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Lisa Dodson

Research Professor Emerita, Boston College
Chapter Leader: Oregon SSN

Connect with Lisa

About Lisa

Dodson’s area of focus is anti-poverty research and policy – particularly the effects of poverty on mothers and children. This has included 20 years teaching courses about inequality, low-wage work and welfare policy; action-research projects that always include participation of low-income mothers/families; and working with organizations toward presenting evidence to affect state/federal policy, including: 9to5 (National Organization of Working Women), Service Employees International Union, Family Values at Work and now in Portland Oregon, the Oregon Women’s Equity Coalition and the Portland State University Services for Student Parents. Her current policy-research focus is promoting postsecondary education opportunity for low-income mothers. 


Why Millions of Girls Are Doing Unpaid Care Work This Summer

  • Amanda Lynne Freeman

In-Home Childcare Providers are Essential—And Overworked, Underpaid, and Sometimes Not Paid at All

    Larissa Petrucci , Mary King Lola Loustaunau

To Address the Child Care Crisis, Talk to Low Wage Moms

    Mary King

Helping Parents Get a College Education Helps Children Succeed

    Lisa Dodson

Why Higher Education is a Must for Low-Income Mothers

    Lisa Dodson

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Opinion: "The Road to Universal Childcare Will Be Local," Lisa Dodson (with Amanda Freeman), The Hill, December 23, 2022.
Opinion: "Supporting Parental Education Can End Generational Poverty," Lisa Dodson (with Luisa S. Deprez), Portland Press Herald, February 19, 2018.
Opinion: "Moms Say, ‘Don’t Make Policy about Us, without Us’”," Lisa Dodson (with Linda Meric), Huffington Post, August 11, 2016.
Opinion: "We Don’t Fight Poverty Anymore," Lisa Dodson, The Conversation, January 15, 2015.
Opinion: "What Happens When the Person Caring for Your Mom Can’t Earn a Living Wage?," Lisa Dodson (with Nancy Folbre), The American Prospect, September 28, 2014.
Interviewed in "Grittv of Air America," Grittv of Air America, January 28, 2010.


"The Growing Need for “Non-Traditional Hours” Met by Underpaid In-Home Providers" (with Larissa Petrucci, Lola Loustaunau, Mary King, and Ellen Kaye Scott). Labor Education and Research Center (2022).

Describes the long, irregular, badly paid and too often unpaid hours home-based childcare providers work to care for the children of Oregon’s working class families.

"Triple Role Overload: Working, Parenting, and Navigating Public Benefits" (with Amanda Freeman). Journal of Family Issues (2020).

Looks at the ways in which work–family–welfare conflict affected mothers’ ability to maintain a stable family and work life. Uses interview data and focus group data collected in Colorado, Georgia, and Massachusetts. Uncovers the intersecting demands these mothers face and the ways in which they are ill-equipped to deal with these demands.

"Oregon’s Unmet Child Care Needs: It’s Time to Invest - Our Future Depends on It," (with Mary King), Family Forward Oregon, September 2019.

Examines the crisis in affordable child care on working families, and its relationship to high rates of young children living in poverty.