Oct. 17 was the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly and has been observed every year since 1993. Dr. Donald Lee is the head of the World Poverty Day committee for this year.
“Throughout the world, the poorest are forced to live in shame,” Lee said. “The World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty should enable them to show their dignity and to free themselves from dependence on handouts.”
The WTAMU Department of Communication has been actively involved in bringing awareness of poverty to the campus community. Department of Communication Head Dr. Trudy Hanson allowed her freshman IDS class decide how they were going to help.
“We came up with something simple so we could all have an impact,” said freshman Broadcast Journalism major Aaron Alcozer.
He and his classmates gathered in the Pedestrian Mall on Oct. 17, holding signs in a silent demonstration to inform people about poverty around the world and in the panhandle community.
“[I feel] more aware about poverty, particularly here in the panhandle,” said freshman Mass Communication major Jenna Harrison.
The students kept the silent demonstration a secret. The students in the IDS class hoped to attract the curiosity of other people on campus.
“If people had known, they might have ignored it,” Isaac Gallegos, a freshman Sports and Exercise Science major, said.
Instructor of Communication Mona Gregory has been selling Patience Bracelets made by a woman in Niger named Oumou as another way to raise awareness about poverty. With the help of students, WT organizations and other professors, Gregory has managed to raise $461.10 in sales and donations to send to Oumou.
There was also a food drive over the past month within the Communication department to collect food for the High Plains Food Bank. It was a contest between various major and organizations within the Communication department. The High Plains Food banks serves 29 counties in the panhandle and distributes food to 165 agencies.