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Interview with Jeff Jordan, March 24, 2016

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:32 - Upbringing and Research

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Partial Transcript: Let's just start off by finding out a little bit about your background...

Segment Synopsis: Jordon talks about his upbringing in Wayne, Michigan and his parents' work in the Air Force. Jordan explains what led him to Griffin, Georgia. Jordon talks about his research in agricultural marketing and how it led to his position as a researcher for the University of Georgia, Griffin campus. He discusses his further research on poverty and education in Georgia.

Keywords: American Economic Association; Clemson University; Michigan State; University of Georgia (UGA)

00:07:02 - Further research

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Partial Transcript: Actually, what I did first was I went over to the College of Education...

Segment Synopsis: Jordon talks about how he acquired funding for research into the connection between poverty and education in Georgia. He talks about his later research with Georgia State University's Experimental Economics lab.

Keywords: Georgia State University; University of Georgia; dropout rates; economics; education; experimental economics; grants; high school dropout

00:13:35 - Land-grant Universities / Spreading poverty awareness

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Partial Transcript: One of the reasons that I decided to go there...

Segment Synopsis: Jordan talks about the mission of land-grant universities and how it impacted his economic research. He explains his work in Partners for a Prosperous Griffin and poverty awareness. He describes how the issue of poverty is avoided in both the physical and cultural segregation of cities throughout the US.

Keywords: Michigan State University; Will Doss

00:21:04 - Discussing poverty

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Partial Transcript: But without the ability to talk about and recognize...

Segment Synopsis: Jordon talks about the stigmas around poverty, and how he believes it is centered around the hesitation of discussions about race. He discusses how understanding poverty and its impacts on people is necessary for helping poor communities.

Keywords: Zachery Holmes; education

00:27:54 - Discussing poverty (cont.)

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Partial Transcript: How do you have these conversations...

Segment Synopsis: Jordan talks about not having a solution for the discussions on poverty in Griffin. He explains how poverty and education are directly related.

Keywords: segregation

00:34:08 - Coming to the South

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Partial Transcript: And then you've got that whole other dynamic...

Segment Synopsis: Jordan explains how Griffin encompasses many of the issues around poverty in the US. Jordan compares living in Griffin to living in the Northern US. Jordan describes how a large part of the Wayne, Michigan community originated from the south during World War II and later shares a short story about his friend's experience with discrimination.

Keywords: race

00:41:04 - Discussing discrimination

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Partial Transcript: And the whole thing as we've seen now...

Segment Synopsis: Jordan talks about discrimination and the challenges he faces in understanding prejudice. He describes instances of blatant racism he has seen in his life. He adds how his opinion on race is different from his son's.

00:47:09 - Race across generations / Segregation in society

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Partial Transcript: My son, actually that's an interesting question...

Segment Synopsis: Jordon continues to describe how he and his son differ on their understanding of race in American society. He explains how education has shifted towards inclusion, while housing continues to be segregated based on race and income.

Keywords: poverty

00:54:16 - Mixed-income housing / Addressing poverty

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Partial Transcript: Is there any place in America that is...

Segment Synopsis: Jordan continues to touch on the issue of racial segregation through housing and potential solutions to the issue. An example he gives is mixed housing plans where neighborhoods are constituted of different income classes. Jordan talks about the challenges that face policy makers in addressing poverty in today's political and social climate.

Keywords: public housing

01:01:30 - Jordan's Legacy

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Partial Transcript: Jeff, you've been here in Griffin for 34 years...

Segment Synopsis: Jordan talks about his legacy and his ultimate wish that the University of Georgia will play a role in positive societal changes. Jordan describes the importance of universities as a source of inspiration for students who may feel constrained by class or race.

Keywords: Georgia Experiment Station; Griffin, Georgia; community

01:07:40 - Universities and the community

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Partial Transcript: And my wife at school tells me this all the time...

Segment Synopsis: Jordon recalls how a field trip grant for his wife's school affected students in their small community. He explains how universities should showcase opportunity for kids in the community. Jordan and the interviewer discuss the importance of trust between communities and universities in addressing local issues.

Keywords: University of Georgia; education

01:14:28 - Making changes with race relations

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Partial Transcript: But to make real social change...

Segment Synopsis: Jordan talks about the characteristics organizations need in order to make changes in low-income communities. He reflects on the social changes that have taken place over the years, and the future changes that need to happen, specifically relating to race and poverty. Jordan emphasizes the importance of understanding history and social structures for addressing current and future problems.

Keywords: University of Georgia (UGA); poverty