From staff reportsJohn Edwards, the former North Carolina senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate will head UNC-Chapel Hill's new Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.
The center will be non-partisan, according to a university news release. It will convene professors and public policy experts to examine initiatives for bringing more Americans into the middle class. It will have an advisory committee of senior faculty representing several disciplines across campus.
In his run for president, and later as John Kerry's running mate, Edwards stressed the theme of two Americas, one for the rich and one for the poor and middle class. In addition to leading the center, Edwards also will serve as a guest lecturer on campus.
"The fact that millions in this country go to work every day and still live in poverty is wrong and unacceptable," Edwards said in a news release of his own. "This is personal to me, and I believe that it is one of the most important moral issues of our time.
"Together with UNC, I will work hands-on to explore creative approaches to the difficulties that families in poverty face every day. We may not have all the answers right now, but I can promise you this: we will be asking the hard questions. We will work tirelessly so that America's bright light of opportunity shines on all of us."
Edwards attended the UNC law school, graduating in 1977 before spending years as a trial lawyer and spending six years in the U.S. Senate.
“John Edwards is a distinguished Carolina alumnus, and we are delighted that he will return to campus to bring together today’s best minds to focus on issues that affect us all,” Chancellor James Moeser said in the university's release.
At UNC, Edwards will be hold an alumni distinguished professorship, which is funded by private gifts. It takes effect Feb. 14, according to the news release.
Also check out this link to a cool photo of JRE: http://www.unc.edu/news/pics/event/commencement/2002/edwardscomm.jpg
I'm thrilled about this new center and career direction (for now). Professor Edwards, need a labor and business librarian? Sign me up!