Dr. Larry Brown Addresses College At Convocation

April 06, 2010

Dr. Larry Brown posed a challenge to Mount Union College students in the light of what could be one of the closest Presidential elections ever, as he spoke at the College's convocation on Thursday, September 9, in the Mount Union Theatre.

'I challenge you to have the audaciousness to right the world,' said Brown. 'Be involved, take a stand and follow your beliefs. We need you to get involved in the world, and we need you to care about political justice so that the next generation of men and women that come to this college will not have to read about a world that is characterized by poverty and hunger.'

Brown, director of the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University and formerly on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health, is the author of several books, including 'Living Hungry in America,' He is a frequent guest on national television programs, such as the 'Today Show' and 'Nightline.'

The Center on Hunger and Poverty promotes policies and activities that improve the lives of low-income children and families, including research and policy analysis and public education initiatives.

Today his message was simple.

'It is an outrage to have hunger in the wealthiest nation on earth,' noted Brown.

The staggering facts are that an estimated 35 million United States citizens are experiencing hunger. However another fact that Brown noted was how America produces enough food to feed everyone in the U.S. and the rest of the world. But yet, the wealthiest nation is experiencing more hunger than some poverty stricken third world nations. A lot of this is caused by a social injustice of decreased purchasing power each year as inflation goes up.

'We need to index minimum wage to inflation so people working at low income levels don't see their purchasing power decrease,' said Brown. 'Other answers to fight poverty and hunger in America, besides charity, would be to treat the symptom and another would be to treat the cause. We do not need new bureaucracies or new hunger programs, but simply to strengthen the current programs such as the food stamp and Headstart programs.'

In addition to directing the Center on Hunger and Poverty, he coordinated the Medford Declaration to End Hunger in the U.S., a document endorsed by more than 3,000 leaders of organizations with a combined membership of over 100 million Americans. He also served as chairman of the Physician Task Force on Hunger in America, where he led a team of nationally prominent doctors on field investigations in half of the nation's states during the 1980s. Dr. Brown is immediate past chair of Oxfam America, and he also chaired the medical task force of USA for Africa.

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