Earlier this spring, the student groups Global Health Network (GHN), Timmy Global Health and Engineers Without Borders (EWB) brought together over 100 members of the Tufts community to raise awareness of global poverty.

With support from Tisch College’s Civic Engagement Fund (CEF) and Tufts’ Student Life Fund, the groups brought to campus 1.4 Billion Reasons, a traveling presentation by the Global Poverty Project. The name refers to the fact that an estimated 1.4 billion people around the world are living under the poverty line.

“Through this lecture and others we are organizing throughout the year, we hope to raise awareness about public health issues and promote discussions on campus about global health crises,” said Mary Bruynell, A12, of GHN.  “Additionally, these events provide an opportunity for the many student groups working on global health issues to come together, learn about the most pressing global issues and share our work with each other.”

Brooke Schuman, A14, and Alyssa Le, A14, took the lead on organizing the Global Poverty Project’s visit and promoting the event to their classmates.

“The presentation focuses on educating people about how aid organizations are working to decrease global poverty and on how aid must change in order to eradicate global poverty,” explained Schuman.  “Additionally, it seeks to give students the tools to take effective action – since there are so many Tufts students working on these issues, it seemed like a great resources to bring to campus.”

Le added that their innovative Facebook campaign help get the word out to other Tufts students.

“We wanted to make our make advertising highly visible, so we organized a Facebook awareness campaign based on images,” Le said.  “Participating students changed their Facebook profile to the event poster and posted pictures of themselves with signs reading ‘It’s not charity, it’s justice,’ ‘Help me eradicate global poverty,’ or ‘We have 1.4 Billion Reasons.’”

Originally published April 2012