Gene Nichol was the recipient of the Council’s 2013 Faith Active in Public Life Award. (To see his keynote address at our 2013 Legislative Seminar, “It’s Better Not to Be Poor in North Carolina,” click here.) Gene’s upbringing and education in Catholic circles have led him to a special concern for the most vulnerable people in our midst.
Gene is a law professor, former UNC Law dean, and the director of the Center for Poverty, Work, and Opportunity, an important part of the work of the UNC Law School. His strong, articulate advocacy on behalf of poor and vulnerable people in NC has made him a target for the folks currently in charge of the state’s government. Now, a working group of the UNC Board, whose members are named by the state House and Senate, has recommended that the Center be closed. Evidently the Center’s concern for poor people – and Gene’s passionate advocacy – is not something this crowd wants to hear from the state’s flagship university.
Please read Gene’s gutsy response. And if you want to weigh in on the closing of the Center for Poverty, Work, and Opportunity, consider the following:
- write a letter to the editor of your local paper
- e-mail your concerns to Governor McCrory, Speaker of the House Moore, and Senate President Pro Tem Berger . (Note that the current members of the UNC Board were elected before Rep. Moore became Speaker of the House.)
- communicate with the chair of the UNC Board of Governors, John Fennebresque. The Board is scheduled to meet next week to consider the recommendation to close the Poverty Center.
- send us a word of affirmation for Gene, which I will forward to him. Click here to send something.
We are proud to be associated with Gene and grateful for his faith-driven concern for the most vulnerable of Jesus’ brothers and sisters.