For six weeks, join us every Saturday at 12pm for TalkPoverty Radio on SiriusXM Insight, an all-new, exclusive, groundbreaking news, information, and entertainment radio channel offering listeners inspiring ideas and intelligent conversation with an edge.  Designed to reach fans that enjoy the eclectic subject matter of public radio, SiriusXM Insight (located on Channel 121) will feature an array of fresh, diverse voices addressing a new era of issues in a lively, smart, and often humorous approach. If you don’t have SiriusXM radio, you can listen free for four weeks by signing up here.

More than half of Americans will experience at least a year of poverty or near-poverty during their working years. Presented by the Center for American Progress, TalkPoverty Radio offers a fresh perspective on poverty in America, featuring real people, real stories, and real solutions. Bringing together experts, policymakers, journalists, and people struggling on the brink, the weekly show strives to elevate the conversation, dispel myths and stereotypes, and explore practical solutions to address poverty in the U.S.

We want to hear from you. Join the conversation at #talkpoverty.

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Show Schedule

2/21 at 12pm ET

Where Do We Go From Here?

More and more Americans are waking up to the idea that rising income inequality and widespread economic insecurity are unacceptable. At the same time, grassroots momentum to tackle poverty is growing. Fast food workers and other low-wage workers are organizing across the country for higher wages and better working conditions. And, in the past year alone, many cities and states have passed new policies such as paid sick days that would benefit working families.

In short — we have a historic opportunity to tackle poverty and inequality. On this final episode of our six-week miniseries, we will discuss how we can build a broader, national anti-poverty movement. We will also highlight promising new organizing happening right now.

For our discussion, we’re joined by:

    • Ted Strickland, former Governor of Ohio
    • Charlene A. Carruthers, National Director of Black Youth Project 100
    • Gerardo Reyes Chávez, activist with the Coalition for Immokalee Workers
    • Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign
    • Darius Brown, Council Member representing the Third District of Wilmington, Delaware

Past Shows

2/14 at 12pm ET

What’s the Deal with Marriage?

We often hear the refrain that poor people should just get married in order to escape poverty. However, the facts don’t support this theory. Besides, the notion of family has changed over the years. Within just a few years, families have become more ethnically and racially diverse, and same sex marriage is legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Despite these realities, our policies have failed to keep pace.

For instance, women of color, immigrants, and low-income women have always had high levels of labor force participation, but for decades, they have been shut out of necessities such as paid family leave and sick days that middle class families take for granted.

On this Valentine’s Day episode of TalkPoverty Radio, we’re taking a broader look at American families and at the public policies that we need to help families and individuals exit poverty.  To discuss, we’re joined by:

  • Melissa Boteach, of the Center for American Progress;

  • Congresswoman Gwen Moore;

  • Loren Harris of the Kellogg Foundation;

  • Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America; and

  • Hannah Hussey of the Center for American Progress along with Tony of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network of California.

02/07 at 12pm ET

How Your Zip Code Impacts Your Life Chances

For millions of Americans, opportunities for a better future are limited simply because of the zip code where they grew up or now live. Decades of neglect and failed public policies have contributed to pockets of concentrated poverty across the country. Living in such high-poverty communities increases the likelihood that families will face inferior housing, poor health outcomes, failing schools, inadequate public infrastructure, and few employment opportunities. In fact, your zip code plays a greater role in your life expectancy than your genetics.

This week on TalkPoverty Radio, hosts Rebecca Vallas and Tracey Ross will be discussing how the neighborhood you grow up in impacts your life chances. Be sure to share your thoughts and observations by joining the conversation using the hashtag #talkpoverty.

