News & Observer Series
Starting in January 2013, Professor Nichol will author Seeing the Invisible, a yearlong series of monthly articles in the News & Observer examining the faces and issues behind the rising poverty numbers in North Carolina. The articles will be published on the last Sunday of each month. Please join us in exploring how poverty impacts our state.
Introduction: In NC, poverty pervades as we evade, January 27
'What are we doing for the least of these?' February 24
Shocking burden of $800 light bills, March 30
Subsequent article and opinion piece by the N&O on high electrical bills.
State Senators Buck Newton and Angela Bryant are co-sponsors of Senate Bill 720, introduced April 2, that would require the agency that provides electricity to many towns in eastern NC to negotiate with Duke Energy to transfer or sell its ownership interest in five electricity-generating plants. The debt incurred in purchasing this interest is one of the reasons that some residents of eastern NC face outrageously large electricity bills.
Full of courage, smarts, yet facing empty future, April 27
Digging into NC districts, desparation easy to find, May 25
The picked-on in Brunswick county's paradise, June 29
In a growing state, a growing hunger, July 28
Desperate for dental work, an all-night wait, August 25
In urban North Carolina, deep pockets of misery are masked, September 29
Most of NC's poor cannot afford legal representation, October 25
Selfless saints support North Carolina's poor with little help, November 24
From silence to savagery, pain for the poor intensifies, December 28
Indicating that they were inspired by the Poverty Center's News & Observer series, Professors Luisa Deprez and Sandy Butler have launched a similar effort in Maine. Read about economic inequality in Maine monthly in the Bangor Daily News.
Urban Poverty Research and Publications
This summer, the Poverty Center undertook demographic and narrative research on the issue of urban poverty in North Carolina, focusing specifically on Mecklenburg and Durham counties.
A previous study, The State of North Carolina's Urban Distressed Communities by UNC researchers Allen Serkin and Stephen Whitlow, reviewed "distressed" Census tracts in North Carolina, finding great depth of urban poverty in particular tracts. Summer research assistant Alison Templeton prepared an updated report on limited portions of the original study for Durham and Mecklenburg counties only. The report, Urban Poverty Data Update for Durham and Mecklenburg Counties, found an increase in the percentage of distressed tracts as well as increased levels of poverty, child poverty, and families headed by single mothers.
Coverage of the Center's urban poverty research:
"Poor and struggling in Charlotte," Charlotte Observer, August 17, 2013.
The extent of poverty in Mecklenburg (facts on Mecklenburg county poverty)
Gene Nichol's editorial "In urban North Carolina, deep pockets of misery are masked,"Seeing the Invisible Series, News & Observer, Sunday, September 29.
Mary Irvine's editorial "Poverty amid Charlotte's riches," Charlotte Observer, Wednesday, October 9, 2013.
Joe Polich's editorial "The other Durham: Poverty up in poorest areas," Durham Herald Sun, Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
Mel Williams' editorial "What can we do about the crisis of child poverty?," Durham Herald Sun, Wednesday, October 30, 2013.
NEW: Fuller: "No Tax Hike; Calls for Poverty Task Force", WFAE.org (Mecklenburg County Commission Chair cites our urban poverty research as reason for policy goals).
The Poverty Center's Foreclosure Project has released the first in a series of reports on foreclosure filings in Durham County. These reports will examine geographic, demographic and economic traits of neighborhoods with high incidences of foreclosure. In addition, they will look at mortgage terms, lender data and other information obtained from foreclosure starts on file at the Durham County Clerk of Court's Office.
Recommendations for Northside
In the fall of 2011, the Center wrote a report for the Northside community in Chapel Hill. Northside, a historically African American neighborhood near downtown and the UNC campus, is experiencing a rapid and disruptive change, largely brought on by demand for student rentals.
The report, Solutions for Northside: Going Beyond Chapel Hill's 2011 Northside and Pine Knoll's Community Plan, describes a range of potential responses available to Northside residents.
Reports on Racial Disparities in Wealth in North Carolina
Racial Wealth Disparity in North Carolina highlights the assets divide between whites and African Americans, and men and women, in the state. Used less often than income as a measure of economic self-sufficiency, wealth provides a larger buffer during times of financial strain, a path to opportunity, a cushion for retirement and a boost for the next generation.
Tracing the Causes of Racial Wealth Disparity is the Center's second report in this series. Issued in spring of 2011, it looks at the reasons underlying the gap in wealth accumulation between blacks and whites.
Report Examines Adult Care Homes in Public Housing for State's Elderly
Adult Care Homes in Public Housing: A Feasibility Study was developed after the NC General Assembly charged the Poverty Center with looking into locating an adult care home in federally subsidized public housing. Though there is need for adult care homes, a type of assisted living facility for adults who need help with some activities but do not require regular medical care, the report found that the model would encounter significant challenges in implementation, and suggested working with already established networks of care to bolster provision of services to the elderly.
Report Explores Cost of the 287(g) Program in North Carolina
The 287(g) Program: The Costs and Consequences of Local Immigration Enforcement in North Carolina Communities, written by UNC researchers Mai Nguyen and Hannah Gill, which was funded in part by the Poverty Center, concludes that the 287(g) program, set up to target violent criminals, is instead primarily used to deport immigrants picked up for minor offenses. The authors suggest that other crime-fighting policies might be more effective and debunk the myth that increased immigration leads to a higher crime rate.
Center Releases "Documenting Poverty, Economic Distress and Challenge in NC," a Report for the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
In fall 2009, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation enlisted the aid of the Poverty Center in helping the Foundation revisit its community economic development goals and strategies. The first phase of the project - understanding the current picture of poverty in North Carolina - culminated in this report "Documenting Poverty, Economic Distress and Challenge in North Carolina," written by Gene Nichol and Heather Hunt of the Poverty Center with guidance from an advisory committee setting the outline and direction for the research project. The report was presented to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation board in January 2010.
Law Journal Publishes Proceedings from 2007 Poverty Center Conference
The Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy published the transcript from the Center's 2007 conference, Wealth Inequality and the Eroding Middle Class. Topics include the impact of globalization and immigration on wealth inequality in the U.S.; the way policies drive inequality; and what can be done to reduce inequality domestically. For ordering information, visit the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy website.
Policy Brief Series - Original Research by UNC Faculty
In spring 2006, the Center hosted a competitive process to support original research by UNC faculty members in the form of policy briefs. Each brief was authored by a UNC faculty member and was reviewed by two experts - an academic and a practitioner in the field. Read the Policy Briefs.
The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity's Book Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream, Published
Through analysis and policy suggestions, the Center's book tackles various facets of the poverty problem in the United States. It was published in the spring 2007 by The New Press, and was edited by Senator John Edwards, Marion Crain and Arne L. Kalleberg. View the Table of Contents, including all authors and chapter titles or buy the book.
The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity Summit Published in Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal
A transcript of the proceedings from the Center's Summit on Nov. 9, 2005 was published in Volume 10, Issues 1 of the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal. Read the agenda for the Summit or order a copy of the Journal.