In remembrance of 50 years since Lyndon B. Johnson's efforts against the nation's poverty dilemma, Elon University hosted its Community Connections forum on "The War on Poverty," Monday, Jan. 27.

Social Security, Welfare, Homelessness and children without enough to eat. These, and many more, are reasons why the Elon community saw fit to take part in a discussion that could lead to not only solving the issue in the local community, but potentially throughout the entire nation.

Professionally moderated discussions on broad subjects such as poverty, gun control and healthcare (from former panels), are outlets the university uses to make a difference in the community. North Carolina's Alamance County has about a 7.5 percent unemployment rate, as well as 32 percent of its residents living under the poverty line. The unemployment rate dropped from 9.7 percent in 2012, but the community knows there is still work to be done.

The forum was composed of five community panelists and four invited panelists who shared their opinions and thoughts on poverty as a whole. This included their personal experiences, their political positions and opinions on legislation and ultimately anything else they could bring to the table.

Elon Professor of Religious Studies, Toddie Peters, and Thomas Henricks, Professor of Sociology, served as two of the four invited panelists. Associate Dean of the School of Communications and Associate Professor of Communications, Kenn Gaither, served as moderator for the event.

Elon sophomore Jensen Roll represented his organization, HOPE (Helping Other People Eat) as a panelist as well.


The discussion took place in McKinnon hall at 7 p.m. and ended at 8:15 p.m. with a reception where the audience could continue conversation.

The next Community Connections event is expected to take place in April.