And poverty isn't just a U.S. issue. It's a global problem, affecting nearly half of the world's population, according to DoSomething.org.
But how much do we really know about what causes poverty, its implications and how to fix it? Explore these ideas with these 5 TED Talks:
Schools in low-income neighborhoods across the U.S., specifically in communities of color, lack resources that are standard at wealthier schools. Kandice Sumner sees the disparity and how it impacts students’ potential every day in her classroom.
Clark Medal-winner Esther Duflo says it's possible to know which development efforts help alleviate poverty – and which hurt – by testing solutions with randomized trials.
Mia Birdsong suggests that if we want to end poverty, we need to start by honoring the skills, drive and initiative that poor people bring to the struggle every day.
Van Jones lays out a case against plastic pollution from the perspective of social justice. He shows us how plastic trash hits poor people and poor countries "first and worst," with consequences we all share.
Half a million Americans are sitting in jail cells because they can't afford to post bail. Salil Dudani tells stories he's heard from people who have experienced Ferguson's "debtors' prison" firsthand, challenging us to think differently about imprisonment.