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The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity was developed in February 2005 as a joint effort between the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the UNC School of Law and Senator John Edwards. Sen. Edwards directed the Center until December 2006. Professor Marion Crain was subsequently appointed as the new director, a position she held until June 2008. The third and current director, Professor Gene Nichol, came aboard in the fall of 2008.

Over the years, the Center has hosted numerous conferences, panels and discussions, bringing together America's leading scholars and practitioners on poverty issues.

Annual Report

See our most recent Annual Report (PDF) for more information about the Center's work in 2011-2012.


The UNC Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity is a non-partisan, interdisciplinary institute designed to study, examine, document, and advocate for proposals, policies and services to mitigate poverty in North Carolina and the nation.

The Center has four goals:

  1. To address the pressing needs of those currently living at or below the poverty level in North Carolina
  2. To provide an interdisciplinary forum to examine innovative and practical ideas to move more men, women and children out of poverty
  3. To raise public awareness of issues related to work and poverty
  4. To train a new generation to combat the causes and effects of poverty and to improve the circumstances of working people
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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