In the spirit of Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Centre College community will hold its annual Poverty and Homelessness Week, Nov. 18-23, to help bring awareness and combat these issues on a local, state, national and international scale.
“Poverty and Homelessness Week is a decades long tradition of focused initiatives to raise campus and community awareness on issues connected to poverty and homelessness,” said Landy Lin ’22, a member of the initiative’s committee. “A new theme is selected each year and is on a cycle of three levels: local, national and global. This year, we are focusing on the national issue of mass incarceration.”
Each event throughout the week will present an issue regarding mass incarceration and take into the consideration of people from local and national communities. The campus community can expect events that will facilitate conversation and engagement. The week-long initiative will kick-off with a convocation featuring Steve Durham, assistant director of Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.
“We would like students to take advantage of this opportunity to learn about mass incarceration in the United States, but more specifically, in Kentucky and in Boyle County,” Lin added. “We hope students learn something new and participate in the deliberate conversations that will be conducted. We also hope that students will learn about mass incarceration in the larger context of poverty and homelessness in the U.S.”
Individuals can participate by attending educational events or by engaging in the “Voices Inside” play. They can also participate by donating items to the hygiene drive, or attending the Think Outside the Box event.
“This week is important to the Centre community, because it has been a tradition at Centre for the past two decades and continues to expose students to various pressing issues in our society,” Lin said. “Issues regarding oppression, injustice and discrimination in the community are at the forefront of our initiative. We want to give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to engage with these issues on their very own campus.”
Anyone interested in becoming a part of the committee is welcome to contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions for a global theme/issue for next year’s Poverty and Homelessness Week are also encouraged.
Poverty and Homelessness Week events:
Poverty and Homelessness Week Convocation
Monday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Newlin Hall, Norton Center for the Arts
- This Convocation kicks off Centre’s annual Poverty and Homelessness Week and focuses on the intersections between class, race, addiction, mental illness and mass incarceration in Kentucky. Many students and faculty began the year reading Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy. This year’s Poverty and Homelessness Week continues that emphasis with a week-long series of events highlighting the prison system in the U.S.–the nation with the highest incarceration rate in the world. Steve Durham, assistant director of Louisville Metro Department of Corrections will present us with a local perspective on how poverty, race, mental illness and addiction influence incarceration, especially for those in pre-trial detention. Durham will prod his audience to think about how policies and practices can be changed to lessen incarceration for people experiencing the aforementioned realities without increased risks to public safety.
Community Partner Event
Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.
- The Bonner Program will host a panel of five speakers to talk about local issues pertaining to mass incarceration and the ways in which communities have been affected by it and are attempting to battle it. We will welcome Roger Fox from the Isaiah House, Tanith Wilson from the Shepherd House, Shea Carson from Northpoint, James Hunn, director of Hope Network, and Kathy Miles from Advocacy for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) Inc.
Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.
- The “Voices Inside” program is run by Pioneer Playhouse, bringing the theatre and inspirational art forms into Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison outside Danville. This event will bring the words and productions of these inmates into Wiesiger Hall, performed by students and community members. Enjoy, and feel free to ask questions and share commentary at the talk-back, answered by performers and the director of the Voices Inside program.
Showing of “Prison State“
Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 9 p.m.
Think Outside the Box with DV8 Kitchen
Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.
Brockman Fire Pit
Saturday, Nov. 23 at 10 a.m.
The Combs Center
- As part of the annual Hygiene Drive, STAND and Poverty and Homelessness will be collecting hygiene products throughout the week and donating the items to inmates at NorthPoint Training Center. Look out for the boxes. Items to donate: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks, underwear, plain (new) t-shirts, Fixodent and denture cleaner.
by Kerry Steinhofer
November 15, 2019