CBPP Press Call: TANF Policies Reflect Racist Legacy of Cash Assistance

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will hold a conference call briefing for journalists on Wednesday, August 4, at 11 a.m. (ET) to examine the inadequacy of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program for Black families and other families of color due to design features influenced by anti-Black racism and sexism. In advance of the call, the Center will release a report on the racist legacy of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

The call comes as TANF observes 25 years since the program was created and radically restructured cash assistance for families with children in poverty. Speakers will discuss:

  • How more than a century of false and harmful narratives — such as that Black women are unfit mothers — and paternalistic policies still influence TANF today.
  • Why TANF cash assistance, though a critical support for some, doesn’t meet the needs of most families in poverty, regardless of their race or ethnicity.
  • The disproportionate impact of TANF’s embedded racism and unfettered state control on Black children, who have the greatest likelihood of living in states with the lowest benefits and with programs that reach the fewest families in need.
  • What policymakers can do to redesign the TANF system with antiracist policies that support families and help expand opportunity.


  • Ife Floyd, Senior Policy Analyst, CBPP
  • Donna Pavetti, Ph.D., Vice President for Family Income Support Policy, CBPP

After opening remarks, the panelists will take questions. To participate in the press call, please register below.

** This call is for media only **

Media Contact