Courageous Conversations: Social Safety Nets

Saturday, March 19, 2022 — 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Join us for an open, respectful conversation about Social Safety Nets. All backgrounds and viewpoints are welcome in the discussion. Each participant is asked to read this month’s articles on the topic prior to the discussion.

March 19, 2022

Events > Courageous Conversations: Social Safety Nets

Event Information


Saturday, March 19
10:30 am to 11:30 am
iCal / Google Calendar


Berlin-Peck Memorial Library
234 Kensington Road
Berlin, CT

    Monthly Newsletter

    Stay up-to-date with our monthly newsletter!

    Courageous Conversations is a small-group discussion series that will provide an opportunity for people of all backgrounds and viewpoints to discuss important local, cultural, social, and political issues in a safe environment where differing opinions, patient listening, and respectful discussion are welcomed as a necessary part of building connection with others and identifying shared values. Participants may be asked to read short articles, books, or listen to podcasts prior to the meetings and will be asked to abide by our shared discussion guidelines.

    Library staff will facilitate the conversations and ensure that all participants have the opportunity to share in the discussion.

    The event is in person and attendance space is limited; please remember to register.


    March’s Topic is Social Safety Nets

    Join us for an open, respectful discussion of Social Safety Nets—support systems that “catch” families and individuals as they fall into poverty but still encourage work. These systems include programs like Welfare, Medicaid, Universal Basic Incomes, cash transfers, social pensions, and school feeding programs.

    All backgrounds and viewpoints are welcome in the discussion. Each participant is asked to read this month’s articles on the topic prior to the discussion.


    Preparing for March’s Meeting

    Prior to the health care conversation, please read this month’s articles. Printed copies are available at the Library.

    Dispelling the Myth of Welfare Dependency
    Article by Rema Hanna: Faculty Director, Evidence for Policy Design, Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies, Harvard Kennedy School

    Life on Welfare Isn’t What Most People Think
    Article by Tom Mould, Professor of Anthropology and Folklore, Butler University

    Can Giving Parents Cash Help with Babies’ Brain Development?
    Article by Dylan Matthews, Senior Correspondent, Vox


    Optional Reading/Listening

    Looking to dive deeper? These articles and podcasts are not required, but will give you more perspective on this month’s issue.

    You may also choose to do further reading on your own. If you do so, keep these guidelines in mind:

    1. Choose a reputable source
      Check out the credentials of the author or publication and look for a fact-based article or book. Don’t waste time reading opinion pieces from someone who’s trying to rile you up.
    2. Exit your echo chamber
      Look for a thoughtful article or book from someone whose opinion differs from yours. Learn what the other side says and keep guideline #1 in mind when you choose this source.

    How South Korea Experiments With Universal Basic Income
    Video from Wall Street Journal

    The U.S. Welfare System
    Podcast from Pantsuit Politics

    Families Coping without Earnings or Government Cash Assistance
    Report from Assessing the New Federalism, An Urban Institute Program to Assess Changing Social Policies

    Courageous Conversations Reads: Social Safety Nets
    Further reading available at the Berlin-Peck Library.


    The American way of poverty
    Broke in America
    Broke, USA
    The end of poverty
    Give people money
    Inequality in America
    Invisible child
    Nickel and dimed
    Overthrowing the Queen: Telling Stories of Welfare in America
    The war on normal people
    Food stamped


    More Conversations

    Check out the Courageous Conversations page for a complete list of upcoming and past conversation topics!

    All Conversations


    Photo and Video Disclaimer

    The Berlin-Peck Memorial Library, as a public place, reserves the right to photograph and record groups and individuals using library services and attending library programs, and to publish those photographs and videos publicly in its newsletter and on social media outlets. Please contact 860-828-7125 with questions.

    Accommodations Statement

    If you require special accommodation for any library sponsored event, please call 860-828-7125 or email at least ten (10) days prior to the event.