Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

January 20, 2005

Community-Development Lecture Series at Whitworth
to Feature Urban-Investment Strategies Specialist

In a concerted effort to address poverty in Spokane through a new method called "Asset-Based Community Development," Whitworth College, in collaboration with Bethel A.M.E. Church, is hosting a community-action lecture series at the college's northside campus. The lecture series, "Alleviating Poverty and Building Assets for the Development of World-Class Communities: Partnerships and Collaboration," features nationally recognized community-development experts who discuss accessing assets and developing partnerships that can result in community change.

The third and final lecture in the series will take place during a Feb. 11 luncheon presentation, "Creating Sustainable Communities in an Era of Economic Uncertainty and Global Insecurity," by James H. Johnson, Jr., the William Rand Kenan Distinguished Professor of Management, director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center, and co-director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The luncheon-lecture will take place Friday, Feb. 11, from noon-1:30 p.m. in Quall Hall at Whitworth Presbyterian Church, located at 312 W. Hawthorne Road in north Spokane. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For reservations, please contact Sarah Brody by Feb. 4 at (509) 777-4269 or sbrody@whitworth.edu.

Johnson's fields of expertise include community and economic development; the effects of demographic changes on the workplace in the U.S.; interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies; urban poverty and public policy in urban America; and workforce diversity issues.

Johnson has published more than 100 scholarly research articles and two research monographs, and has co-edited four theme issues of scholarly research journals. His latest book, Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angeles, was published in 2000 by the Russell Sage Foundation.

Johnson's research has been widely cited in a number of national media outlets, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and U.S. News & World Report. His most recent television appearances include "The Today Show" on NBC; "CNN Headline News"; "CBS Evening News" with Dan Rather; and "ABC Nightly News" with Peter Jennings.

Prior to joining the University of North Carolina faculty, Johnson was a professor of geography and director of the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a B.S. degree in geography from North Carolina Central University; an M.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison; and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

The lecture series is part of Whitworth's "Lives of Commitment Project," which was launched in 2001 when the college received a $1,014,000 grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The five-year program is based on new research that identifies tools for helping college students develop a robust worldview that becomes a way of life after they graduate. The project supports visiting speakers, research seminars, faculty-development programs, and other initiatives to integrate worldview issues and civic engagement into the college culture and curriculum.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Contacts:

Sarah Brody, assistant to the director, Murdock Lives of Commitment Project, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4269 or sbrody@whitworth.edu.

Peter Dual, interim director of development special projects, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4685 or pdual@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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