Video Interview: Dr. Ruby Payne on Communities and Children in Poverty

Posted by Dr. C.J. Huff on March 15, 2018

A legend in the field of education, Dr. Ruby Payne has done tremendous work in improving the lives of children and communities in poverty. In this brief video interview, Dr. Payne shares personal stories and offers insights to superintendents, teachers, and community members on breaking the cycle of poverty.

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Topics: Breaking the Poverty Cycle, Community Engagement, Community Development

The Future of Children in Poverty: 2 Lessons Learned from Dr. Ruby Payne

Posted by Dr. C.J. Huff on June 30, 2017

In the last couple of years, I have had the great privilege of visiting with Dr. Ruby Payne on a number of occasions. I can think of no one who has had more influence on the national conversation around childhood poverty in America over the last two decades than Dr. Payne. Every time I hear her speak or am able to sit down and talk with her in person, I come away with a new nugget of wisdom.

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Topics: Breaking the Poverty Cycle

An Empty Stomach has No Ears

Posted by Dr. C.J. Huff on March 2, 2017

Recently, I spent some time in North Central Missouri in the community of Edina. A rural community in Knox County that bears a striking resemblance to the area I grew up in Southeast Kansas.

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Topics: Breaking the Poverty Cycle, Community Development

Meet the Working Poor: Learning not to Judge

Posted by Dr. C.J. Huff on December 3, 2016

From a US Bureau of Labor Statistics perspective, the working poor are defined as “…people who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (that is, working or looking for work) but whose incomes still fell below the official poverty level.”

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Topics: Meaningful Leadership, Breaking the Poverty Cycle

The Importance of Mentors

Posted by Dr. C.J. Huff on October 24, 2016

We acquired the word "mentor" from the literature of ancient Greece. In Homer's epic The Odyssey, Odysseus was away from home fighting and journeying for 20 years. During that time, Telemachus, the son he left as a babe in arms, grew up under the supervision of Mentor, an old and trusted friend. When the goddess Athena decided it was time to complete the education of young Telemachus, she visited him disguised as Mentor and they set out together to learn about his father. Today, we use the word mentor for anyone who is a positive, guiding influence in another (usually younger) person's life.1

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Topics: Community Engagement, Community Development, Breaking the Poverty Cycle

Calling All Presidential Hopefuls: How Are U.S. Children Doing?

Posted by Dr. C.J. Huff on August 31, 2016

Now that the 2016 presidential-primary election season has arrived, I offer a homework assignment for our candidates.Many questions will be raised in the coming months. However, in my view, there is one question that supersedes all others because it zeroes in on the heart, values, priorities, and vision that those vying for America's top political office should have.

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Topics: Breaking the Poverty Cycle

A Line in the Sand: When is Enough, Enough?

Posted by Dr. C.J. Huff on August 15, 2016

I recently had the privilege to speak to educators and business people at the North Carolina Conference on Education. This fantastic event was hosted by the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and attended by a group of education and business professionals who “get it.”

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Topics: Breaking the Poverty Cycle

Bridging the Opportunity Gap: Creating New Opportunities for Children and Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Posted by Dr. C.J. Huff on July 28, 2016

There is no question a correlation exists between poverty and opportunity. However, what that correlation looks like depends on whom you ask. For some, poverty should not exist because everyone has the same opportunity. After all there are plenty of examples of individuals who have “pulled themselves up from their own bootstraps.” Yet others point to the lack of opportunity as the very reason why the cycle of poverty continues.

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Topics: Breaking the Poverty Cycle