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Updated 10:00 AM October 25, 2004




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National Poverty Center gets $1M grant renewal

The University's National Poverty Center (NPC) will continue searching for ways to reduce poverty with the help of a $1 million, third-year federal grant renewal.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the renewal of its four national poverty research centers earlier this month.
Michael O'Grady, HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, speaks at a National Poverty Center event Oct. 14. The center "has an important role in building our capacity for public policy," O'Grady says.
(Photo by Marcia Ledford, U-M Photo Services)

These centers plan and conduct a broad program of policy research and mentoring of emerging scholars to analyze national, regional and state environment and policies affecting the poor, particularly families with children who are poor or at-risk of being poor.

"This renewal of funds allows the National Poverty Center to continue to build on the activities of the past two years," says Rebecca Blank, co-director of the center and dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, which coordinates NPC efforts. "We have a major conference on poverty and economic change planned in the coming year, as well as a big project on how recent immigrants are faring over time compared to low-income native-born families.

"The HHS funds have let us build a research center that involves scholars from around the country and from all disciplines. This is important in studying as multifaceted a problem as poverty."

Sheldon Danziger, Henry J. Meyer Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, also serves as co-director.

The grants continue HHS's long-term commitment to explore the causes and consequences of poverty and how to effectively alleviate it and its effects. The centers develop a cadre of scholars.

"The National Poverty Center has an important role in building our capacity for public policy," says Michael O'Grady, HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation. "This is important not only for progress in scholarship, but in the public policy capacity of public organizations, both in government and outside of government."

U-M's NPC involves a multi-disciplinary team of U-M faculty members, as well as some from other universities nationwide, conducting research.

"So much of the progress we have made in reducing poverty can be attributed to careful research," HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson says. "The National and Area Poverty Centers play a critical role not only in contributing to this body of research but also preparing researchers to meet the challenges of the future."

For more information on the NPC at U-M, visit

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