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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Bread for the World president to kick off URI’s Colloquium

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Public series focuses on hunger and social policy

KINGSTON, R.I – August 31, 2004 -- David Beckmann, president of “Bread for the World” and the “Bread for the World Institute” will kick off the University of Rhode Island’s annual Honors Colloquium public lecture series, which this year is focused on hunger and social policy.

His speech, “Ending the Causes of Hunger,” will be given on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Barry Marks Auditorium, Room 271, Chafee Social Science Center, URI’s Kingston Campus. All lectures in this semester-long series are free and open to the public. A question-and-answer period will follow.

Beckmann worked as a World Bank economist for 15 years, playing a prominent role in the bank’s heightened focus on poverty reduction prior to joining the “Bread for the World” organization as its leader in 1991. The 30-year-old nonpartisan organization includes 50,000 people of faith and 2,500 churches that seek justice as a Christian voice for ending hunger, primarily by lobbying Congress on legislation that addresses hunger at home and abroad.

“Bread for the World” joined with other anti-hunger organizations to create “The Blueprint to End Hunger in America,” a recently released groundbreaking document that sets a timetable for ending hunger in America. The blueprint identifies federal government policies and programs, including the expansion of national nutrition programs as key elements to ending hunger in America.

Cost estimates for ending hunger in America range from $6 to $10 billion per year in additional federal funding. “The cost is between a nickel and dime per American per day,” Beckmann is quoted as saying.

“What makes “Bread for the World” such an interesting organization is that it consciously ties the individual’s desire and willingness to help those in need to their responsibility to seek justice through political action,” says Kathleen Gorman, co-chair of the Honors Colloquium.

“Without organizations like “Bread for the World” and people like David Beckmann, there tends to be a chasm between the faith-based community serving people in the soup kitchens and those who are working for social change at a political level.”

“Bread for the World” has also taken a lead in the ONE campaign, joining Bono (U2) in this international fight against hunger, poverty and AIDS.

Beckmann, who is also an ordained Lutheran minister, has authored a series of books and articles on the Christian faith and economics.

Beckmann earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University, his master of science degree from the London School of Economics and his master of divinity from Christ Seminary in St. Louis.

Major sponsors for the colloquium include Edward W. Bouclin, The Providence Journal, Theta Chi Fraternity, URI ‘s College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of the Environment & Life Sciences, College of Human Science & Services, Division of University Advancement, Honors Program, Office of the Provost, and President’s Office.

Co-sponsors include URI’s College of Nursing, Multicultural Center; Office of Student Affairs; Partnership on Food, Hunger, and Nutrition; Women’s Center and Women’s Studies Program.
For More Information: Kathleen Gorman, 874-9089