Thursday: “A Place at the Table” film about Hunger and Homelessness in the US

An event announcement from one of my students.

We are screening A Place at the Table, a documentary produced by the creators of Food, Inc., about food insecurity in the United States today.  It documents the experiences of three food insecure American families, while challenging the viewers to consider the options for ending American hunger for good.A place_table flyer

What is our responsibility to alleviate poverty around the world?

I noticed today that Yahoo! News (yes, I know, not a very impressive source for news, but I still have an email account with them and visit their website daily) had a link to Poke’s Global Rich List:

Global Rich List.

This list will tell you just how rich you are compared to the rest of the world.  Most Americans are easily within the top 10%. If you have an income of $50,000 or so, you are easily within the top 1%. They use World Bank data to source their numbers. Now, there are a number of problems with their methodology. It doesn’t, for instance, take into account relative purchasing power ($50,000 would buy me a lot more in Ghana than it does in the US). But it does remind me of a great article I often have my students read, one that was introduced to me by Amy Gurowtiz at UC Berkeley.

Peter Singer’s “Solution to World Poverty”, which appeared in the New York Times Magazine over a decade ago, presents a fantastic version of a cosmopolitan argument for our individual responsibility towards others in the word.

There are alternative views on individual and collective responsibility, and I won’t relate them all here. But I offer these today as interesting food for thought.

And if you do feel inspired to donate something somewhere, I might suggest that the Kibera School for Girls, a project founded by Wesleyan students I have had the privilege to teach, might be a good place to start.

News: Madagascar and World Bank study on poverty

Lova Rakotomalala at Global Voices tells us that the President of Madagascar has resigned.

Duncan Green has a favorable early review of the new World Bank study, The Moving Out of Poverty Study. More about the book can be found on the World Bank’s website. According to the website it is due to be released sometime this month and is available for pre-order.