Ph.D. Students to Host Conference Highlighting Development Policies on Distressed U.S. Cities


By Tom McLaughlin

Ph.D. students in public affairs at Rutgers University–Camden will host a free, public conference exploring the effectiveness of state and local development policies on distressed U.S. cities, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 19.

The “State and Local Economic Development Policy (SLED): What Works for Distressed U.S. Cities?” conference will be held at The Neighborhood Center, located at 278 Kaighn Avenue in Camden.

“We chose to host the conference at The Neighborhood Center because we hope that community leaders come together and make a connection with Rutgers–Camden Ph.D. students, and glean something from our research,” says Rasheda Weaver, a Ph.D. candidate in public affairs at Rutgers–Camden.

The event will feature engaging panel discussions centered around policy issues and presentations of graduate research papers written by Ph.D. students from Rutgers–Camden and neighboring research universities.

The first panel, “Entrepreneurial and Social Service Development Strategies,” will be held at 9:30 a.m. and includes discussions on strategies for social enterprise development in distressed cities, alternative solutions for homelessness in Camden, and the impact of competition on attitudes and perceptions of entrepreneurship for youth participants.

Following a policy think tank roundtable at 10:45 a.m., Meghan Ashlin Rich, an associate professor of sociology, criminal justice, and women’s studies at the University of Scranton, will deliver a keynote address on small city revitalization efforts.

The second panel, “City-Wide Economic Revitalization Efforts,” will be held at 1:15 p.m. and includes discussions on tax abatements, gentrification, and the relocation of impoverished residents in the Philadelphia region; urban food system governance in post-industrial American cities; a comparative analysis of economic revitalization in Camden and neighboring municipalities; and redeveloping brownfields.

A panel discussion focusing on diverse careers outside academia will conclude the day’s discussions.

For more information, contact Weaver at

Posted in: Community Outreach

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