May 1, 2018

Our show on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 12:00-1:00 PM EDT, will continue our series spotlighting the “Trump Administration’s Assault on the Poor” by focusing on HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s nefarious and consequential statements and proposals which would displace the poorest needing housing assistance and curtail fair housing enforcement. Last week Secretary Carson stunned the nation by proposing to triple rents for public housing. Indeed, during the entirety of April’s Fair Housing Month, Carson issued statements antithetical to civil rights enforcement. He has embraced President Trump’s Executive Order to devise policies to impose work requirements on recipients of public housing. Disturbingly, Carson announced his plan to remove from the HUD mission statement the language referring to creating “inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.” He even caused controversy by deploying the disproven trope that Black women need to marry to escape poverty. In a hard hitting Op Ed in the New York Times, Paul Krugman discussed many of Carson’s and Trump horrible policy proposals and deliberate undermining of the already unraveling safety net in “Trump’s War on the Poor.”

According to 2014 Census data, over 45 million Americans live in poverty, 15-16% of the U.S. Population. Despite the wide-ranging impacts of Trump’s and Carson’s onerous attacks on the poor, most of the Mainstream Media has ignored or failed to cover this coordinated attack on the poor. Igniting Change is committed to highlighting this crisis.

Our guests are national experts in fighting for fair and affordable housing including Jonathan M. Smith, Executive Director, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; and Dianne Wilkerson, Massachusetts activist, prominent party in famous NAACP v. Boston Housing Authority case, still the nation’s largest money damages settlement. See guest pictures and bios at

During our show, we will explore Carson’s problematic leadership at HUD against several critical backgrounds including the widespread scope of residential segregation in the U.S.; the recent Boston Globe series; the national affordable housing crisis; and the continuing impact of the NAACP litigation. Questions to be explored during our show will include: Why is Secretary Carson’s actions so troubling in 2018?; Why is the Trump Administration attacking the poor?; What are the likely outcomes of Carson’s proposals to drop anti-discrimination language in the HUD mission statement?; Is HUD doing enough to combat housing discrimination?; How will poor families be able to afford public housing?; What should HUD be doing to dismantle residential segregation?; Are there workable strategies for expanding affordable housing?; How can our listeners help to defeat this attack on the poor and civil rights protections? These and other issues will be addressed during our show.

You don’t want to miss this show!

Be sure to listen live on Tuesday, May 1, 12:00 to 1:00 PM, EDT, in the greater Washington metro region at WOL 1450 AM and on the Internet at You can call in with questions or comments at 800-450-7876. A podcast of the show will be available on Tuesday evening.

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Dianne Wilkerson

In 1993, she became the first African American female to serve in the Massachusetts Senate. She lost the September 2008 Democratic primary to Sonia Chang-Díaz, […]

Jonathan M Smith

Jonathan M. Smith was appointed executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on July 1, 2016. Immediately prior to […]