UC Davis participates in UC-wide Global Poverty Action Day

HANNAH LEE / AGGIE

UC campuses come together to combat poverty

Students are uniting across University of California campuses during the week of April 17 to bring attention to the multifaceted issue of poverty and inequality. Cross-campus initiatives will be held throughout the week to commemorate Global Poverty Action Day.

On April 19, the UC Davis Blum Center is showing a screening and discussion of Poverty Inc., a documentary that more closely examines the problematic aspects of the foreign aid industry. Students can view the documentary and take part in an interactive discussion with staff members at 5 p.m. in the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building room 3001. The documentary works “to uncover the ways in which the traditional systems of development assistance by the West can stifle economic development and reinforce cycles of poverty in developing countries,” according to the event’s website.

In the six years since its founding, the UC Davis Blum center has funded over 140 student projects and contributed almost $250,000 in support.

“The Blum Center is an on campus entity that seeks to engage the student body on campus to develop scalable and sustainable solutions to poverty both domestically and globally,” said Funke Aderonmu, a fourth-year international relations and economics major. “We accomplish this mainly through global poverty courses the Blum Center staff teach each year and our annual travel grants programs for undergraduate and graduate students.”

As UC Davis’ Blum Center outreach coordinator, Aderonmu works to inform and connect the student community to events and programs organized by the Blum Center that are happening on campus.

“With a focus on excellence, our mission is to engage UC Davis faculty and students in finding tangible, sustainable solutions to alleviating global poverty,” the UC Davis Blum Center’s website states. “This multi-disciplinary, cross-campus initiative engages undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers and local community partners abroad through education, applied research and outreach,”

Each of 10 UC campuses has its own Blum Center focused on a specific aspect of combatting poverty. While UC Davis and UC Berkeley Blum Centers are dedicated to research and education surrounding developing economies, other campuses like UCLA tailor resources toward addressing poverty and health in Latin America. Each campus is uniquely qualified and to tackle certain areas the issue of poverty locally and abroad.

“This will be the first convening of the Blum Centers as a federation,” said Richard Matthew, faculty director of UC Irvine Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, in an interview discussing cross-campus efforts to hold events to raise awareness for Global Poverty Action Day.

Events unique to each campus held during the week of April 17 will form a united front to educate and combat the issues of poverty and inequality.

“The events taking place during this week will highlight themes that resonate with each campus and community, ranging from the role of technology in tackling the Syrian refugee crisis, to addressing local and global food insecurity, to the relationship between healthcare and inequality, to how students can drive sustainable production and consumption practices individually and collectively,” Aderonmu said.

During this weeklong initiative, all 10 campuses will combine their expertise and unique resources to further educate UC students about the multifaceted issues of poverty locally and abroad.

“As a public research university we are uniquely positioned to look for innovative approaches to intractable issues like poverty,” said UC President Janet Napolitano in an interview announcing the cross-campus initiative.

Beyond raising awareness of the multifaceted issues of global poverty, economic and social justice, these centers work to expand research and educational opportunities for students to get more involved.
Written by: Ally Russell — campus@theaggie.org

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