Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity

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Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity Homepage

In the Spotlight

From the Director

As many of you know, the UNC Board of Governors moved to close the privately-funded Poverty Center. The Board abolished an academic center because it disagreed with the published writings of the Center’s director.

As the Board announced its intentions, an array of foundations and private donors stepped forward to assure that the work of the Center, if not the Center itself, will be able to continue at the University of North Carolina. Generous grants and donations will allow us to create the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund at the UNC Law School. This Fund will assure that our efforts to describe, document and combat the wrenching challenges of Tar Heel poverty continue and expand.

The Fund will allow us to hire student, faculty and post-doctorate scholars to assist me in probing the causes of, and solutions to, pervasive economic injustice. We will carry forward the work of the Center within the halls of the University with greater flexibility and increased resources.

If you would like to contribute to the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund, gifts can be made online or by mail. For online contributions, visit and click the "Give Now" button. Choose the "NC Poverty Research Fund" from the drop-down box. For gifts by mail, please visit the same link for instructions and mailing address.

I have no words to match the gratitude I feel for the astonishing support the Poverty Center has received from thousands across North Carolina and the nation. Students, faculty, alumni, engaged citizens, activists, social services providers, political, religious and institutional leaders and, perhaps most movingly, Tar Heels living at or below the edge of poverty have raised their voices and banners in protest. Whether pressing for research on economic justice, or more broadly for university-defining traditions of academic freedom, your words and actions have seared our hearts and, not infrequently, moistened our eyes. They are not to be forgotten.

Gene Nichol, Director, Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity

BOG decision to close the Poverty Center

Statements and testimonials related to the decision to shut down the Center.

More news stories and editorials on the Center's closing.

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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