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Welcome to the PVS 101 Wiki Space!

Our mission is to better understand the multifaceted issue of poverty by combining reading, research, service learning, and personal experience of both our students and professors. The Poverty Studies Concentration was created in 2009 and  2009-2010 is the first school year the Introduction to Poverty Studies (PVS 101) is being taught year-round. Please comment, read, research, and add at your discretion. Let's solve the issue of poverty together!

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  1. Unknown User (mboyd2026)

    Many people have pointed fingers since the earthquake in Haiti arguing how to best help the country. Some have sent millions of dollars, convoys of supplies, troops to maintain order. Some propose canceling Haiti's international debt. Others ague that is like sending old shoes and these individuals propose an approach I think many would agree with. Shipler makes sure to point out that we as readers understand that no single variable makes you poor and that it is systematic failures that prevent mobility. Like poverty, I think Haiti should have aid that really benefits the country as a whole and not a targeted group.

    One important aspect to helping Haiti I think is to not find the best solution and instead of being critical of aid that is pouring in, to find a solution that is  better than those in the past. 

    Another key to better helping Haiti is understanding the country. The Haiti Action Committee is a movement that provides many great tools for understanding a part of the history of the country and the many campaigns to alleviate poverty. This group is not a movement that sprang up post-disaster. They have called attention to Haiti long before and I think this disaster is finding them an audience. Please check it out if you do nothing else: Haiti Solidarity.

    Mallory Boyd

  2. Unknown User (kberry1428)

    Here's an idea, at least initially, about who is informing the president of what in regards to poverty

  3. Unknown User (rchildree2126)

    In the paper titled, "Haitian Immigration in the Dominican Republic", there is a topic addressed which we have studied in my freshman seminar. It is a basic overview of why many of the Caribbean islands, including Haiti, are so poor today. Considering my seminar is "Sugar, Slavery, and the Caribbean", we have taken a thorough look at the role sugar played in impoverishing these countries. Historically speaking, a major influence on the poverty of Haiti was the dependance on the sugar plantation system. In Haiti in 1791 (at the time called Saint-Domingue), over 80,000 tons of sugar were exported. However, in the years following Haiti's revolution at the beginning of the 19th century, the numbers dropped to 24,000 tons in 1804 and then 1 ton by 1825. Sugar had been the primary export from Haiti for decades and decades, and when the slaves gained their freedom, the plantation system collapsed. Add to this the fact that monoculture was practiced in Haiti, which dried up the soil and made self-sufficiency agriculturally speaking nearly impossible, and it becomes apparent that Haiti was in a predicament from the start. So, in the years immediately following their independence, Haitians were faced with building an economy from scratch and being dependent on foreign nations just for subsistence- the start of long history of poverty in the "independent" island of Haiti. -RUSSELL

  4. Unknown User (slintner)

    My limited knowledge of Haiti and the struggles of other poor countries (including places of our own) has been one of the major deterrents from taking action in an effort to help poverty. Like Bryson said, I just don't know where the money would go. But more importantly I often wonder whether knowledge really has enough power to change someone. Newspapers and online sites can post pictures and stories about the devastating tragedies. They've done it in Rwanda, Sierra Leon, in hundreds of countries for hundreds of stories. But we don't see any major efforts from the US until it is politically and economically fashionable to donate and make a difference. Hope For Haiti Now aired on the television the other week and revolutionized the donations to Haiti with artists like Justin Timberlake, Bono, and Coldplay performing songs to raise money for the disasters. I'm not saying that these don't serve a great purpose, but to what extent have we become numb to poverty's effects? We see pictures daily of people dying but no one is moved beyond maybe a tear or a gasp. I'm just suggesting we need more of those types of programs. One for every disaster, injustice, genocide, struggling country around the world.

    What then can we do to shock the world into actions like Hope For Haiti Now? How do we inspire fashionability in compassion and selflessness in a culture that lives and breathes on consumerism and the "individual"?