Baylor To Hold Inaugural Poverty Summit

Nov. 19, 2008

by Lillyan Baker, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

The students of Baylor University will recognize and address the poverty around the Waco community with the inaugural Poverty Summit at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in Bennett Auditorium on the Baylor campus. The summit is sponsored by the department of student activities, Baylor Interdisciplinary Poverty Initiative, Baylor Students for Social Justice and Steppin' Out.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will present Dr. Gaynor Yancey, professor and associative dean of the School of Social Work at Baylor. There also will be a panel discussion with community members, students, faculty and staff and five interdisciplinary breakout sessions about medicine, economics, missions, politics and ethics in poverty. Student photography and poster sessions also will be featured showcasing various Baylor and Waco programs addressing poverty.

"The Poverty Summit aims to stimulate academic thought about poverty issues in Waco, the United States and the international community," said Marianne Magjuka, coordinator of service learning initiatives at Baylor, who helped develop the idea of the Summit. "Through ongoing and open dialogue, the Summit aims to raise awareness, engage students in meaningful thought about the issues surrounding poverty and hopefully encourage action."

In August 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau named Waco the fifth poorest city in the state of Texas based on the more than 27 percent of individual Waco residents who live below the poverty level. Baylor students are reaching out to help the 1 in 3 children that live in poverty in Waco.

In addition, a benefit concert for Kenya will be hosted at Common Grounds in Waco at 9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, by the Poverty Summit and University Baptist Church (UBC). Attendees are asked to make a $5 donation to the UBC mission trip to Kenya at the concert.

Baylor students, faculty, staff and members of the community are welcome to The Baylor and Waco community can register for free at http://www.baylor.edu/student_activities/service/index.php?id=59488. The registration is used for t-shirt information and for the number of meals needed.

For more information, please contact Magjuka at (254) 710-6938.

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