Matt Desmond

Matt Desmond. Photo: Barron Bixler

Pisgah Legal’s Justice Forum

With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Matthew Desmond.

Matt Desmond
Matt Desmond. Photo: Barron Bixler

Tickets are available for Pisgah Legal’s 13th Annual Justice Forum which takes place Tuesday, October 17, at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center, Kimmel Arena.

This year’s speaker is Matthew Desmond, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, which transformed our understanding of inequity and economic exploitation in America. Desmond, a professor of sociology, MacArthur “Genius” grant honoree, and the founder of the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, was launched onto the national stage as an expert on contemporary American poverty with the publication of his bestseller. He previously appeared as the keynote speaker for Pisgah Legal’s 2017 forum.

Desmond’s latest book, the New York Times bestseller Poverty, by America, investigates why the United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why does this land of plenty allow one in every eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages? He will explore this question and help us imagine solutions at the October 17 event.

“Pisgah Legal is thrilled to welcome Matthew Desmond back to Asheville,” says Pisgah Legal Chief Development Officer Ally Wilson. “The event was sold out in 2017, and we are already seeing an enthusiastic response for our upcoming Justice Forum.”

The Justice Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. An advance reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. with tickets available for $125 per person. Advance registration and ticket sales are open at The event will also be livestreamed.

This is the 13th year Pisgah Legal has hosted this this annual event to call for justice, draw attention to the needs of people struggling to make ends meet in WNC, and generate conversation about pressing local and national issues. Former speakers include: Clint Smith, Jose Antonio Vargas, Marian Wright Edelman, Peter Edelman, Sister Simone Campbell, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, and Dr. Jamila Michener.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please contact Lori Nierzwick at (828) 818-5474.

About Pisgah Legal Services

Now in its 45th year, nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) provides a broad array of free, civil legal aid, anti-poverty advocacy and access to health care assistance in the 18-county WNC region. Last year, Pisgah Legal served more than 21,000 people.

PLS has offices in Asheville, Brevard, Burnsville, Franklin, Hendersonville, Highlands/Cashiers, Marshall, Morganton, Newland, Rutherfordton, Spruce Pine and Waynesville. Pisgah Legal employs staff attorneys and harnesses the power of approximately 300 volunteer lawyers who work pro bono to assist PLS clients.



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