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Author Michael Leo Owens

  • Michael Leo Owens

    Guest Blogger

    Owens is a 2012-2014 Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellow, sponsored by Emory University and The Op-Ed Project. An Atlantan by job but a New Yorker by birth, he studies how and why “bad” people and places get “good” things through politics. Author of God & Government in the Ghetto: The Politics of Church-State Collaboration in Black America, his current book project is Prisoners of Democracy, a study of the challenges and prospects of ex-felons for reclaiming their full democratic citizenship in the United States, especially in Georgia. Before joining the Political Science faculty of Emory University, Owens worked for the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. His opinions have appeared in Atlanta magazine, the New York Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and been heard on National Public Radio. He lives in unincorporated DeKalb County with his wife and their Poodle-mix.


Atlanta’s (non) upward mobility: 'Better quality public education is consequential'

A guest blogger and urban politics expert weighs in

Editor’s note: Plenty of media types have chimed in on the recently released Harvard/Berkeley study that documents the impact of geography on social mobility. And it’s been widely noted—locally and nationally—that metro Atlanta ranks low when it comes to the odds of a child born into the lowest rungs of poverty growing up to be an adult in the wealthiest income bracket. To get perspective, we’re approaching experts outside the media sphere to comment on the study in general and the metro Atlanta findings in particular. Here, Michael Leo Owens, chair of the governing board of the Urban Affairs Association and associate professor of Political Science at Emory University, offers his take. Read More