WCU Poverty Project
On behalf of Jennifer Cooper and the steering committee of the WCU Poverty Project, I'd like to share with you a number of upcoming events in the WCU Poverty Project this February and March, and whom to contact to find out more about them.
 
• February 8th at 6:00 pm in the UC Theater: Film/Discussion Series presentation of  Waste Land with discussion led by Erin Tapley, Associate Professor of Art Education (Laura Wright/Heather Talley)

• February 16th Power Out for Poverty. Lauren Bishop, WCU’s Energy Manager, would like to invite faculty to participate in Power Out for Poverty all day long on 2.16.12 as an engaged teaching and learning event. This event is a voluntary blackout for one day to support poverty awareness education. (Many students will already be participating in the blackout through their residence halls.)  It also supports the Battle of the Plug energy competition.  Energy is a basic necessity for economic and social development.  The availability of energy is a key component of alleviating poverty and 1.6 billion people on planet earth still live without it.  According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), “Without access to modern, commercial energy, poor countries can be trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, social instability and underdevelopment.” (Lauren Bishop)

• February 21st at 7:00 pm in NS-1: “Global Intersections- People, Agriculture and Community: A Discussion of Farm Labor in North Carolina” will include a showing of the short documentary film “Harvest of Dignity,” about migrant farm workers in North Carolina. This will be followed by a brief presentation and discussion on migrant labor here in WNC led by Nathan Dollar, executive director of “Vecinos Incorporated Farm Worker Health Program.” (Peter Nieckarz)

• February 27th, 3:30-5:00: Diversity Dialogue on Teaching about Poverty  will address issues related to teaching students about poverty. The event will look at theoretical perspectives and teaching tools, and participants will be actively involved in several "hands-on" experiences during the session, which is open to faculty, staff and students. (Rebecca Lasher)

• March 8th-12th Live Below the Line event, challenging participants to eat on less than $1.50 per day for an entire week in order to understand better the limitations of those living in extreme poverty, sponsored by the Honors College Board. Susan Belcher, Beth Tyson-Lofquist, and SGA President TJ Eaves will share their experiences living below the line this past fall prior to the event. (Jessica Hurlbut/Brian Railsback)

• March 14th Global Poverty Project Forum Simon Moss, Co-Founder of the GPP, will join us for an open forum and conversation at which some of the questions and comments raised in the wake of Hugh Evans' presentation this fall will be discussed in detail (John Whitmire/Jennifer Cooper)

• March 15th: Annual Gender Conference: this year's theme is “Women and Poverty in the Global Economy.” (Mickey Randolph)
Inspired by the presentation by the CEO of the Global Poverty Project on campus in September, the president of WCU’s Student Government Association and the wife of Chancellor David O. Belcher are participating in the Live Below the Line Campaign beginning Monday, Oct. 24. Click here to read more.
As we near the halfway point in the semester, we would like to share an update on the WCU Poverty Project, the University’s year-long poverty-focused initiative. The project has already generated an array of service opportunities, engaged teaching and learning initiatives, and creative and scholarly projects; and a variety of events are scheduled for the remainder of this semester. We invite you to join us for some of these programs. Here are a few highlights :  

• October 1-31, various locations, Soles4Souls Shoe Drive: The WCU criminal justice club is sponsoring a shoe drive during the month of October. For more information, please see http://news-prod.wcu.edu/2011/09/students-sponsor-shoe-donation-drive-in-october/, or contact Cyndy Caravelis Hughes at caravelis@wcu.edu.

• October 17, 5:00 pm, Deadline for December commencement speaker contest: Each year the Honors College sponsors the student December commencement speaker. The speaker receives $300 from the College, a plaque from the Chancellor’s Office, and has the honor of giving a speech to the graduating class. This year the speech topic is “Helping Others in Hard Times: What Can the Graduates of 2011 Do?” All undergraduate students at WCU are welcome to submit a speech. Speeches should be submitted to the Dean of The Honors College, Brian Railsback, at brailsba@wcu.edu.

• October 22, 9:00am - 3:30pm, WNC Faith Summit on Poverty: Lutheran Church of the Nativity, Arden, NC, for more information please contact ABCCM.

• October 25, 7:00 pm, UC Club Illusions, Water for Children: A Presentation on Restoring Hope by Providing Access to Clean Water: WCU students have raised $2000 toward building a well to supply clean water to a Kenyan village. They will give a presentation on the project, their experiences, and the potential impact of the project. For more information, please contact Andy Miller at Anderson.miller.ram@gmail.com.

