McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research

  • NY


41 East 11th Street, 7th Floor
New York
United States

About Us

The McSilver Institute was founded in 2007 through the generosity of Constance and Martin Silver with the purpose of better understanding poverty in New York City and developing practices to address it. The Institute studies current poverty-related issues and programs, pilots interventions in agencies throughout the city, and servers as a supportive resource and change agent for agencies working to address poverty in New York City. “McSilver” is a combination of Constance Silver’s married name and her maiden name, McCatherin.


The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research conducts, promotes, and disseminates interdisciplinary applied research to address root causes of, effects of, and responses to poverty. Drawing on intellectual and scholarly strengths of New York University and located within the Silver School of Social Work, the Institute partners with New York based agencies and communities to develop research projects and policy/advocacy recommendations that have short- and long-term social impact.


The Institute recognizes the significant link between individuals, families, and communities and their external environments, as well as the interrelatedness of race and poverty. With this important frame in mind, the Institute will encourage innovative efforts in the following areas:

  • Applied Research in diverse areas of direct practice, defined broadly to include social, psychological, legal, and community-wide endeavors designed to assist those living in-or-near-poverty
  • Development of Mutually Beneficial Partnerships between the Institute and NYC-based agencies and community organizations that are “on the ground” and working with people who are living in poverty
  • Organizational Development efforts that encourage untapped strengths in agencies and communities through research and evaluation
  • Policy Development and Dissemination grounded in evidence-based research focused on “theories of justice,” the causes and consequences of poverty and poverty amelioration
  • Locating Research and Related Projects in the larger field of poverty studies and the work of scholars and agencies all over the world