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  • A street market in South London. Photo credit Kim Jones.
  • Students in a Qualitative Research Methods class and members of the APO Service Learning fraternity celebrate Halloween 2009 with children at the East Burlington Community Center. Photo credit Kim Jones.
  • Apple pressing in Cowee, NC 2008 as part of research conducting through PERCS. Photo credit Kirsten Rhodes.
  • NC potter Mark Hewitt with a clay coil for a large pot in Pittsboro, NC 2005. Photo credit Tom Mould.
  • A young woman getting her lip pierced at Kingpin Tattoo in Greensboro, NC 2002. Photo credit Lauren Vilis & Samiha Khanna.

The Voices of Welfare Project:

As a collaborative project, PERCS is working with local agencies, politicians, community groups and individuals to assess the perceptions and realities of public assistance in Alamance County specifically, and the nation more broadly. This past fall, Elon students joined the project through the Anthropology class titled “Faces of Welfare” taught by Associate Professor Tom Mould. In the class, students examined the system of public assistance in contemporary and historical contexts and conducted fieldwork in Alamance county, recording the stories people shared about their views and experiences with public assistance.

One of those students, Communications major, Heather Cassano, produced a short documentary film, describing the project and the initial steps the class took to prepare for their fieldwork.  

The Faces of Welfare from Heather Cassano on Vimeo.

Goals and outcomes for the project include materials for the public to provide a more accurate picture of public assistance, as well as resources for local agencies and politicians who work to develop the most effective services possible for the poor in Alamance County.