This report, a partnership between New America’s Family-Centered Social Policy program and Springboard to Opportunities in Jackson, Miss., combines the stories of women like Carla, a mother of two in Jackson, Mississippi, taken from focus groups and interviews with analysis of historical and contemporary policy design in order to:
- Demonstrate the ways in which false narratives specific to poor, Black women have been constructed over time;
- Show how these false narratives have been methodically deployed to justify the construction of a two-tiered system of social policies;
- Discuss the experience of real families navigating second-tier programs; and
- Advance an affirmative vision for policymaking that shifts voice, accountability, and power to the families that policy is intended to serve and offer models where versions of this vision are in practice.