Neal Conan, Former Host of NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” Moderates “POVERTY: The Working Poor” at Fox Theatre

January 23, 2014

CI-294x150Arizona Public Media (AZPM) and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) have partnered to launch Community Interactive, a series of engaging and informative live events addressing issues Southern Arizonans face. The first topic in the Community Interactive series will be POVERTY: The Working Poor, and will take place on February 12, 2014 at the Fox Theatre from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Neal Conan, award-winning journalist, producer, and former host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation will moderate a panel of educators, researchers, social service professionals, and others working every day helping people in need, including: Patti Caldwell, executive director, Our Family Services; Ian Galloway, senior research associate, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Peggy Hutchison, chief executive officer, Primavera Foundation; Lane Kenworthy, professor of sociology and political science, University of Arizona; Michael McDonald, executive director, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona; John Pedicone, former superintendent, Tucson Unified School District. Additional panelists will be announced in the next few weeks.

Neal Conan photo

Moderator Neal Conan

“Tucson’s poverty rates remained among the nation’s highest last year, with one in five living below the poverty threshold,” said AZPM Director and General Manager Jack Gibson. “This first initial Community Interactive will explore how one becomes part of the ‘working poor’. Who is doing what to help? Is it working? How does one escape poverty?”

Although Pima County’s poverty rate held steady in 2012 at 20 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau reports the poverty rate among children is 29 percent*. Many elderly, veterans, and single mothers in Pima County are struggling each and every day to survive; even while working one, two, sometimes three jobs.

“Talking won’t solve the problem but perhaps by bringing people and ideas together we can move the needle toward sustained, positive change,” said CFSA President and CEO Clint Mabie.

Peggy Hutchison of Primavera

Primavera’s Peggy Hutchison

The Community Interactive – POVERTY: The Working Poor event will be free to the public. The community is encouraged to participate and submit questions prior to the event at, or Select questions will be presented at the live event for discussion.

The Community Interactive – POVERTY: The Working Poor event will be streamed live at, and also available to view on demand after the event. The program will be broadcast on WORLD on Wednesday, February 19 at 9:30 p.m. and the UA Channel on Thursday, February 20 at 8 p.m., with subsequent encore broadcasts.

AZPM will feature the issue on news programming including, AZ Illustrated on PBS 6 and on NPR 89.1.

The series is produced in partnership by Arizona Public Media and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, with support from COX Communications and the Arizona Daily Star. More information about the event can be found at the Arizona Public Media website.