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In 1964, The Great Society, as envisioned by President Lyndon Johnson, was a sweeping plan to improve the lives of all Americans, regardless of their circumstances. Inspired by President Kennedy and his New Frontier, Johnson pledged to fulfill his promise of equal opportunity for all by enacting several comprehensive changes within the federal government. In Johnson’s first State of the Union address in 1964, he called for an unconditional war to defeat poverty and shortly after, appointed Sargent Shriver as the Director of the War on Poverty.

The War on Poverty represents one of the most substantial government-led strategies to address poverty in the United States. As Shriver uncovered the systemic roots of poverty – towns in Appalachia that did not have access to running water, black Americans in the South who were segregated and oppressed by Jim Crow laws, housing ghettos in the North – the necessity of The War on Poverty began to come into sharp focus. As Shriver felt frequently in his life, he was being called to serve.

In 16 weeks, Shriver had a plan. The War on Poverty would be a multi-faceted initiative designed to transform the economic and
social roots of the conflict over civil rights in America America. The heart of its programming would be Community Action.

Audience input & discussion follows film.

Free and open to the public

Please register by contacting Michelle at 218-999-5883 or michellet@kootasca.org

Materials will be provided to all registrants one day in advance by email.

Discussion questions
Link to join Zoom meeting
Optional background reading