Monday, January 30, 2006

Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is serious about poverty and its impact on our country.

As a result, the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity was established in response to the fact that millions of hard-working Americans still find themselves living in poverty.

Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, the project's Director puts it this way,

"Poverty is one of the great issues of our time. It cuts to the heart of America's great promise: that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules will have the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their family. I can't think of a better group of people to work on solving this problem than the remarkable students and faculty here at UNC-Chapel Hill.

"The Center brings the best minds in the country together with some of America's best and brightest young people. We do not pretend to have all the answers, but we will ask the hard questions:
  • How can we restore the promise of America for those living in poverty?
  • How can we combat poverty in a way that also honors our core beliefs in hard work, responsibility and family?
  • How can we find ways to build more homes and fewer shelters, more small businesses and fewer minimum wage jobs?
  • How can we find a way for government and charities and religious groups to work as more effective partners and honor America's traditions?

"It may seem like an impossible goal to end poverty, but that's what the skeptics said about all of the other great challenges we've faced as a nation. If we can put a man on the moon, conquer polio, and put libraries of information on a chip, we can end poverty for those who want to work for a better life."

The bipartisan center has convened a series of serious discussions about poverty, its impact and creative new approaches and solutions. Having a major academic institution behind the effort is encouraging and most promising in terms of new policy development.

Interested in finding out more about this promising project?

Visit the center's site at:

I think you will be impressed.

Here's just a portion of what you will discover about the center's mission:

The UNC Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity will create a forum for the best minds in the state and the nation to work on issues of poverty, work and opportunity. The Center has four goals: first, to address the pressing needs of those currently living at or below the poverty level; second, to provide a non-partisan interdisciplinary forum to examine innovative and practical ideas to move more Americans out of poverty; third, to raise public awareness of issues related to work and poverty; and fourth to train a new generation to combat the causes and effects of poverty and to improve the circumstances of working people.


Dallasfan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charles Senteio said...

Thanks for the knowledge Larry. I am still hopeful that committed folk coming together can effect change concerning this growing issue. I don't know Edwards well enough to say whether his seemingly acute caring is real or not however I don't worry too much about that. I think it is far more useful and productive to focus on the message rather than the messenger. Let's keep challenging each other concerning our deeds.

Dallasfan said...


If you would be so kind. Please remove my ealier post. I am sorry for taking the post in negative direction. It was not my intention. I should have held my tongue, or in this case my comment, until I thought it through more. Thanks.

Larry James said...

Dallasfan, no, no. . .I don't see your post as taking us in any wrong direction. And, I apprciate your correction, which is correct--the project aims to be nonpartisan and likely hopes to become bi-partisan. So, you are correct.

I do believe he is sincere, as are many very wealthy people who are concerned about poverty. Frankly, in the current political climate I can't see how speaking out forcefully for the poor and the marginalized is going to help him politically! But I appreciate his message and I hope that he will be able to help our nation return to a better perspective concerning the poor among us. I have honored your request and removed your first post, but it was totally fine. Sorry I am just now back to my office after a day on the road with a dozen team members or I would have taken it down earlier. Keep posting!

Chris Field said...


Funny that you posted this here today as I anxiously wait to hear back from UNC school of law which is my first choice because of that very program with John Edwards. I will keep you updated.

A. Lo said...

I think John Edwards is undertaking a noble task. I have to disagree with him on one point, however. I am afraid that poverty is the biggest problem we have faced as a nation, and that ending it will be a much larger challenge than even conquering polio or putting a man on the moon. It just seems to me that so much of our society is built on the backs of the poor, is organized in such a way to keep them in the cycle of poverty that making large changes will mean resistance from many who benefit from the current system. (I doubt many people resisted conquering polio.)

I think the quest to end poverty in America is right and neccesary, but I think it will be a project on a scale we have not yet undertaken as a country.

And yet the funny thing is that it starts one person at a time, I suppose.

Jeremy Gregg said...

Interesting facts from the AFL-CIO:

An analysis of securities filings showed that CEO salaries rose 12 percent in 2004 compared with average raises of 3.6 percent for rank-and-file workers, further widening the world's largest gaps between executive and labor pay.

The average CEO of a major corporation received $9.84 million in total compensation in 2004, the AFL-CIO said. CEO raises once again dwarfed those of the average worker, who saw pay rise 2.9 percent, to $33,176 per year.


In other words, CEOs make over 296 times as much as the average worker.

Yes, this country was built on the backs of the poor, who continue to carry it forward.

Anonymous said...

Is this a sham? No e-mail address where one can make easy contact & share their own thoughts & suggestions to improve the plight of the poor? If he was REALLY sincere the web page would have an open forum for ideas!