Archive (2011-2012)

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Truth and Hope Poverty Tour Summit

August 11, 2012, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Auditorium of the Opportunities Industrialization Center, 402 E. Virginia St., Rocky Mount

The Truth and Hope Poverty Tour conveners hosted a Summit on August 11 in Rocky Mount. The Summit brought together Poverty Tour participants from across the state to bear witness to their experiences and discuss plans for change. See the press release (PDF) introducing the Summit and open letter (PDF)from Professor Gene Nichol and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber inviting the people of North Carolina to the Summit.

Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina

Northeast Tour: January 19 and 20 (mapPDF)
Southeast Tour: March 2 and 3 (mapPDF)
Western Tour: April 30 and May 1 (mapPDF)
Triangle Tour: July 20

The Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina, a collaboration between the NC NAACP, the NC Justice Center, the Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change at NC Central University, and the NC AARP, was organized to put a face on the thousands of families and individuals in the state struggling to get by--to get beyond the statistics and hear stories directly from North Carolinians directly affected by poverty and hardship.

The tour consisted of four legs. Tour participants met with residents, local officials and service providers to listen to their points of view and experiences, connect policy with real life, and spur frank discussion. Participants on the tour--which include members from the organizing partners, foundation leaders, activists and students--have traveled to "Little" Washington, Roper, Elizabeth City, Winton, Scotland Neck, Rocky Mount, Greenville, Goldsboro, Faison, Wilmington, Navassa, Royal Oaks, Red Springs, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Wentworth, Mt. Airy, Salisbury, East Spencer, Hickory, Hendersonville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. At every stop, residents told moving, galvanizing, harrowing and touching stories of loss, resilience, struggle and pride.

New Beginning men's shelter, Elizabeth City, NC

For more information on the tour, including video, media, resource materials distributed, and topics of interest which have grown out of the Tour, please visit the Poverty Tour section of our website dedicated to this ongoing project.

ACORN and American Democracy: A Talk with John Atlas

September 28, 2011, 6:00 p.m.
Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library, UNC campus

John Atlas, acclaimed author of Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America's Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group, discussed ACORN's innovative approach to community organizing, the success that made it a target for conservative critics and its controversial demise. Atlas had unique access to ACORN's meetings and staff, and has written a sympathetic, but not uncritical, look at the community organizing group's 40 year history.

Seeds of Change has been haled as "the definitive book on one of the most effective grass roots organizations of low income Americans" by Robert Kuttner, and Todd Gitlin says, "No one has written more informatively about this difficult, necessary work than John Atlas."

For over 35 years, Atlas has been a public interest lawyer, activist, radio talk-show host, and organizer. Holding a law degree from Boston University and a master of law from George Washington Law Center, he is an alumnus of Columbia University and recipient of the Charles Revson Fellowship. John is founder and board president of the NJ-based National Housing Institute/Shelterforce (NHI), a national think tank that promotes concrete strategies leading to affordable housing, urban revitalization, and a more robust and engaged civil society.

Read more about Seeds of Change and access selections from the book. Read John Atlas' blog. Thanks to the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies for co-sponsoring!

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in NC and the Federal Courts

October 10, 2011, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
UNC School of Law, Room 5046

Students joined us for a closer look at the Affordable Care Act from two distinct perspectives. Pam Silberman, president and CEO of the NC Institute of Medicine, discussed the act's impact on the state and its affect on our poorer residents. William Marshall, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at Carolina Law, examined the constitutional challenges to the act.

Practicing Poverty Law in North Carolina: 3 million clients... and growing!

November 11, 2011, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Room 5052, UNC School of Law

We were pleased to co-sponsor this afternoon conference with the Consumer and Commercial Law Society and the UNC Law Career Development Office to address the changing landscape of civil legal services. With a record number of poor people in North Carolina and over a third of residents making less than a living wage, the intersection of need and justice takes on new and urgent timeliness. But what is the practice of poverty law really like? How has the practice adapted to changing needs, the recession and diminished funding? What are the barriers faced by clients, and the rewards and frustrations encountered by practitioners? And how might the next generation of lawyers do better?

Speakers included:

  • Jim Barrett, Pisgah Legal Services
  • Carol Brooke, NC Justice Center
  • Anita Earls, Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • Pamela Glean, NCCU School of Law
  • Deborah Goldstein, Center for Responsible Lending
  • George Hausen, Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • Melinda Lawrence, NC Justice Center
  • Carlene McNulty, NC Justice Center
  • Deborah Weissman, UNC School of Law
  • James E. Williams, Jr., Public Defender for Orange and Chatham Counties

Martin Brinkley, president of the NC Bar Association delivered the keynote address. Read the conference agenda (PDF).

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