Considering the Consequences of Poverty

April 1, 2011

Book cover: To Right These Wrongs

Robert Korstad wanted to talk about democracy—and class, race, and politics. His book To Right These Wrongs, coauthored with Jim Leloudis, is an account of the North Carolina Fund, then-Governor Terry Sanford’s 1963 antipoverty initiative, and it offered Korstad the opportunity to probe all of the above.

But what Korstad, the Kevin D. Gorter Professor of public policy and history at Duke’s Terry Sanford School of Public Policy, particularly wanted was an ongoing dialogue on the causalities and consequences of poverty and how to combat them. He says that a prime objective in writing the book was to present the sort of moral questions the fund raised about poverty that he believes are seldom discussed anymore. “We didn’t want to just go back and rediscover this moment in history without having some way of having the past be in conversation with the challenges we face today.”

So, in conjunction with the release of the book last year, the authors launched a three-year initiative, “The Moral Challenges of Poverty and Inequality,” that Leloudis, a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, hopes will “stimulate broad conversation about the moral challenges of poverty and inequality.” Cosponsored by Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics and UNC’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, the initiative will offer classes, a speaker series, and community-based work to twenty-four students, half from Duke and half from UNC.

Learn more about the book and read an excerpt online.