Archive (2006-2007)

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April 4, 2007
Workers' Rights Speak Out

The Poverty Center co-sponsored an event in honor of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s support of the Memphis sanitation workers' strike and his recognition that economic and civil rights are intertwined. Thirty-nine years after his assassination, many workers in the United States and particularly the South, still face many obstacles to full-fledged economic participation. The assembled panelists discussed their attempts to organize workers in North Carolina and the different obstacles standing in their way. Panelists included members of: the Farm Labor Organizing Committee; UE 150; and the UNC Employees Forum. The panel was moderated by Marion Crain, Paul Eaton Professor of Law and Director of the Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity.

Nov. 9, 2006
Can Schools Make a Difference in the 21st Century?
Education and Workforce Preparation for Youth in America's Margins

The Center sponsored a discussion on education--its importance, what needs to be done, where we can make changes. Educators, policymakers, and academics engaged with attendees in a dialogue about what skills are necessary in today's market and how best to reform schools so that they meet these need. Held from 3-7 p.m. in the auditorium of the School of Social Work, this panel included the following participants:

  • Larry Aber, Professor of Applied Psychology and Public Policy, New York University
  • Annette Lareau, Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland
  • Bill McNeal, Executive Director, North Carolina Association of School Administrators and former National Superintendent of the Year (2004)
  • Carol Stack, Professor Emeritus, University of California-Berkeley
  • Rachel Tompkins, President, Rural School and Community Trust
  • George Wood, Director, Forum for Education and Democracy

Oct. 13, 2006
High Poverty Schooling in America:
Lessons in Second-Class Citizenship?

The Center co-sponsored this day-long conference with the UNC Center for Civil Rights, the UNC School of Education, and the North Carolina Law Review to investigate the state of high-poverty schools in North Carolina. Expert panelists engaged in frank and open conversations about high poverty schooling and discussed concrete steps toward reversal of what has become an alarming trend.

Oct. 11, 2006
The High Cost of Being Poor

The Center sponsored a panel to explore the ways that being poor in America is expensive, delving into issues of predatory lending, lack of access to banking services, rent-to-own stores, higher credit costs and lack of access to affordable goods. These issue were covered recently by two of the panelists--Rod Watson and Jonathan Epstein--for the Buffalo News, in an extensive four-part series which led to legislative discussion and potential action on behalf of the working poor. Laura Hogshead, former Assistant Director of the Center, moderated this session, and former Director John Edwards served as the lead discussant/questioner. The panel was held in the auditorium of the School of Social Work from 4-6 p.m. Panelists were:

  • Michael Barr, Professor, University of Michigan School of Law
  • Jonathan Epstein, Financial Reporter, Buffalo News
  • John Herrera, Chair, Latino Community Credit Union
  • Mark Pierce, formerly President of the Center for Responsible Lending and currently Deputy Director of the Office of the Commissioner of Banks
  • Rod Watson, Urban Affairs Editor, Buffalo News

Sept. 8, 2006
Katrina Revisited: Progress Made and Challenges Ahead

The Center hosted a panel discussion on the progress made in the Gulf Coast since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the challenges remaining for this region. Are we moving in the right direction? What would an improved Gulf Coast look like? How can we better the lives of those who called this region home? This panel was moderated by UNC Director of Business and Economic Development, Dr. Jesse White. Held in the Great Hall of the Student Union, the panelists were:

  • Kwame Asante, State Director, Louisiana NAACP
  • Xavier de Souza Briggs, Professor, MIT
  • Walter Isaacson, Vice-Chair, Louisiana Recovery Authority

Listen to the panel of their powerful presentations.

Aug. 31, 2006
Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity Coffee Hour

Former director of the Center, Senator John Edwards, and the rest of the Center staff hosted in an informal coffee hour to discuss student research and studies, community service interests and accomplishments, and the work of the Center. Held at the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence--Graham Memorial lounge.

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