The Unbanking of America: Reframing the Debate About Financial Inclusion - Apr 21

The Columbia Population Research Center
is pleased to invite you to
The Unbanking of America: Reframing the Debate About Financial Inclusion

Lisa Servon
Professor of Urban Policy
The New School for Public Engagement

Thursday, April 21, 2016
11:45am - 12:45 PM
Room 532b
Mailman School of Public health
722 West 168th Street

Room 705
Columbia School of Social Work
1255 Amsterdam Avenue
(between 121st and 122nd streets)

RSVP to 

Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP to attend at the Mailman School.

What do a Mexican immigrant living in the South Bronx, a twenty-something graduate student, and a telemarketer in Dallas have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. As banks have grown larger and focused less on serving ordinary consumers, many have begun to get their financial needs meet from alternative financial services providers like check cashers and predatory lenders. Although these businesses are labeled as predatory and sleazy, their customers find that they offer three things banks no longer provide: less expensive products and services, greater transparency, and better service. At a time when 57 percent of Americans are struggling financially, and trust in banks is at an all-time low, it's imperative that we understand how we got here, and what we can do to make financial health a reality for all Americans.

Lisa J. Servon is Professor and former dean at Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. Professor Servon holds a BA in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, an MA in History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania, and PhD in Urban Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She teaches in the Urban Policy Program at Milano and conducts research in the areas of urban poverty, community development, economic development, and issues of gender and race. Specific areas of expertise include the financial lives of low-income communities, microenterprise development, and capacity-building for community-based organizations. Current research focuses on the alternative financial services industry. Her work has been funded by the Open Society Institute, the Aspen Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Fannie Mae Foundation and others. She spent 2004-2005 as a Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC. Servon is the author or editor of numerous journal articles and four books: Bridging the Digital Divide: Technology, Community, and Public Policy (Blackwell 2002), Bootstrap Capital: Microenterprises and the American Poor (Brookings 1999), Gender and Planning: A Reader (With Susan Fainstein, Rutgers University Press 2005), and Otra Vida es Posible: Practicas Economicas Alternativas Durante la Crisis (With Manuel Castells, Joana Conill, Amalia Cardenas and Sviatlana Hlebik. UOC Press 2012). She lives in Brooklyn.

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