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New York - Thursday 17 October 2013 - Working Together Towards a World Without Discrimination: Building on the Experience and Knowledge of People in Extreme Poverty
The International Movement ATD Fourth World will commemorate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The ceremony will take place on Thursday, 17th from 1:15-2:30pm at the United Nations and will be followed by a reception at the Fourth World House.
The theme of this year is “Working Together Towards a World Without Discrimination: Building on the Experience and Knowledge of People in Extreme Poverty" with a particular emphasis on voices of activists from civil society and people living in extreme poverty to share invaluable ideas about how stakeholders can work together to realize a world without discrimination and extreme poverty.
Additionally, there will be a musical performance by Hip Hop Saves Lives, a non-profit organization that teaches humanity through hip hop as an alternative to gang and street life; and an interactive art creation directed by Gema Alava in collaboration with World Council of Peoples for the United Nations.
As part of the ‘People’s Voices’ Series, the World We Want will organize an event in the morning from 10 AM – 12 Noon. The event will feature various speakers including UN agency representatives, a representative of the Participate Initiative, and an ATD Fourth World member with direct experience of poverty in the United States. The event will take place at the Danny Kaye visitors center in the UNICEF building (tbc).
NOTE: For security purposes RSVP is required before OCTOBER 11 to ATD Fourth World by Phone at (212) 228-1339 or by Email at un [dot] ny [at] atd-fourthworld [dot] org
Please bring valid ID to the event (enter at Visitors entrance at 47th Street and First Avenue).
More information about October 17th is available at: http://social.un.org/index/Poverty/InternationalDayfortheEradicationofPoverty.aspx
Dublin - Thursday 17 October 2013 - 17 October Commemoration
Please, have a look on the attached file to discover what happened on 17 October in Dublin.
Here are some media coverage of 17 October :
Working together towards a world without discrimination
Thursday, 17 October 2013, 11am
Master of Ceremonies: Sean Dunne North West Inner City Training and Development Project
Please join us for this very special event!
Refreshments served afterwards in Liberty Hall.
For more information about the 17 October commemoration, please contact: National 17 October Committee c/o ATD Fourth World-Ireland 26 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1 Tel: 01 855 8191 Email: atdfourthworld(a)eircom.net
Oakland - Thursday 17 October 2013 - St. Mary’s Center Honors the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
At St. Mary’s Center, a community center serving underserved seniors in West Oakland, a group of community members and allies gathered on October 17 to observe the day dedicated by the United Nations to ending poverty.
On October 17, members of St. Mary’s Center gathered to observe the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The day was founded by All Together in Dignity (ATD) and focuses on Article 25 of the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights. Article 25 states, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their family, including food,clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services…”
The day is now recognized around the world and focuses on hearing directly from those who have been subjected to extreme poverty. St. Mary’s Center provides a platform for community members and allies to speak out on the problems and solutions to poverty and oppression.
Carol Johnson, executive director of St. Mary’s Center, eloquently framed the purpose of the event by stating, “Poverty denies the right to food, denies the right to housing and denies the right to health care and denies the right to transportation… We are here together, just like people from all over the world to work together towards a world without discrimination.”
The Dance Performance
Jean Toney, organizer and artist at St. Mary’s, began the event with a performance called, “Watch My Cart.” She told the gathering that the motivation for her piece came from an event that happened at St. Mary’s Center.
When a man came to the center one day and needed medical attention, Toney asked if there was anything she could help him with, and he asked her to please watch his cart. After a brief conversation with the man, it was brought to light how much a cart meant to the man and served as a touchstone to many others who carry their belongings on the street.
Toney’s performance was accompanied by a poem by Mary Rudge, the poet laureate of Alameda, with the same title, “Watch My Cart.”
WATCH MY CART
by Mary Rudge
It is my home.
In it is everything I own.
I have no one to turn to,
I need something to return to,
It’s my cart.
On the sidewalk I’m alone
I sleep beside it,
care for what’s inside it.
Nothing a thief would choose, I’m sure
yet I’m more at ease to know that it’s secure
the least thing has value to one who is poor:
a pair of socks — torn,
a paper with my name
that proves that I was born,
a tattered sweater, very worn,
a blanket, for those cold times
a plastic cup to hold for dimes
No place to stay, no place to sleep,
all I own is in a cart, so little to keep.
Thousands homeless in Alameda County
I walk so very far, so very tired
Tens of thousands homeless in California
not ever a job for which I can be hired —
Millions homeless in the nation
Millions more jobless in the nation
so very ill
too serious for the free clinic —
The center director said, “He can’t die here,
call the paramedics they will …”
(He pleads, I cannot pay a hospital bill)
Statistics show millions of children
without health care in the US
Millions of families without
“Take him to emergency”
concerned we asked him, “What else can we do?
Anyone we can call?
Anyone at all to know about you?”
He bowed his head
and thought it through,
“No one — my cart, is all I’ve got
what’s inside is not a lot,
but will you
Watch my cart?”
