Equity & Diversity Video

Hillbilly Elegy Author J.D. Vance on Poverty and the Opioid Epidemic

January 6, 2017 2:27

Donald Trump tapped into the worries and economic insecurities of the white working-class by promising to bring back jobs, and author J.D. Vance understands that appeal. Vance, author of the best seller Hillbilly Elegy, A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, grew up in southeastern Ohio in a family battling addiction and violence but ultimately made it to Yale Law School. He tells Education Week that families in the Rust Belt have had “the rug really pulled out from under them. They’ve seen what used to be a relatively promising stable working or middle class opportunity completely (disappear).” Vance says education holds the most promise for turning around the fortunes of people living in these regions, and that what’s needed is technical and vocational education to train people for the next generation of high quality jobs. Vance says his life could have easily gone the other way, that a lot of “luck and really good people in my life” helped ensure he escaped the poverty and family crises that continue to define the lives of many of his peers. Now Vance is ready to help others. Currently living in San Francisco and working for a Silicon Valley investment firm, he and his wife are planning to move back to Ohio to start a small nonprofit to focus on improving education and combatting the opioid crisis.


Special Education Video Making a Difference for Students With Learning Differences 1 on 1
Eye to Eye pairs younger students with learning differences with older students with the same challenges to show them they’re not alone.
Equity & Diversity Video Why This Latino Teacher Is the Educator His Latinx Students Need
Latinx students are the least likely to have a teacher who looks like them. A Latino teacher on why a reflective teacher population matters.
Equity & Diversity Video These Schools Served Black Students During Segregation. There's a Fight to Preserve Them
A look at how Black people managed to grow a solid middle class without access to so many of America’s public schools.
According to The Campaign to Create a Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park, the two-teacher school was developed between 1926-1927 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2009. The building is now owned by Cain’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, which sits adjacent to it.
The Russell School (also known as Cain’s School), a Rosenwald school in Durham, N.C., pictured on Feb. 17, 2021.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Equity & Diversity Video The Fight to Preserve Rosenwald Schools
Jane Carpenter Pollard, alumna of the historic Scrabble School located in Rappahannock County, Va. She and her six siblings attended the Rosenwald school.
Jane Carpenter, an alumna of the Scrabble School, discusses her experiences as a student at the Rosenwald school in Castleton, Va.
Jane Carpenter, an alumna of the Scrabble School, discusses her experiences as a student at the Rosenwald school in Castleton, Va.
Brooke Saias/Education Week