University of California Students to Lead Global Poverty Action Day Across State
Students across one of the world’s most renowned public research university systems are coming together to promote global equity. Wednesday, April 19, will mark the first Global Poverty Action Day (GPAD) for the University of California. It is led by the Student Action Committee for the Eradication of Poverty and Inequality (SACEPI). SACEPI is the student arm of the Blum Federation, which joins all 10 UC campus Blum Centers to catalyze the resources of the University of California towards solutions for local and global poverty through research, education and public service.
At UCSB, the signature event will be a panel discussion examining theory vs. reality in responsible production and consumption (i.e. how products are made and consumed), and what the various actors in the supply chain can do, with a focus on the role of youth. The panelists will include Dr. Richard Appelbaum (Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Global Studies, UCSB), Dr. Nelson Lichtenstein (Professor of History, UCSB), Ian Bentley (co-founder and CEO of Parker Clay), and Aditi Mayer (sustainable fashion blogger, and UCI student). The discussion will be held on Wednesday, April 19, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Theatre and Dance Building West, Room 1701.
The event is part of a week of activities across UC campuses to channel student ideas and energy into causes for equity and social justice in California, the U.S. and the world. Organized by and for students, events will highlight themes that resonate with their campuses and communities, including the role of technology in tackling the Syrian refugee crisis, addressing local and global food insecurity, the relationship between health care and inequality, and how students can drive sustainable production and consumption practices individually and collectively.
As Caitlin Rathe, a SACEPI representative from UC Santa Barbara noted, “It’s been exciting to watch each of these events develop at many UC campuses. Students at each campus are taking a different approach to raising awareness and inspiring action around sustainable development and poverty, but we’re working together to amplify student voices across the UC and make change that is greater than our individual efforts.”
The goals of GPAD are to highlight issues that resonate with today’s youth, provide new and diverse perspectives on these issues by working with campus and community experts, and to clearly identify what youth can do to get involved and take action on these issues.
“I think Global Poverty Action Day is the first initiative I’ve seen within and across campuses to get students centrally engaged in the conversation around poverty, and I hope it will serve as a launching pad for more campus activities centered on understanding and tackling global poverty,” said Funke Aderonmu, a SACEPI representative from UC Davis.
Global Poverty Action Day is one sign of the growing engagement of university students across the nation. The 2015 Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey, undertaken by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, shows that the level of interest in political and civic engagement among first-year, full-time university students has reached its highest point in the past 50 years, when the study was created. Almost 40 percent of students indicated an interest in community leadership, and 60 percent had a “strong interest in improving their understanding of other countries and cultures.” 
 UCLA Newsroom. 2016. “College Students’ Commitment to Activism, Political and Civic Engagement Reach All-Time Highs.” February 10. Retrieved March 16, 2017 (http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/college-students-commitment-to-activism-political-and-civic-engagement-reach-all-time-highs)
* * * * * * * * * *
Global Povery Action Day - Lawn Signs Catching Your Eye?
As part of Global Povery Action Day, lawn signs have been put up across campus with key statistics related to responsible consumpton and production. Here are links to additional information related to those signs, if you'd like to learn more:
Pantsios, Anastasia. 2014. "8 Shocking Facts About Water Consumption," EcoWatch, December 15. Retrieved April 17, 2017 (http://www.ecowatch.com/8-shocking-facts-about-water-consumption-1881989...)
Koch, Wendy. 2013. "Clothes Recyling Goes Curbside as Demand Rises," USA Today, April 20. Retrieved April 17, 2017 (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/20/recyling-clothes-e...)
Solidarity Center. 2015. "Global Garment and Textile Industries: Workers, Rights and Working Conditions." Retrieved April 17, 2017 (https://www.solidaritycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Global.Garme...
World Wildlife Fund. 2014. "Handle with Care: Understanding the Hidden Environmental Costs of Cotton," Spring Issue - World Wildlife Magazine. Retrieved, April 18, 2017 (https://www.worldwildlife.org/magazine/issues/spring-2014/articles/handl...)