National Urban Alliance President Eric Cooper Discusses Poverty, Social Equity, and Justice in America at Southern Vermont College Lecture

September 28, 2012

Southern Vermont College (SVC) opened its annual public lecture series on Tuesday, October 16, with a lecture, entitled “Poverty Is Not Destiny: Social Equity and Basic Justice in America,” by Eric Cooper, President of the National Urban Alliance (NUA) Effective Education. Free and open to the public, the lecture took place at the College’s Everett Theatre at 2:10 p.m. A reception followed in the Burgdorff Gallery, where attendees met and conversed with Cooper. The theme of the SVC’s lecture series this academic year is entitled “Look Within, See Beyond: Stories of Empowerment and Change.”

According to Cooper, “Education remains the primary pathway to equal opportunity and improved life trajectories for all of America’s citizens. The educational pipeline from K-12 to higher education must be improved if we are to avoid the waste of human capital in our democracy. Highly educated citizens can empower a nation so that America continues to lead by example for the global community.”

Prior to his position at NUA, Cooper served as Executive Director for the NUA at Columbia University’s Teachers College and as Adjunct Associate Professor for seven years. He was also the Vice President for Inservice Training and Telecommunications for the Simon and Schuster Education Group. Cooper served as Associate Director of Program Development for the College Board, as Administrative Assistant in the Office of Curriculum for the Boston Public Schools, as Director of a treatment center for emotionally disturbed students, and as a Washington Fellow.

Cooper was awarded the 2008 Martin Luther King Award by the Israeli Consulate of New York City; named Community Advocate of the Year by ABCD of Bridgeport, Conn.; and received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Award for producing a series of PBS documentaries. He has also been a contributor to several publications, including “The New York Times,” “Washington Post,” “Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity,” “NBC’s Education Nation,” “Hearst Northeast” “Birmingham News,” and “Education Week.”

Cooper earned a B.A. in Psychology from City University in New York as well as a Master’s Degree in Special Education, an Ed.M. in Educational Administration, and a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Among the lectures in the series, take special note that, on Tuesday, February 12, Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea will deliver a lecture, entitled “Poetry: Another Way of Knowing.” For more information on the lecture series, contact SVC Office of Communications at 802-447-6388 or