The Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program was established in 1996 under the direction of William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor. Since its inception, the program has sought to advance understanding of the causes and consequences of chronic disadvantage among low-income African American families in poor urban neighborhoods. By chronicling the historical and contemporary forces that promulgate cumulative hardship, the program has contributed to national policy debates on urban poverty and racial and ethnic segregation for more than 20 years. Its research and action-oriented policy agenda was originally conceived by Wilson at the Center for the Study of Urban Inequality at the University of Chicago in the early 1990s. Upon relocating to Harvard University, the Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program has continued to facilitate the exchange of research-derived knowledge among academics, policymakers, community leaders and decision makers in the public and private sectors in the formation of holistic strategies to address the multidimensional inequality that is commonly referred to as urban poverty in America.