Archive (2005-2006)

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March 30, 2006 - Suburban Sweatshops: The Fight for Immigrants' Rights?

Along with the Carolina Seminar on Law and Public Policy, the Center hosted Jennifer Gordon, Associate Professor of Law at Fordham Law School, to discuss with students and faculty the history of sweatshops, the changing nature of the workforce, and the work to be done in this area. Held at the School of Law.

March 23 and 24, 2006 - Challenging the Two Americas: New Policies to Fight Poverty

The Center's first full-scale conference on poverty brought together academics, activists, policymakers, nonprofits and other stakeholders in a dialogue about poverty alleviation strategies. Eight panels addressed how public policy and law perpetuate income and wealth inequality for working Americans, and presented ideas to create opportunity, build community and enhance economic equity. In keeping with the Center's mission, discussions over the course of the two-day conference showcased concrete policy and practical solutions to the problems identified. The agenda, bios of the participants, and the powerpoints presented at the conference are listed below, and the video and audio files will be uploaded shortly.

Read the agenda (PDF) for the conference.

Take a look at the bios (PDF) of our speakers and panelists. Review the PowerPoint slides of several panelists below:

Feb. 14, 2006 - A Discussion about Work and Access to Health Care in America

The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity was pleased to host a discussion on access to health care and current issues in the health care system with the following distinguished panelists: Anne Burke, Executive Director of Urban Ministries of Wake County; Sen. John Edwards, former Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity; Judith Feder, Dean of the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute; and Margaret Heldring, Founder and President of America's HealthTogether. Moderated by Assistant Professor Dan Gitterman, the panel discussed Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, rising health care costs, and potential solutions to these issues.

Listen to the panel's discussion and innovative solutions

Jan. 17, 2006 - A Conversation on Poverty and Segregation

The Center for Civil Rights, the Black Law Student Association and the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity hosted Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II for an inspiring lecture and subsequent conversation on race and poverty. Rev. Barber encouraged each member of the audience to be "a conscientious objector" on issues such as resegregation, the abandonment of low-income children, and on the vast problems of poverty in this country and in the world. Rev. Barber spoke eloquently and passionately about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., emphasizing the need to organize progressive voices and stand by our constitutional and moral obligations to a society built upon justice. Our honored guest, introduced by Sen. John Edwards, encouraged the students, faculty, community members, and staff in attendance to "object" to being simply comfortable in our environment and to take a stand on issues of poverty and segregation. Through the use of the political system, our voices, our universities, and our passion, Rev. Barber encouraged all of us to not just remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but to live it each and every day.

Listen to his powerful speech

Nov. 22, 2005 - Strategies for improving the Wages and Working Conditions of Low-Wage Workers

The Center hosted a panel discussion on the state of low-wage workers and policy initiatives aimed at this population, moderated by Arne Kalleberg, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences. The panelists featured were: Annette Bernhardt, Deputy Director of the NYU Brennan Center for Justice; John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO, Eduardo Pena, Staff Coordinator for the Justice for Smithfield Workers Campaign and International Representative for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union; and Melanie Stratton, Representative from Student Action with Workers. The panelists discussed the state of unions and of low-wage workers in the U.S. from several perspectives, including their experiences as organizers, leaders, and academics on the subject. The discussion took place in the Law School's Rotunda and prompted dialogue from the audience, as well discussions about UNC's role in recognizing the rights of its workers.

See the program (PDF) for the event and read more about the panelists in their biographies (PDF).

Listen to an audio recording of this program (Part 1 and Part 2).

Nov. 9, 2005 - Summit on Poverty: New Frontiers in Poverty Research and Policy

The Poverty Center hosted a day-long summit on poverty at the Carolina Inn on November 9, 2005. Titled "New Frontiers in Poverty Research and Policy," the summit took a cutting-edge look at concrete policy solutions to address and eliminate American poverty. The experts in attendance covered a wide range of disciplines, perspectives, and topics, including the role of public programs in promoting economic independence, the interrelationship between family structure and poverty, job opportunity and economic mobility in the U.S., addressing poverty through community economic development and the lessons of Hurricane Katrina. This discussion brought together the foremost experts in poverty research and policy and encouraged discussion across sectors, disciplines, and ideology.

Read more about the experts from the Summit in their biographies (PDF) and see the full day's schedule in the Summit Program (PDF).

Nov. 3, 2005 - Press Panel Addresses Poverty in the Media

A panel comprised of prominent journalists examined the state of poverty in America, the media's role in covering stories that explore issues of class and how those stories shape the public's perception of the poor. Convened at the Paul Green Theatre on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the event was covered by the cable channel C-SPAN. The panel was moderated by Senator John Edwards and featured the following panelists: Katherine Boo of the New America Foundation; David Brooks of The New York Times; Jason DeParle, also of The New York Times; Sam Fulwood III with the Cleveland Plain Dealer; and David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal.

Read more about the panelists and their writings (PDF) on poverty.

Listen to the audio recording of this event (Part 1 and Part 2).

Oct. 31, 2005 - Senator John Edwards Discussion with Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Jack Kemp

Senator John Edwards hosted former Representative and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jack Kemp in a spirited discussion of poverty and opportunity in America. The two men, co-chairs of a Council on Foreign Relations task force on US policy toward Russia, focused their discussion on the issue of domestic poverty, finding both differences and common ground in their ideas about American policies towards the working poor. Issues of urban revitalization, housing, tax policy, and the minimum wage were part of the dialogue, which was focused on the role of the government versus the private market by Moderator Dan Gitterman, Assistant Professor of Public Policy.

Listen to the audio recording of this event.

Sept. 7, 2005 - Senator John Edwards Kicks Off Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity Speaker Series

In the Rotunda of the School of Law, Senator John Edwards outlined UNC's vision for the Center and kicked off its Speaker Series with a bold set of ideas and challenges. Introduced in a moving speech by New Orleans native and Interim Dean of the Law School, Gail Agrawal, Edwards called upon the images of poverty seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as a call to all Americans to face the tragedy of the working poor in our nation. Speaking to a packed crowd of students, faculty, staff, and community members, Edwards introduced the Center as an academic center, dedicated to exploring concrete policy solutions to poverty. The Speaker Series will bring scholars, researchers, activists, and students to UNC's campus to discuss issues of the working poor and ideas for the elimination of poverty.

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