Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2014 Summit on Social Consciousness

Andrews University invites you to attend its third annual Summit for Social Consciousness from Wednesday, April 9, through Sunday, April 13. This year’s symposium will focus on the theme of “The Poor Next Door: Poverty In America,” with the objective of informing the community of this chronic problem in our nation, and also providing a means for students and community leaders to engage in social action. All events are free and open to the public.

Michael Snyder’s 2010 article in the Business Insider about poverty in America, states that “The "America" that so many of us have taken for granted for so many decades is literally disintegrating right in front of our eyes…millions upon millions of Americans are slipping out of the middle class and into the devastating grip of poverty” (Snyder, 2010). It is our responsibility to explore the reasons behind this devastating fact and take action. The Summit on Social Consciousness is designed to bring awareness and public education to the subject through the knowledge of different speakers and the opportunity to serve the community hands on.

On Wednesday, April 9, at 6:45 p.m., the summit kicks off in the Pioneer Memorial Church Youth Chapel with Rachel Wade from United Way of Southwest Michigan who will engage attendees in a discussion on relevant facts regarding poverty in our country.  In addition to the evening’s presentation, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in a poverty simulation activity. On Thursday April 10, there will be a documentary screening of “Inequality for All” in the Newbold Auditorium in Buller Hall beginning at 7 p.m. 

The film features former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and is directed by Jacob Kornbluth.  On Friday April 11, there will be a University Vespers held at Pioneer Memorial Church at 7 p.m. featuring special guest speakers Bonnie Bazata and Taurus Montgomery.  On Saturday April 12, a church service will be held at the Howard Performing Arts Center at 11 a.m. with Dr. Timothy Nixon as the keynote speaker, followed by afternoon breakout sessions held in the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, beginning at 3 p.m. 

The breakout sessions will explore the different factors involved in increased poverty levels in the U.S. and will cover various topics addressing the social implications of poverty and economic inequalities.  Presenters for these sessions include the following: Joel Raveloharimisy, director of the community & international development masters program at Andrews University; Peter Lombardo from the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, Ind.; Twyla Smith, assistant professor of social work & director of field education at Andrews University; Lucy Randall from Neighbor to Neighbor; Nicholas Miller, assistant professor of church history at the Seminary and director of the International Religious Liberty Institute; and Sarah Kimakwa, reference & marketing librarian at the James White Library at Andrews University. 

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