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Student anti-poverty initiative aims to raise awareness, spark action

January 16, 2008

This news release was updated Jan. 22 to reflect changes to the scheduled events.

 A group of Wake Forest University students committed to eradicating poverty are putting their concerns into action.  The organization, Students Working Against Poverty (SWAP), is sponsoring “kNOw Poverty Week,” featuring a series of events Jan. 28 - Feb. 1 designed to raise public awareness and offer students and community residents concrete ways to help.

“As students at Wake Forest we have access to unbelievable—and undeserved—resources that encourage us to meet success,” said Emily White, co-president of SWAP. “It is not until we begin employing these resources to access the needs of others that we are able to fully realize the blessing and responsibility our education demands in investing in the community around us. SWAP hopes to encourage students to look beyond their own experiences, believing that awareness is forerunner to action.”

The following events are scheduled during the week:

  • Monday, Jan. 28 — A panel of speakers led by Angela Hattery, associate professor of sociology, will discuss poverty in the region at 4 p.m. in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum.  Admission is free and the public is invited.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 29 — “deFeet Poverty,” a 5K run on the campus cross-country
  • Wednesday, Jan. 30 — “kNOw Poverty,” the signature event of the week, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Manchester Plaza, where SWAP members and representatives from various groups will work in shifts throughout the day to package more than 10,000 relief meals.  SWAP is sponsoring the event in cooperation with the international relief agency Stop Hunger Now.   Groups may join in by contributing $100 for food and materials.  In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in Benson University Center, adjacent to Manchester Plaza.
  • Thursday, Jan. 31—“Micro-credit and the Future of Poverty,” a PBS documentary, will be shown in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum at 8 p.m.  Admission is free, and the public is invited.
  • Friday, Feb. 1 — “Third Annual stArt Student Art Auction” begins at 7 p.m. at the Downtown Arts District Association’s (DADA) Community Center, 526 N. Liberty St., Winston-SalemArt work by Wake Forest students and professors will be sold to benefit Crisis Control Ministry.  Food and wine will be available, and a string ensemble will provide music.

For more information, or to participate in any of these events, contact Emily White at  Interested members of the media should contact the News Service in advance to arrange for coverage of events and interviews with participants and organizers.

Press Contacts:

Eric Frazier
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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