Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

April 2, 2008
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations


AMHERST, Mass.—Lisbeth B. (Lee) Schorr, lecturer in social medicine at Harvard University and director of the Project on Effective Interventions and its Pathways Mapping Initiative, will discuss “New Vistas in Social Problem Solving” at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, in Pruyne Lecture Hall of Amherst College’s Fayerweather Hall. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the college’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE).

Schorr has woven together many strands of experience with social policy, community building, education and human service programs to become a national authority on “what works” to improve the future of disadvantaged children and their families and neighborhoods. Her 1988 book, Within Our Reach: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage, analyzed social programs that succeeded in effectively combating serious social problems, such as high rates of single parenting, youth violence and school failure. Another publication, Common Purpose: Strengthening Families and Neighborhoods to Rebuild America, lays out the evidence that by acting strategically, focusing on results and putting together what works, it is possible to strengthen children and families and rebuild communities. In his foreword to Common Purpose, William Julius Wilson wrote, “This important book could not be more timely. . . . its practical advice, backed up by systematic evidence and thoughtful arguments on what works and how it works, is what this country needs now more than ever.”

In addition to her work at Harvard and the Project on Effective Interventions, Schorr serves as a member of the executive committee of the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Community Change and was its founding co-chair.

Amherst’s CCE works to realize a holistic definition of liberal education, one that links community work with the curriculum to foster the leadership, personal growth and social change that result from cooperative relationships between students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community.