Friday, October 10, 2008

Stand Up and Take Action against hunger and poverty

Soon, millions of people around the world will get on their feet at the same time to STAND UP and TAKE ACTION against global poverty and show their support for the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Last year, the event set a Guinness World Record, with 43.7 million people from 127 countries standing up. The goal this year is to top that number, mobilizing 1% of the world's population, or 65 million people. 65 million pairs of legs standing would be impressive, but a more sobering number is 1.4 billion. That is the number of people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.

There still time to register and be counted!

From campus rallies, to prayer vigils, to blogging about the issue, to living on $2 a day for just one day, thousands of Americas will STAND UP and TAKE ACTION. In Washington, DC, STAND UP activities include:

· A luncheon discussion on Taking Action on Hunger and Poverty, hosted by UNA-USA's Council of Organizations in commemoration of World Food Day and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 12:00-1:30 PM, Fri. Oct. 17, 2008 at the United Nations Information Center, 1775 K Street NW, 4th Floor (UNIC Conference Room), with speakers Michael Curtin, CEO, DC Central Kitchen and Margot Hoerrner, Vice President for Outreach, Friends of the World Food Program and moderated by Anita Sharma, North American Coordinator, United Nations Millennium Campaign (details attached).

· A STAND UP and TAKE ACTION happy hour from 5:30-7:30pm, Friday, Oct. 17th at CafĂ© Citron, 1343 Connecticut Avenue, NW, and from 5-7pm. Sponsored by the UNA-National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) Young Professionals for International Cooperation (YPIC) chapter (details attached).

We're standing up for the impoverished and the UN-led action plan for cutting poverty in half by 2015. The Millennium Development Goals set eight concrete objectives for enhancing quality of life around the world by preventing diseases, providing education, ending extreme hunger, creating economic opportunities and protecting the environment. The UN Millennium Campaign and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, co-sponsors of Stand Up, have teamed up with an array of voices, from clothing company G-Star RAW, to rapper, to help spread the word about the MDGs and hold world leaders accountable to their promise to end extreme poverty. The Better World Campaign has commissioned an expert paper, written by Woodrow Wilson Center scholar John Sewell, on how the next president can most effectively combat global poverty and support the MDGs.

Some ways (but not limited) to TAKE ACTION include:

· Signing ONE campaign’s pledge to the Presidential candidates to keep their commitments to fight global poverty;

· Joining faith services in worship for the Millennium Development Goals with groups such as ONE, the United Methodist Church, Micah Challenge, among others;

· Living on $2 a day and donating what you would normally spend on global poverty efforts;

· Telling the next U.S. President that you want him to improve American leadership in the world by fully supporting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Even in the midst of a major financial crisis, the United States must support the world’s efforts over the next seven years to reach these ambitious goals. Be sure to join millions of people around the world on the weekend of October 17-19 as we Stand Up against poverty and in support of the MDGs.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Let's Talk Bread- Chicago Discussion Group

A new Chicago-area group aims to satisfy your appetite for greater understanding of hunger and poverty issues will hold its initial meeting on Oct. 23 in Oak Park. Called Let’s Talk Bread, the book club-like discussion group grows from the premise that while many thoughtful, compassionate citizens feel obliged to try to alleviate hunger and poverty, they don’t necessarily grasp the many complex facets of the problems, let alone any solutions.

Guided by Christian convictions, Let’s Talk Bread hopes regular conversations—whether centered on a topical book, article or current hunger-related event—can help illuminate the problems and shed light on just which possible solutions hold promise and which do not. Ideally, concerned people who have taken pains to inform themselves then can act to ease hunger and poverty at a local, national and even international level. Let’s Talk Bread is being started by two Bread for the World members but is not a formal BFW offshoot; some BFW materials as well as other sources of information will be used. The first meeting will be a time to become acquainted, look together at Luke 10:25-37 and make future plans. The formula or format for these regular conversations—and even their location--will not be rigid, but will evolve in line with the wishes of participants.

The Let’s Talk Bread conversation will begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at United Lutheran Church in Oak Park, 409 Greenfield Street (Greenfield and North Ridgeland, two blocks south of the Ridgeland-North Avenue intersection). For more information contact John Stumme ( or 773-777-3907) or Rich Liefer (

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Candidates Speak Out About Global Poverty

"When I am President, I will strengthen the health care infrastructure crucial to reducing the spread of tuberculosis and increase U.S. funding for the Global Fund — a partnership that's already saved millions of lives from HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB. We'll meet the Millennium Development Goals, which include halving the number of tuberculosis deaths. And we will live up to our commitment to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a successful program that my running mate Joe Biden and I have long supported…As President, I will live up to our commitment to fighting this epidemic, and together, we will make it clear that America is ready to lead again."

— Sen. Obama, October 3 statement on the launch of the XDR-TB photo exhibit by TED Prize winner James Nachtwey

"The lives of citizens of nations around the globe will be less prosperous and fulfilling without help to combat entrenched problems, such as tuberculosis, which afflicts poorer nations severely. It is critical that we face this crisis head-on with a committed global partnership. As President, I will ensure that treatment and prevention programs are funded at levels befitting a wealthy and great nation. I will have a sustained commitment to helping people in need in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere cope with the ravages of this devastating disease."

— Sen. McCain, October 3 statement on the launch of the XDR-TB photo exhibit by TED Prize winner James Natchwey