Tag Archives: poverty

Fighting Poverty with Data: Research at the Intersection of Machine Learning and Development Economics

From Joli Holmes ’17:

Next week the Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative will host a
Friday lunch (April 15th) talk in Downey House 113 at noon, featuring
Wesleyan alumnus Joshua Blumenstock, a graduate of 2003 with a degree in
Computer Science and Physics. He was a Watson fellow.

Joshua Blumenstock is Assistant Professor in the Information School, with affiliations in Computer Science and Engineering, at the University of Washington. He is co-Director of the Data Science and Analytics Lab, where they work on methods to analyse large-scale behavioral data, keyed to trying to understand better poverty and economic development.

Fighting Poverty with Data: Research at the Intersection of Machine Learning and Development Economics.
He’ll show how he and his collaborators have worked in Afghanistan, Ghana, and Rwanda combining field-based experiments and interviews with terabyte-scale mobile phone data to gain insight into the distribution of poverty and wealth in order to improve policy decisions.

Date: Friday, April 15
Time: 12PM-1PM
Place: Downey House

The Assembly Theater Project Workshop: Class and Poverty

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The deadline on this one is today, so act fast! From CFA Project Manager Erinn Roos-Brown:

The Assembly Theater Project will lead a three-part interdisciplinary workshop examining the nature of class and poverty in the US through research, personal monologues and physical actions. The mission of the workshop is to increase empathy and understanding by humanizing and embodying class divisions.

Blood, Muscle, Bone: A Performative Teach-In

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This courtesy of Sara Feldman ’17, Alma Sanchez-Eppler ’14, and Trinithas Boyi ’16:

Come to a performative teach-in by the members of the class, “Blood, Muscle, Bone: The Anatomy of Wealth and Poverty” this Monday evening!  Through visual presentations, movement, spoken word, and songs, the students will invite the audience to explore poverty and wealth and their surrounding issues.  The program will run from 7pm to 11pm.  The doors will open every thirty minutes, so come when you can and stay as long as you can.

Please come join us in this exploration of interdisciplinary learning!  This program will make you think.

Date: Monday, November 11, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Place: Beckham Hall
Cost: Free!

This Is Why Not, Part 2: A Guest Post from Cesar Chavez ’15 about Poverty at Wesleyan

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NOTE FROM BZODAbout a month and a half ago, we posted a piece by Cesar Chavez ’15 in which he translated a letter from the custodial staff to President Roth in which custodial staff decried their unreasonable working conditions. That letter was part 1 of 2. This letter, written by Cesar, focuses on the invisibility of poverty at Wesleyan. With that, Cesar’s post:

My name is Cesar Chavez, poor Hispanic male, age 19. I am writing this because as a poor student I can no longer stand and see how I, along with other students, am brought into a cycle of perpetual poverty by this university. It is unfair that this university has the audacity to state that there is no money for poor students and that it forces us to take loans in order to obtain a degree that in the future will become a worthless piece of paper. Likewise, I  want to break the silence around the issue of poverty. By not talking about the issue, we allow this injustice to continue. I also would like to direct this critique to poor students currently at Wesleyan. If you are reading this, I encourage you to speak up. I know the frustration and anger that you are all probably experiencing. Do not keep it inside yourselves. Make your voices heard.

Our custodians are not the only ones who have been alienated, marginalized, and oppressed at Wesleyan. Poor student have suffered these ailments as well. I, along with many other students, am a victim of indentured servitude that comes in the form of student debt. I am a poor student going to this “elite” institution so that I can pursue my academic goals and be a member of a productive society. But in my opinion, many people aren’t going to college to learn anymore; people attend college so they can land a decent job. Likewise, we live in a time when a bachelor’s degree won’t get you too far. Because we live in a global capitalist economy dominated by a global plutocracy, students in the United States have to compete even harder for jobs with students from other countries like India and China. In order to stay competitive, one needs to obtain a Masters or PhD. As a result the college and school cultures have changed in recent years to accommodate the growing corporatization. More emphasis is placed on standardized tests, corporate careers, competition, and raising tuition. Now, few people seem to have desire to learn anymore. They simply want to walk in, pass tests, get the career networks they need, walk out and land a decent job. All of this has shown me that higher education is dying and makes me question, “Why am I even bothering with college?”

Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign Summer Internship Info Session

Rosendo “Ross” Levin ’15 extends another opportunity to be awesome to you:

Fresh off a wild ride of a spring break with the Poor People’s
Economic Human Rights Campaign, a few Wesleyan students will be
talking to you about how you can join into the next step in an ongoing
experience of learning by living, communal living, anti-poverty
organizing and bridging barriers through dialogue and action in one of
the poorest urban neighborhoods in the country. The Poor People’s
Economic Human Rights Campaign is the largest multi-racial poor
people’s movement in the United States. In Philadelphia, the affiliate
organization is led by Cheri Honkala, the organization’s National
Coordinator and 2012 Green Party candidate for Vice President. The
Philadelphia affiliate has many roles–it is a political voice for the
poor, it works to solve the problems of poverty (such as housing,
welfare, and food), and it works to organize so that society can be
more fair and cooperative. Interns will help in the daily operations
of PPEHRC, doing everything from working on the occupied farm to
collecting information for housing takeovers to creating fliers to
distributing food to helping people move through bureaucracy to
writing grants to marching, and much else. Internships are also
possibly available in other cities with PPEHRC affiliates, please be
in touch if you would like more information.

Date: Tuesday, 4/23
Time: 4:15-5:15 PM
Place: 41 Wyllys Ave, Room 110

Student Forum: Intimate Partner Violence, Intersectionality, and the State

Power and ControlWant to learn about the connections between the criminal justice system, intimate partner violence and poverty? Interested in public policy, public health, social work, or social justice? Consider joining the 1 credit student forum Intimate Partner Violence, Intersectionality and the State, led by Ali Patrick ’13:

Come to the info session for the forum (there will be snacks), or email apatrick[at]wesleyan[dot]edu if you can’t make it. We will decide on a meeting time for the course at the info session. In this discussion based forum, we will explore intimate partner violence through an intersectional lens, focusing on interactions with various state systems (ie. the criminal justice system, welfare system, legal system). More info after the jump!

Date: Friday, January 25th
Time: 5-6 p.m.
Place: 41 Wyllys Ave, Room 110
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Film Screening: The Garden

Democracy Matters and WesFresh present The Garden, a 2009 Oscar-nominated film.

The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community.

But now, bulldozers are poised to level their 14-acre oasis.

The Garden follows the plight of the farmers, from the tilled soil of this urban farm to the polished marble of City Hall. Mostly immigrants from Latin America, from countries where they feared for their lives if they were to speak out, we watch them organize, fight back, and demand answers.

  • Date: TOMORROW, April 277
  • Time: 8:15PM
  • Place: Judd 116

RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook if you would like to.