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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 10, 2006

Law Symposium Hosts Edwards to Discuss Poverty Oct. 14

Former U.S. Senator John Edwards will discuss poverty when he delivers the keynote address at a University of Iowa College of Law symposium examining ten years of welfare reform on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Edwards' keynote address, "Restoring the American Dream -- Fighting Poverty and Strengthening the Middle Class," will begin at about 1 p.m. in the Boyd Law Building. In addition, documentarians Jonahthan Skurnik and Kathy Leichter will screen their recent PBS documentary "A Day's Work, A Day's Pay" at 9:40 a.m. on Oct. 14 and participate in a roundtable discussion afterward.

The symposium, "One Act, Ten Years, and Thousands of Families: Welfare Reform in Contemporary America," will be held Oct. 13 and 14 at the Boyd Law Building and is sponsored by the law school's Journal of Gender, Race and Justice. The symposium examines how people have been affected by new federal welfare policies since President Bill Clinton signed the welfare reform bill into law in 1996.

Admission to the symposium is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Other prominent welfare reform scholars expected to attend the symposium include Karen Czapanskiy and Steven Schwinn, professors of law at the University of Maryland; Lisa Pruitt, professor of law at the University of California-Davis; Michele Gilman, professor of law at the University of Baltimore; and Vivian Hamilton, professor of law at West Virginia University. A complete schedule of symposium events and speaker biographies can be found online at

Also expected to attend the symposium will be Jackie Marte, one of the featured subjects of "A Day's Work, A Day's Pay." The documentary follows Marte, a former welfare recipient, as she struggles to find job training and a job required by the 1996 welfare reform law.

Edwards currently works as the director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He served as a U.S. Senator for North Carolina from 1998 to 2004 and was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,