Author: Rochelle Cecil
Date: September 13, 2013
Date: September 13, 2013
Categories: Academics|Community|Impact

A four-day symposium entitled “Global Poverty and Hunger: Unveiling the Connections, Seeking Solutions” will begin Wednesday, September 25, at Houghton College and host top experts, including renowned activist, Eugene Cho.  All events are free and open to the public.

Cho, along with 10 other speakers from around the world, will address hunger and poverty issues on local, national and global levels. 

This is the third annual Faith and Justice Symposium and is brought in partnership by both Houghton’s Center for Faith, Justice and Global Engagement and Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging US decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad, by challenging policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist.  Bread for the World also facilitate opportunities and processes for communities to engage with and address their own challenges.  Houghton’s partnership with Bread for the World, through this Symposium, helps in highlighting the significance of these issues at all levels, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary responses.

 “We can end hunger in our time.  We have the knowledge, technology and resources but do we have the will and commitment to fighting the injustices that perpetuate these challenges?  The Symposium is designed to help us unveil the connections and seek solutions—linking faith & justice to respond to poverty and hunger at all levels--local, national and global,” said Dr. Ndunge Kiiti, Houghton College professor of international development and the director of the Center.   

This year’s symposium will feature 17 speakers from across the country, all working to find answers to the questions of poverty and hunger.

Eugene Cho is a renowned anti-poverty activist and the co-founder and visionary of One Day's Wages, "a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty;” founder and lead pastor of Quest Church; and founder and executive director of the Q Café, an innovative non-profit community café and music venue.

Cho was recently honored as one of 50 Everyday American Heroes for his entrepreneurial work. More of Cho's story can be found on his blog at

The mission of the Center for Faith, Justice and Global Engagement is to challenge individuals to explore the intersection of faith and justice, to engage with issues of global concern, and to work for human flourishing in local, national and international contexts.  The symposium provides the opportunity for the public to engage with speakers, authors, and educators in a series of forums and activities. These will focus on prominent issues, such as food security, immigration reform, vulnerable populations, arts and advocacy that connect with and impact programs and policies related to poverty and hunger.

Other notable speakers are:

-- Jackie Ogega is the program officer for child protection at Catholic Relief Services and the co-founder and director of Mpanzi, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing peace and development in remote villages in Africa.

-- Larry Hollar is a senior regional organizer with Bread for the World.

--Dr. Calenthia S. Dowdy is an associate professor of cultural anthropology and youth ministry at Eastern University.

-- Dr. Chiho Suzuki, with UNICEF, is an international development professional with over 15 years of program and research experience in health and social development. 

-- Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy leads Bread for the World’s national level engagement with evangelical churches and institutions. She also chairs the advisory council for Micah Challenge USA, a global Christian campaign to end extreme poverty.

-- Gonzalo Martínez de Vedia is the human trafficking project specialist at the Worker Justice Center.

--Todd Post is a senior editor with Bread for the World Institute. He writes about hunger and poverty in the developing world and United States and travels widely.

-- Dr. Norbert Wilson is an associate professor of agricultural economics at Auburn University. 

-- Derek Schwabe is the Hunger Report fellow at Bread for the World Institute, where he writes for and assists with the production of the Hunger Report and coordinates readership outreach.

-- Tracy Howe Wispelwey is a songwriter and composer along with holding a Masters of Divinity from Harvard.

--Panel Discussants from Allegany County will include: Kate O'Stricker, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Lynn Bliven, Local Producer; Jaime Sarvis, Allegany County WIC Program (Women, Infants, and Children); Belinda M. Knight, Community Operations Director, ACCORD Corporation; Captains David & Kristen Means, Pastors/ Administrators of the Wellsville, Salvation Army NY Corps and Co-Directors of Houghton College S.A.S.F. (Salvation Army Student Fellowship)

Individuals and organizations are invited and challenged to think critically and dialogue around key questions, issues, opportunities and challenges of poverty and hunger, not only across the globe, but even here in Allegany County.

To read more about these speakers, find the full symposium schedule and register, visit