Long before Andrew Yang raised the idea of universal basic income (UBI) as a presidential campaign platform, UBI has been a topic among economic development experts. Is it a silver bullet or money without accountability? The reality is much more complicated. One cash transfer program, developed in Jackson, Mississippi, targets low-income families in public housing. Magnolia Mother’s Trust is distributing $1,000 a month for one year to twenty families. The goal, says program organizer Aisha Nyandoro, is two-fold: to advocate for economic justice and change the narrative around poverty. Nyandoro speaks with Ebony Beals, a parent participant who helped design the cash assistance program. Their conversation was held during a convening in October held by Ascend, a program at the Aspen Institute that works to move children and the adults in their lives to educational success, economic security, and health and well-being.
The Reality of Universal Basic Income