This week, we’re participating in a national week of conversation along with other NPR member stations called A Nation Engaged. It’s a coordinated conversation around a topic, and the goal is to get a wide variety of voices answering the same question.

We’re asking this question: What can we do to create economic opportunities for more Americans?

A Nation EngagedNPR |

Earlier this week, we heard from people attending the Dixie Area Business Expo and recruiters at a career fair organized by the workforce agency KentuckianaWorks. This time around, we went to the Smoketown GetDown, a block party organized by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.

Casey Hamm, board member of the Shelby Park Neighborhood Association: “Just whenever I think about economic opportunity, my mind typically tends to go towards, like, people who are held down by the system.”

Trinidad Jackson, researcher: “What do we have to do in order to facilitate equity for economic opportunity. Ans in order to address equity, you gotta look at the root cause of inequity. That’s historical and that goes back hundreds and hundreds of years.”

Smoketown GetDownRoxanne Scott |

Smoketown GetDown

Robert Bell, vice president of the Shelby Park Neighborhood Association: “Infrastructure of course means the ground we stand on. It means social infrastructure, it means economic infrastructure and it means cultural infrastructure.”

Smoketown GetDownRoxanne Scott |

Smoketown GetDown

Kevin Cowherd, business consultant at Humana: “If we can really think about how to bring more money into Louisville or into our city, the next step after that is how do we divide that money, and those jobs and those opportunities evenly and appropriately.”

River City Drum Corp.Roxanne Scott |

River City Drum Corp.

Ashley Carter, owner of The Mahogany Salon: “Creating economic opportunites for one another is through caring and showing love to one another.”