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US-China Forum 2021: Addressing Inequality and Promoting Social Welfare

The US-China Forum 2021: Addressing Inequality and Promoting Social Welfare explored the ways in which social policy and social service provision are leveraged to address social problems in the US and China. Through a series of panel discussions, the Forum explored government policy in response to a range of social issues, the ways in which policy and program delivery are implemented on the ground, and the shifting division of labor among state, market, and civil society actors in social welfare provision. The forum convened leading UChicago and Chinese scholars to explore these issues and the implications they suggest for social policy development and implementation.


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About the US-China Forum 2021

The US and China are the two largest economies in the world, and each plays an outsized role on the global stage. Both are largely urban or rapidly urbanizing societies—approximately 83% of the population of the US lives in urban areas compared with about 61% in China, which is urbanizing at a rate of more than one percentage point per year. Both have extensive state infrastructures and a range of actors outside of government who contribute to social policy development and implementation. But there are also vast differences, for example, in terms of scale, development, population diversity, governance, and social welfare infrastructure. The Forum explored some of the efforts that are embraced by government and nongovernmental actors to promote social welfare and address inequality in each of these contexts and provide an opportunity to think comparatively about the relative strengths and limitations of these approaches, as well as to consider alternative responses and potential directions forward.



David Rubenstein Forum

Friedman Hall (3rd floor)

1201 East 60th Street

Chicago, IL 60637


This convening is open to all invitees who are compliant with UChicago vaccination requirements and, because of ongoing health risks, particularly to the unvaccinated, participants are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures (masking and social distancing, etc.) appropriate to their vaccination status as advised by public health officials or to their individual vulnerabilities as advised by a medical professional. Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures. Visit GoForward.UChicago.edu for additional information regarding COVID-19 Health Requirements. 

Contact global@uchicago.edu for questions or special accommodations.


The logo of the China-United States Exchange Foundation

 The China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental foundation committed to the belief that a positive and peaceful relationship between the strongest developed nation and the most populous, fast-developing nation is essential for global wellbeing. Founded in Hong Kong in 2008 and privately funded, builds platforms to encourage constructive dialogue and diverse exchanges between the people of the U.S. and China.


Logo of the Crown Family School for Social Work, Policy, and Practice

The University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice has defined the fields of social work and social welfare for more than 100 years. Today, the Crown Family School is one of the top ranked graduate schools of social work in the world. Our remarkably diverse students arrive with energy, empathy, intelligence, and a keen desire to serve. We give them the firm theoretical foundation, the clinical and policy perspective, and the hands-on experience to make a meaningful impact in the lives of the most vulnerable people in our society.


Logo of the UChicago Global office

UChicago Global's mission is to enhance the reach of the UChicago community in a constantly evolving landscape by activating and energizing partnerships, capturing and disseminating knowledge, and providing strategic and operational support abroad.

Our office supports a growing number of international programs and partnerships, overseas centers and campuses, research collaborations, and global education opportunities. While helping to steward programs already underway, UChicago Global collaborates with faculty, deans, and University administrators to lead the development of University strategies for engagement in key regions.