• October 27, 7:00 pm, UC Club Illusions, Gadfly’s Night of Comedy: It’s Funny That We’re This Poor When You’re That Rich: The Philosophy and Religion student club is organizing an evening of economic satire. The program will include video acts from George Carlin, Steve Colbert, Jon Stewart, and more, as well as free food. For more information, please contact Emily Elders at emelders1@catamount.wcu.edu.

• October 29, 10:00 am, various locations, Make a Difference Day: Participants can volunteer at a variety of locations throughout the community. Many of the projects will allow students to work with poverty-relief agencies. For more information, please contact Jennifer Cooper at jacooper@wcu.edu.

• November 3, 6:00 pm, UC Theater, Born Into Brothels film screening & discussion: A film & discussion about the lives of the more than 10,000 women and children in Kolkata, India, who work as prostitutes. Heather Talley of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology will lead a discussion after the film. For more information about the movie, please see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388789/, or contact Dr. Talley at htalley@wcu.edu.

• November 9, 12:20 pm, McKee 110, “The Kenya Experience: Development in a Small Village”: A brownbag discussion with Anthropology and Sociology faculty and students who travelled to Kenya in summer 2011. For more information, please contact Nyaga Mwaniki at mwaniki@wcu.edu.   • November 9, 6:30 pm, Bardo Arts Center, "The Hospital's Obligations To The Uninsured and The Undocumented" Presentation

• November 14, 6:00 pm, Blue Ridge Multipurpose Room, Oxfam Hunger Banquet: Participants randomly draw tickets that assign them to different income levels, based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. Depending on where they sit, some receive a filling dinner, while others eat a simple meal or share sparse portions of rice and water. Participants gain a new perspective on the root causes of hunger and poverty—and often feel motivated to do something to help. For more information, please contact Derald Dryman at dadryman@wcu.edu.

Here is a summary of the major programs that the WCU Poverty Project has generated up to this point in the semester:

• The September 7 kick-off event for our year-long university-wide initiative was a presentation by Hugh Evans, CEO of the Global Poverty Project presentation. The back-to-back presentations on extreme poverty drew 1,900 students, faculty, staff, and community members. More details are available here: http://thereporter.wcu.edu/2011/09/back-to-back-global-poverty-project-presentations-draw-crowds/.

• On September 15, the Public Policy Institute sponsored a Constitution Day panel discussion. The panel included two WCU faculty members and two community leaders debating the question, “Is there or should there be a constitutional right to a minimum level of subsistence?” Approximately 30 students, faculty, and staff attended the program.

• There was a film screening & discussion of Inside Job on September 28. Inside Job is a documentary that takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown. Dan Bromburg, of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, led a discussion after the film.

• On October 1, the WCU Wesley Foundation sponsored a Stop Hunger Now food packing event in conjunction with the WCU Center for Service Learning and the WCU Teaching Fellows. Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization that organizes food packing events where volunteers pack nutritious dehydrated meals that are used in crisis situations in developing countries around the world. Nearly 100 participants, primarily members of the university community, packed 36,288 meals. More information is available here: http://news-prod.wcu.edu/2011/10/students-team-up-with-members-of-the-community-to-fight-hunger/.

• Approximately 90 students attended an Invisible Children film screening and presentation on October 6. The Invisible Children campaign is focused on raising awareness and funds to help child soldiers and displaced people in central Africa, particularly in Northern Uganda.

• The Leadership Institute sponsored a House Party on October 7. Nearly 100 students participated by building and sleeping in 14 cardboard houses. They raised nearly $1000 to help the homeless.

You can find more information on the WCU Poverty Project webpage, http://www.wcu.edu/29252.asp, or the project’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/WCUPovertyProject.


Join us September 7th, 2011 at 7:00pm in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center Discover 1.4 Billion Reasons ...

This presentation by the Global Poverty Project's Hugh Evans will launch the WCU Poverty Project, a year of engaged teaching, learning, service, and creative and scholarly opportunities centered on poverty, both globally and locally. 

Click the image below for more information about the Global Poverty Project to discover Western Carolina University's inspiration as we launch a QEP initiative of service learning and interdisciplinary scholarship across the WCU community. 

   

 

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