Renowned New School Economist Darrick Hamilton Selected to Join New Advisory Workgroup on Ending Child Poverty in the State of California

Convened by the CA State Treasurer, the HOPE Advisory Workgroup is charged with developing recommendations for the CA Legislature aimed at closing the wealth gap for low-income and vulnerable children

Dr. Darrick Hamilton

New York, February 21, 2023—Dr. Darrick Hamilton, Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and founding director of the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School, will join a dynamic cohort of sector and community leaders with expertise in poverty alleviation, investment, consumer protection, youth development, and more on the new Hope, Opportunity, Perseverance, and Empowerment (HOPE) for Children Trust Account Program  Advisory Workgroup.

The new advisory workgroup will help identify strategies to implement the CA HOPE for Children Trust Account Program, designed to reverse inequality in the state of California through greater opportunity, economic autonomy, and asset building to close the wealth gap for eligible children and youth.  

“Fundamentally, this work is about self-determination,” Dr. Hamilton said of his decision to join the workgroup. “If we can provide these children with the economic agency and security  that comes along with financial resources and access to wealth building tools, authentic opportunity and HOPE opens up to them. I appreciate the work California is leading in choosing policies that invest in the next generation and I’m very much looking forward to engaging with this group.”

The workgroup will also advise the HOPE Board of Directors on opportunities and funding needs for potential expansion of the program to include all foster youth and children born into low-income circumstances. The workgroup will focus on the process for identifying  eligible children and youth, applying appropriate data-sharing and privacy protections, determining acceptable investment vehicles and strategies, identifying effective outreach strategies to maximize program impact, and more. The inaugural meeting of the Board and Advisory Workgroup with California State Senator Nancy Skinner and State Treasurer Fiona Ma took place at the end of January. 

Introduced in the 2021-22 Session, the California Hope, Opportunity, Perseverance, and Empowerment (HOPE) for Children Trust Account Act was inspired by the concept of “baby bonds,” which Dr. Hamilton first developed and proposed as a tool for eliminating the racial wealth gap ,. The HOPE for Children Trust Account Program is already creating pathways to economic security and intergenerational wealth for California children: the program made California the first state in the nation to create savings accounts for children who lost a parent or guardian to COVID-19, or youth who reside in long-term foster care.

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma shared:

“The California HOPE for Children Program gives us the opportunity to build something lasting for our most vulnerable children. With trailblazing experts like Darrick on our workgroup, I have no doubt we will deliver on their behalf”

Named a Freedom Scholar by the Marguerite Casey Foundation and the Group Health Foundation in 2020, Darrick Hamilton is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of stratification economics, which fuses social science methods to examine the causes, consequences, and remedies of racial, gender, ethnic, tribal, and nativity inequality in education, economic, and health outcomes.  He has been involved in crafting policy proposals examining  social stratification and political economy in order to move policy and practice in fundamentally new directions that promote economic inclusion, social equity, and civic engagement. Much of his work involves crafting and implementing innovative routes and policies that break down social hierarchy, empower people, and move society toward greater equity, inclusion, and civic participation.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.




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Media Contacts:

The New School
Merrie Snead
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