Newswise — Sociologist William Julius Wilson will deliver the keynote address at a May 8 conference focused on the challenges young people in cities face when they finish school, and scholarship that can help promote success in the workplace and other aspects of adult life. The event will be held from 3-5 p.m. in the Max Palevsky Cinema at Ida Noyes Hall and is open to participants who register in advance.

The conference also will highlight the new “Successful Pathways from School to Work” initiative, which is funding research on how public education can help urban children develop skills for the workplace. The initiative is led by UChicago’s Committee on Education. Researchers are also examining how various factors can contribute to successful transitions from school to work.

Wilson, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University, will give an address entitled “The Truly Disadvantaged Revisited: Critical Reflections on the Recent Research on Concentrated Poverty and Joblessness.” Wilson, who did much of his pioneering work at the University of Chicago, will provide data updated since the publication of his book, which examines causes and potential remedies for inner-city poverty and unemployment. Wilson’s lecture will be followed by a panel discussion featuring UChicago scholars James Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, and Charles Payne, the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor in the School of Social Service Administration. The discussion also will include educators Shayne Evans, chief executive officer of the UChicago Charter School and managing director of the UChicago Urban Education Institute, and Elizabeth Kirby, AM’00, the Network 11 Chief of Chicago Public Schools.

The Successful Pathways from School to Work initiative is funded by a $17 million gift from the Hymen Milgrom Supporting Organization and supported by the Division of the Social Sciences. Research projects funded through the initiative include a study of the most effective early childhood intervention programs for long-term outcomes and how well vocational training in Chicago Public Schools contributes to future career success. Please register for the event by May 1. The event will be webcast live at