Guests for this week’s show include:

  • Patrick Sharkey, NYU Professor and author of the book Stuck in Place
  • Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13)
  • Ruth Ann Norton, President and CEO of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
  • Bernice Aquino, a resident of Baltimore whose home was renovated by the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
  • Lawrence Carter-Long, Disability rights advocate and Public Affairs Specialist at National Council on Disability
  • Alan Pyke, Deputy Economics Editor at ThinkProgress

1/31 at 12pm ET

How We Punish People for Being Poor

It’s expensive to be poor. Low-income individuals are much more likely to be hit by high bank fees and to need to turn to predatory payday loans in the event of an emergency expense such as a broken water heater or unexpected medical bill. Additionally, a growing number of states and cities have policies that criminalize homelessness and poverty. This week on TalkPoverty Radio, hosts Rebecca Vallas and Tracey Ross will be discussing these and other ways America punishes people for being poor. Be sure to let us know your thoughts and observations, by joining the conversation using the hashtag #talkpoverty.

Guests for this week’s show include:

  • Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the bestselling book Nickel and Dimed
  • Michael Corkery, a reporter with the New York Times
  • Thomas Harvey, Executive Director of Arch City Defenders
  • Alan Pyke, Deputy Economics Editor at ThinkProgress

1/24 at 12pm ET

The Trouble with Inequality

From the Occupy Wall Street movements, to Thomas Piketty’s Capital, to President Obama’s most recent State of the Union address, inequality has had a prominent place in the public conversation. And rightly so. Levels of income inequality in the United States are at alarmingly high rates, threatening the country’s values of equal opportunity and social mobility. However, we are at a moment of incredible promise and excitement for workers’ movements. Many state and municipal governments are passing legislation that will make it easier for families to escape poverty and reduce the gap between the rich and poor.

Join us on our radio show this week when we will have activists, organizers, and other committed experts on income inequality discuss this very important topic. Be sure to give your questions and comments, using the hashtag #talkpoverty.

Guests for this week’s show include:

      • Larry Mishel, President of the Economic Policy Institute

    • Sarita Gupta, Executive Director of Jobs With Justice and Co-Director of Caring Across Generations

    • Mark Ortiz, activist for workers’ rights and Writing Fellow at Center for Community Change
    • Josh Eidelson, reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek, where he covers politics, policy, and labor

    • Sandra Fluke, Social Justice Attorney

  • Alan Pyke, Deputy Economic Policy Editor, ThinkProgress


1/17 at 12pm ET

Everything You Thought You Knew About Poverty is Probably Wrong

There are a lot of myths out there about poverty. We’re bringing together low-income people, elected officials, prominent members of the media, and policy experts to discuss what poverty really looks like in this country and what we can do to end it. The facts will surprise you. We’ll also be discussing what the President should say on poverty in his State of the Union address and why progressives should run on poverty, not away from it. Join the conversation using the hashtag #talkpoverty.

Guests for this week’s show include:

  • Melissa Harris-Perry, Host of The Melissa Harris Perry Show on MSNBC
  • Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • Linda Tirado, author of Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America
  • Mark Robert Rank, Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare at Washington University in St. Louis, and author of Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes
  • Greg Kaufmann, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Editor of
  • Tianna Gaines-Turner, activist with Witnesses to Hunger
  • Alan Pyke, Deputy Economic Policy Editor, ThinkProgress


Missed the show? Click to see instructions on how to access previous content.

Meet TalkPoverty Radio’s Hosts

Rebecca Vallas is the Director of Policy for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. Previously, Rebecca worked directly with low-income individuals and communities as a legal aid attorney at in Philadelphia. Rebecca has been featured on various television and radio programs, including MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” and “All In with Chris Hayes,” as well as on National Public Radio, C-SPAN, and CNN, and was twice named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for Law & Policy. Rebecca received her law degree from the University of Virginia and her B.A. from Emory University. She tweets from @rebeccavallas.

Tracey Ross is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress, focusing on place-based responses to fighting poverty. Tracey has appeared on various radio and television programs, and was a guest host for “AfterWords” on CSPAN’s BookTV. She completed her master’s in public affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She tweets from @traceylross.

How to Listen to the Show on SiriusXM Insight

If you don’t have SiriusXM radio, you can listen free for four weeks by signing up here.

1) Go to the SiriusXM website and click Listen Online. You will need to enable popups on the site to allow for the Internet player to load.

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3) In the left column, click “News and Issues” and then click “Sirius Insight.”

4) To watch previous shows, select “Shows & On Demand” and search using “TalkPoverty Radio.”