History & Acknowledgments

The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality has been providing research, policy analysis, and training on issues of poverty and inequality for more than 15 years. The CPI is especially grateful for the generous infrastructural support and strategic advice of the Elfenworks Foundation. This support has allowed us, most importantly, to commit to long-term projects to evaluate and develop anti-poverty interventions and to disseminate Pathways Magazine and a host of other influential policy briefs. The scholars funded via Elfenworks Foundation support have developed the California Poverty Measure, the American Opportunity Study, the American Voices Project, and many other infrastructural projects.

Why Was the Center Founded?

In 2006, Stanford University committed to a new program of research, training, and policy analysis focused on poverty and inequality, a commitment that reflects Stanford's recognition that universities have a special obligation to provide leadership on the most pressing problems of our time. The backdrop to this new effort was recognition that poverty and inequality have become an unprecedented threat and that the great universities of the world must address this threat with all the resources and initiative that we have applied in the past to other major social problems.

Our Funding

The seed funding for the Center came from Stanford University, through the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. As noted above, the Elfenworks Foundation was also a critical early supporter and has continued to be a vital ongoing partner. The Center has also received past or ongoing support from numerous philanthropic and public funders, including the National Science Foundation; the National Institutes of Health; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; the State of California; the Corporation for National and Community Service; the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, and San Francisco; GRACE, Inc.; the Ballmer Group; the Laura and John Arnold Foundation; Blue Shield of California Foundation; the Annie E. Casey Foundation; the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the James Irvine Foundation; the JPB Foundation; the Koret Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; the Pew Charitable Trusts; the Pritzker Family Foundation; the Russell Sage Foundation; the John E. Sawyer Faculty Seminar Series; Sunlight Giving; the Tides Foundation; the UPS Endowment at Stanford University; and WorkRise.

Initial Website Acknowledgments

The Center acknowledges the Elfenworks Foundation for its key partnership in envisioning and supporting the initial launch and subsequent development of the inequality.stanford.edu website, with particular gratefulness to Dr. Lauren Speeth and John Watkins. We also thank Mike Dalling for logo design, Tim Schaller for his help with video production, and Chris Speeth for generously sharing historic video footage of Martin Luther King, Jr. to include in the site's library of online poverty and inequality resources.