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The New Face of Poverty

Date: January 12, 2009
Phone: 269-471-3345

In an effort to bring identity and understanding to a growing global crisis, Andrews University faculty, staff and students honored the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with “The New Face of Poverty”: a week-long event from Jan. 17−23, 2009. With over 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty according to a 2005 World Bank estimate, the week raised awareness for victims of poverty, both globally and locally.

An eye-opening highlight of the week was Hope for Hunger, a campus-wide option to sign a subsistence eating pledge: participants reduced food intake for five days and donated the money normally spent on additional food to replenish two food banks in need. In the end, Hope for Hunger raised more than $6,000 for The Soup Kitchen in Benton Harbor, Mich. and The Better Living Center in Detroit, Mich.
The week kicked off on Sabbath, Jan. 17, with a special New Life Fellowship service. June Madrigal, associate dean of women, presented “Loving Your Enemies,” a sermon first delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Nov. 17, 1957.

At the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation held Monday, Jan. 19, guest speaker Gary Miller, from Trinity Lutheran Church in Berrien Springs, presented, “The Face of Poverty.” Quoting King, “‘The evil which plagues the modern world is that of poverty,’” Miller said, “With that statement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described the familiar face of poverty. It is a base which includes 25,000 to 30,000 deaths per day of hunger-related causes.”

During the convocation, individuals or organizations who exemplify King’s values of civility and equality are recognized with a Freedom Award. This year’s recipients were Bridgman Family Dental Center, the Second Baptist Church of Benton Harbor and the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen.

The poster exhibit “What the World Eats” was on display in the Campus Center, featuring photographs from Peter Menzel’s book, Hungry Planet, depicting what's on family dinner tables in 15 different homes around the globe.
As the week came to a close, the Martin Luther King Jr. Arts Exposition brought hundreds of area students and their families to the Howard Performing Arts Center. A special program with several performances by area public, private and home school children was followed by an awards ceremony for the projects best highlighting the week’s theme.

-Written by Keri Suarez, media relations specialist, Office of Integrated Marketing & Communication

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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104