Article Lisa R. Pruitt

Rural poverty: ‘A way of life’ for numerous Oklahomans
Lisa Pruitt quoted in Tulsa World

Tulsa World, August 7, 2016

With no air conditioning on a brutally hot summer afternoon, 19-year-old Breeze Bunch is sitting on the front porch with a half-empty Pepsi and a bottle of sunscreen.

“Why don’t you go splash in the water?” Bunch tells her 2-year-old daughter, who waddles off toward an inflatable kiddie pool under a shade tree beside the house.

Lisa Pruitt grew up in the wooded hills of northwest Arkansas, where it was about an hour’s drive across the state line to her grandfather’s house in Stilwell. That was, of course, long before she earned a doctorate from the University of London and became a law professor at the University of California-Davis, where rural poverty has become the main focus of her scholarship. But perhaps her experience with Stilwell, and the similar poverty she saw growing up in rural Arkansas, sparked the interest in her.

People have a misconception about rural poverty, she says, that “it is somehow not as debilitating as urban poverty.”

Read the full article at Tulsa World.

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