John Edwards to Address WNY Poverty Symposium at UB

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: October 19, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Former U.S. senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards will visit the University at Buffalo on Oct. 30 to deliver the keynote address at the Western New York Poverty Symposium being held in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

Edwards, now Alumni Distinguished Professor and director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law, will speak at 11:05 a.m. after an introduction by UB President John B. Simpson. A question-and-answer session with members of the audience will follow Edwards' speech.

The event will be free and open to the public.

Edwards, who served six years in the U.S. Senate representing North Carolina, was the Democratic candidate for vice president in the 2004 presidential election. He is the first director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, a non-partisan initiative to bring together UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and other national public policy experts to examine innovative and practical ideas for moving more Americans out of poverty and into the middle class.

While a member of the U.S. Senate, Edwards championed such policy initiatives as raising the minimum wage, expanding the earned income tax credit, creating matching savings accounts for low-income families and providing incentives for teachers to teach in low-income schools. He also focused on poverty during the 2004 presidential campaign.

A 1977 graduate of the UNC School of Law, Edwards earned a bachelor's degree from North Carolina State University in 1974.

The Western New York Poverty Symposium will open at 8:30 a.m. with registration and continental breakfast. Kathryn Foster, director of UB's Institute for Local Governance and Regional Growth, will welcome participants at 9 a.m. with remarks entitled "Framing the Problem: A Look at Western New York Poverty."

A panel discussion, "Innovative Ways of Addressing Poverty in Western New York," will take

place at 9:15 a.m. It will feature UB faculty members and members of state and local organizations. Invited panelists are Nancy Smyth, dean of the UB School of Social Work; Lauren Breen, clinical instructor in the Community Economic Development Law Clinic in the UB Law School; Bill O'Connell, executive director of the Western New York Homeless Alliance; the Rev. Richard Stenhouse, executive director of Bethel Head Start, Bethel A.M.E. Church; Brenda McDuffie, president and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League; Michael Weiner, commissioner of the Erie County Department of Social Services; and Robert Bennett, chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents.

For more information, contact the UB Office of Government and Community Affairs at 645-7730.