Archive for September, 2009

Multimedia Interpretations

September 25th, 2009

Greetings colleagues!  It has been a wonderful two sessions with you all.  I have left each time with a sense of awe at the depth and perspective we are able to explore the issues of poverty across the globe based on our composition as a group.  It is also very exciting to feel the passion that each of you bring to the discussion.  What an enriching experience!

Jim and Jennifer will be providing the readings for our next meeting, but I wanted to also provide some additional materials that have helped me to make sense of and contextualize the readings from last session (an maybe help with the readings for our next session as well).  We had a lot of conversation regarding the problem of “we vs. them” when trying to articulate the issue of poverty, as well as discussion on the nature of what “developing” meant when trying to identify countries in need.  I found two interesting presentations done by Hans Rosling that  helped me to “see” what we were reading and put it in historical context.  I would suggest watching the videos in order.  The first proposes a change in mindset, while the second looks more specifically at poverty.  For me, it is so interesting to see how we can use technology to not just interpret data, but use it to tell a compelling story.  Hans’ programs are so helpful in seeing the multiple dimensions of global development.

Video #1

Video #2

For those interested, Gapminder (Hans’ data program) is actually a Web 2.0 tool.

I found two other videos by Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of Acumen Fund, as an attempt add a personal voice to the issue of poverty (as noted by Stephanie during our first session), as well as a tie-in to a conversation I had with Ibra last session regarding the need for local involvement and direction when providing support and aid to those in need.

Video #3

Video #4

One last video I found also provided a more personal account of poverty issues, in particular living in the slums –  A Slum Insight.  ”A slum insight is a video developed by Gapminder in collaboration with UN-Habitat and ITC for the UN Habitat conference World Urban Forum III , Vancouver, Canada. “

Finally, I would recommend visiting AmericanPoverty.org, “…an organization of photojournalists commited to poverty alleviation in the United States.”  These photojournalists are committed to making the invisible, visible.  Their site contains a number of moving photo essays on poverty in our own country, with an emphasis on children.

Session Two

September 16th, 2009

Readings for the session on September 16, 2009:

  • Toward a Framework for Understanding Forces that Contribute to or Reinforce Racial Inequality - William Julius Wilson
  • Planet of Slums: Urban Involution and the Informal Proletariat – Mike Davis
  • America’s Shame: Children Living in the Shadows of America’s Prosperity – Carol Camp Yeakly, Jeanita W. Richardson, and Judith Brooks Buck

Session One

September 3rd, 2009

Included below is some of the language in the original proposal, language that should provide a place to begin the conversation.  We have also attached two NY Times articles by Paul Tough, the author of “Whatever It Takes” about Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Project.  Before Friday, try also to look at the United Nations’ “Millennium Development Goals report- 2008.”  Let’s talk about these articles and the UN goals on Friday and discuss the direction we might take with this reading group.

In addition to Tough’s book, the group might also consider Mike Davis’s book, “Planet of Slums,” Jonathan Kozol’s book, “The Shame of a Nation” (Kozol will be on campus in mid-October), or Duncan Lindsey’s book, “The Child Poverty and Inequality.”

We hope the rest of your first week goes well and look forward to seeing everyone on Friday.

Alison and Joan