Tony Simmons leads a group of Johns Hopkins University students on a "justice walk" in downtown Baltimore, during which they learn about public policy, providing services, and the connections between income inequality and health. Gabriella Demczuk for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Gabriella Demczuk for NPR

Ephraim Benton, a former resident of Tompkins Houses in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, is now an actor. Benton started a community-based organization called Beyond Influencing Da Hood, which puts on health fairs, film festivals and various free community events in his old housing project. This photo was taken in front of his old building in Tompkins Houses. Courtesy of Shino Yanagawa hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Shino Yanagawa

Ballots from June 2014 marked "too late" in Sacramento County, Calif. Kim Alexander/Courtesy California Voter Foundation hide caption

itoggle caption Kim Alexander/Courtesy California Voter Foundation

Adreanne Lewis signs up for a photo ID at a senior center in Arlington County, Va., with the help of Bill Sands, outreach coordinator for the county registrar. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Pam Fessler/NPR

Voters walk to an early voting site to cast their ballots on Aug. 11 in Miami. On Wednesday, a federal appeals court in Ohio upheld a decision extending early voting in that state. Meanwhile, as Election Day nears, courts are still considering cases about early voting in North Carolina, and voter ID requirements in Texas and Wisconsin. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Cara Russo of Gettysburg, Pa., here with 9-year-old Shayla, one of her two daughters, has found success in a program geared to help struggling families navigate past some of the day-to-day obstacles that keep many poor. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Pam Fessler/NPR