Community Forum Welcomes Matthew Desmond

On Monday, March 4, at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary, we will host Matthew Desmond as our Community Forum Speaker.

Matthew Desmond, Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, is one of the leading voices in our country on issues of poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, and racial inequality. His range of expertise is precisely the kind of subject matter for which these forums are intended to address.

Desmond promises to be a compelling and engaging speaker. His book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, and he is the recipient of the MacArthur Genius Fellowship and the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award.

His Monday evening lecture will be based on research and insight from his most recent book, Poverty, By America, which many of our congregation, including the Outreach Committee, have read as we seek better to understand the issues BMPC seeks to address through our witness and mission. Desmond writes that we are “the richest country on earth, with more poverty than any other advanced democracy.” His book is praised for describing the complex realities of poverty and giving practical ways that individuals and institutions can address it and alleviate it.

One of the strong convictions that emerged from our church-wide discernment process that created the 150th Vision was the call to “Partner in local mission (Lower Merion Township and Montgomery County) by enlisting volunteers to help address affordable housing and access to resources, services, and support.” Because recognizing issues of poverty and finding ways to address them as a congregation has become a priority, Desmond’s presentation is both timely and urgent. I hope many of our congregation and community will attend.

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church is blessed to have a fund that enables us to host free public forums “to explore issues of significance for the vitality and well-being of the larger community.” The Community Forum was established by a gift from Herbert Middleton, Jr., in honor of his parents, Anna and Herbert Middleton, Sr. This living legacy is a blessing to our congregation and community. I hope you will join us on Monday night to hear Matthew Desmond, whose work and research critically informs our call to discipleship.