That night in my dreams
The shopping carts came,
each one had a spirit that moved it on,
all night through space,
each city, the nation,
they took on a strange configuration,
of dance until dawn —
A gigantic Queen of Carts
with tin can jewels, and newspaper cape,
and a salvage-stuff crown
led each cart to take their new shape,
the carts became the personas of the poor
rolled from all across the country —
through the White House door —
of the people, by the people,
for the people
Give me your
tired, your poor …
The wretched refuse
cast off from your shore
The lost, the tempest-tossed
to sign new orders into law
granting homes for all as legal right
with a guaranteed income, for whatever they could do,
musicians, dancers, artists, writers too,
people cleaning up the
streets and beaches,
washing all the windows
so the sun shines through
and designers made fantastic materials
making comfortable homes and the
man returned from the hospital to see
his shopping cart by his own front door,
a joyful sight —
I awoke in this light!
Oh the wheels of the shopping carts
roll and roam,
only to the stores to bring groceries home,
oh the cans inside, full of nourishing food,
and everyone home in a good neighborhood.
And the world is good.
Made right by the creator’s art
to answer the pleas of the poor
who could only turn to strangers like
me and you
to ask please
watch my cart.
Statements were read about the causes of homelessness, such as high medical bills, loss of housing and the impact on one’s loss of dignity.
Then, a group of dancers provided movement that embodied the misery weighing down on a homeless person and the resurrection that occurs when one’s needs are met.
The play ended with the famous Civil Rights hymn, “We Shall Overcome,” and brought the energy up in the center with the spirit of both connection and resilience.
A Light in the Dark
A personal story of homelessness and finding the motivation to change from within was shared by Keith Arivnwine, a member of St. Mary’s. He explained how he had to get his mind right in order to focus on not being homeless.
“When I was homeless I was always hustling,” Arivnwine said. “I kept hustling all day because I didn’t have any money in my pocket.”
Keith presented his photo documentary on homelessness and described how he used to live on the streets right in the neighborhood of St. Mary’s Center.
During that tough period in his life, a man named Mr. Jones was very important to Keith Arivnwine and provided him with wise counsel and encouragement that helped him towards the path of changing his life for the better. He described Jones as a “light in the dark” for him and many other people in the community as well.
After spending a brief time in jail, Arivnwine entered the winter shelter at St. Mary’s Center and the support he found helped him make the transition to permanent housing.
One of the last photos in Arivnwine’s presentation was an image of the door to his own place. As he shared that image of his new home, he said, “Change needs to come from within and I am not the same person anymore. After all the places that I have crashed, I am so happy to have four walls to call my own.”
Threats to the safety net
Ecaterina “Cat” Burton, the food justice advocate with the Alameda County Community Food Bank, and Jodie Reed, from California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA), both gave passionate talks about the importance of advocating both for yourself and the community.
Burton and Reed explained the constant threats by the federal government to cut funding and dismantle the safety net services, and the urgent need to protect food stamps and Social Security programs.
Cat Burton described the devastating $40 billion dollar cut to the Farm Bill. Both Social Security and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) are successful means of helping to lift people out of poverty.
Many members of St. Mary’s Center wore light blue in honor of Maya Angelou’s call for our “collective determination to turn the pain of the blues into the sky of unlimited possibilities.”
October 17 became a day of recognizing the importance of even the smallest victory over economic injustice. The victory is in each and all of us in the struggle towards dignity and liberation.
At St. Mary’s which is a community center serving underserved seniors in West Oakland, a group of community members and allies will be gathering on October 17 to observe the day dedicated by the United Nations to ending poverty.
Clinchco - Thursday 17 October 2013 - All Together in Dignity
County Residents Once More Celebrate the World Day for the Eradication of Poverty
The World Day for the Eradication of Poverty, observed on October 17, is an awareness-raising event on the situation of people in poverty and their struggle to better their lives and provide a decent future for their children.
Here, in Dickenson County, residents and visitors from adjacent counties have gathered to observe the World Day since 1995. Each year, our local celebration centers on a theme, this year's being “All Together for Dignity; Respect for All”
The event at the Clinchco Senior Center began at 6 pm with a potluck meal. A short quiz was distributed asking the forty-five participants questions about the numbers of people in our county receiving some form of social assistance. All were surprised at the relatively low level, dispelling a common misconception of large numbers benefiting from these program. Sister Bernie Kenny, who has been so active in helping our community residents, remarked that even she was not aware of these low numbers and urged the audience to be less “I am right” and more “We together” in our relations with each other.
Two short videos were shown; one, “Words to Reflect On” gave quotes about poverty by noted people. The other titled “Smiles” was a collage of photos showing the pride and dignity of people who in their every day life try to make a better future for themselves and others.
In between presentations, we heard songs from Jackie Hanrahan, Kathy Shepherd, Jim Mullins and Linda Dixon. As one participant commented, “We learned a lot and enjoyed ourselves doing it.”
Potluck supper followed by presentations and music on the theme "All Together for Dignity - Respect for All
Kattankudy - Thursday 17 October 2013 - 17 October Commemoration at Kattankudy, Sri Lanka
So for the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, I summoned, my friends and I spoke about Father Joseph Wresinski and his hard sacrifices for poor people in Noisy-le-Grand and about the ATD Fourth World Movement. They said that they never heard of this movement. Then we collected some money and then we issued 96 cooked rice parcels to an orphanage in Kattankudy where students are living. Adam L., Sri Lanka
We will be having a 17 October event to speak about why poverty is a major issue in the world today.