedman argues that you could transform your life, and the world, with an investment like this in his new book A Few Thousand Dollars: Sparking Prosperity for Everyone (The New Press, 2018). Friedman is chair emeritus of Prosperity Now, formerly the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a national economic development nonprofit founded in 1979. He helped create the US micro-enterprise and savings and asset-building fields and the international enterprise development and child savings fields. (December 5, 2018 broadcast)

Robert Friedman, author, A Few Thousand Dollars

Capstone Community Action: A half-century fighting poverty and giving hope

For more than a half-century, Capstone Community Action (formerly Central Vermont Community Action Council) has been helping Vermonters in need. Today, they serve thousands of people with services including emergency food and fuel, weatherization, business advice, family support and child care. We take a virtual tour of the work of Capstone with their program leaders and several program participants. (Sept. 14, 2016 broadcast)

Dan Hoxworth, executive direct, Capstone Community Action

Eileen Nooney, director, Family & Community Support

Maryanne Miller, director, Head Start & Early Head Start

Michael Deering, Head Start Parent & VP of policy council of

Paul Zabriskie, director, Weatherization program

Kelly Richardson, owner, Sunflower Salon, Waterbury

Waterbury’s Good Neighbor: Rev. Peter Plagge

We dedicate our last show of 2015 to going beyond the headlines to talk with folks on the frontlines of working with some of the most vulnerable Vermonters. For 15 years, Rev. Peter Plagge has been pastor of the Waterbury Congregational Church and director of the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund, an emergency financial resources for Waterbury area residents. He talks about the hidden face of poverty, how to help, and the power of listening.

Rev. Peter Plagge, pastor, Waterbury Congregational Church, Director, Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund

Fighting poverty & changing lives

Leaders of two Vermont anti-poverty organizations talk about the scope of the problem and what works.

Duncan McDougall, founder and director, Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF). CLiF has provided free literacy programs and brand-new books to low-income, at-risk, and rural children up to age 12 in almost 85% of the communities in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Mark Redmond, executive director, Spectrum Youth & Family Services. Founded in 1970, Spectrum is a nationally recognized leader in helping youth ages 12-26 and their families turn their lives around, serving 2,000 teenagers, young adults, and their family members annually.

Employing the unemployable: Creating brownies & hope at Greyston Bakery

If you’ve ever purchased Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked or Chocolate Fudge Brownie, you have helped the unemployed. That’s because the brownies in the ice cream are from New York’s Greyston Bakery, which employs the most unemployable people in America. The bakery has an open hiring process, and does not do screenings or background checks. What began as a social experiment in 1982 has now helped thousands of people get back on their feet.

Greyston is located in Yonkers, New York. Its mission to hire ex-convicts, recovering addicts, the homeless, and others who have had trouble finding work. Among the benefits that its workers enjoy are childcare and subsidized housing. The bakery’s profits go to the Greyston Foundation, which supports local gardens, health clinics, and free job training programs. The bakery employs about 85 people.

Mike Brady, president & CEO, Greyston Bakery

Inequalities: Civil Liberties Under Fire in Vt; Ending Inequality & Poverty

Does Vermont have a racial profiling problem? Is your privacy at risk? Are your civil liberties being violated by drones, license plate readers, and other new electronic surveillance?

Allen Gilbert, executive director of the Vermont chapter of the ACLU, talks about the state of civil liberties in the Green Mountain State

Today, 47 million Americans live in poverty, while middle class incomes are in decline. The top 20 percent now controls 89 percent of all wealth. Can poverty be ended?

Scott Myers-Lipton, author of Ending Extreme Inequality: An Economic Bill of Rights to Eliminate Poverty and professor of sociology at San Jose State University