Poverty and Community Development

This research area deepens understanding about the intersection of the social, economic, and political forces that perpetuate poverty in communities worldwide. This research effort is informed by the Catholic Social Tradition, particularly the principle of the preferential option for the poor, which demands that we spend more resources—financial and intellectual—on those who are most vulnerable. Work in this area also seeks to illuminate and concretize the University’s aim, stated in its mission statement, to develop in its students “a disciplined sensibility to the poverty and injustice that burden the lives of so many.” Research can address these concerns in international or domestic communities, but special attention is given to how they are expressed and addressed in the local community.