Category Archives: Community & Culture

Recap & Response — Insights into Pope Francis’ Views on International Poverty and Development

On September 23, 2016, CAPP-USA and Fordham University co-sponsored a conference called “Pope Francis’ Call for Escaping Poverty: Practical Examples and New Proposals.” The conference examined the definition and measurement of poverty and proposed specific, practical efforts which operationalize Pope Francis’ insistence that people “be dignified agents of their own destiny.” What follows is the first in a series of posts authored by graduate students in Fordham University’s International Political Economy & Development Program that offer a summary and response to a topic discussed at the conference.

The Most Reverend Archbishop Bernardito Auza

The Most Reverend Archbishop Bernardito Auza

Optimistic is the word that the Most Reverend Archbishop Bernardito Auza repeatedly used to describe “Pope Francis’ Views on International Poverty and Development,” in his presentation at the CAPP-USA and Fordham University conference last Friday. Above all, the Archbishop emphasized that in the words of Pope Francis, the poor are “dignified agents” of their own destiny. As such, they should be empowered to actively participate in the fight against “undignified” poverty.

According to the Pope, there are three “illnesses” that cause and perpetuate poverty: the globalization of indifference, consumerism and over consumption, and “ferocious idolatry of money.” To those suffering from these illnesses, Pope Francis ascribes a lack of empathy, a blunted conscious, and a loss of ethical control. In spite of this, the Pope’s message remains hopeful, asserting that spiritual renewal, restrained consumption, and a return to God are antidotes that will resolve the three illnesses.

Just as each of the three illnesses has an antidote, so does extreme poverty. The Pope’s answer is “integral human development.” The key components of this holistic approach to development are solidarity, a preferential option for the poor, and the three T’s: Tierra, Techo, and Trabajo (Land, Lodging, and Labor). Integral human development entails a return to the culture of encounter that is central to the Church and incorporates a renewed focus on the Gospel. This guide for treatment of the poor underscores the necessity of basic prerequisites for a dignified life. The Pope’s final sentiment is, unsurprisingly, highly optimistic. He insists that international poverty can and must be defeated and that we have the power to accomplish this task if we all work together.

In the midst of relaying the Pope’s views, the Archbishop seemed to caution us against blind optimism, reminding us that it is difficult to classify poverty. He inquired, “how do we know that only 1.2 of 7.2 billion people live in extreme poverty today? Can we trust the statistics presented by the World Bank?” The Archbishop reveals a cynicism of international institutions and arguably a bit of exasperation at the extent of the challenge before us. Nevertheless, he echoes the Pope’s optimism, especially when it comes to the growing recognition that religion and religious organizations are receiving from the United Nations, as catalysts for change at the grassroots level. Perhaps the Archbishop’s purpose, in voicing his concerns regarding multilateral organizations as well as his pleasure at the credit being afforded to the Church for its work on the ground, is to offer clarification. In order to effectively answer the Pope’s call to work together to fight poverty, we should turn not to the IMF or World Bank, but rather to the Church.

Kelsey Garcia is a first-year student in Fordham University’s Graduate Program in International Political Economy & Development.

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2016 Bronx Community Day Career Trip

On Friday, September 16, Fordham IPED students met at Concourse House in the Bronx for the annual Bronx Community Day Career Trip.

IPED at Concourse House

IPED at Concourse House

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IPED Students at Concourse House

After a light breakfast provided by UNHP, the IPED students met a Bronx development panel with Elizabeth Strojan, an IPED alumna from Enterprise, Jumelia Abrahamson from University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP), John Reilly from Fordham Bedford Housing Corporations (FBHC), John Garcia from Fordham Bedford Community Services (FBCS), and a representative from Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC). Starting with a brief history of housing in the Bronx from the 1960s to present, the panel discussed the work that their respective organizations do in the Bronx and the greater New York City area, including testimonials for why they work in their chosen profession and the progress they have seen through their involvement in the community.

Panelists Speaking

Panelists speaking.

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Bronx Development Panel

After the panel discussion, Gregory Jost from Designing the WE treated the students to a history lesson on how the Bronx became what we see and know today. From humble beginnings, to grandiose development, to its modern depiction, his presentation discussing the “Undesign the Redline” framework showed how the most affluent neighborhood in the East was transformed into a bastion of poverty and violence by exploring structural racism and classism and their repercussions in today’s Bronx.

Within 15 Years...

Within 15 Years…

The Bronx during the New Deal

The Bronx during the New Deal

Students being redlined

Students being redlined

Designing the WE

Designing the WE

The day ended with a late bagged lunch in Poe Park, just behind Edgar Allen Poe’s home, where the discussion with Mr. Jost continued.

Gregory Jost in Poe Park

Gregory Jost in Poe Park

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Fordham Graduation 2016

Congratulations to IPED Class of 2016!

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We are proud of your successes. Good luck and see you in future alumni events!

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IPED Class of 2016 during orientation back in August 2014.

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Prestigious Awards: Samantha J. Andrews on the Boren Fellowship in Jordan

When I am not studying, I find opportunities to travel around Jordan. One of my first trips was to Petra.

When I am not studying, I find opportunities to travel around Jordan. One of my first trips was to Petra.

This is a guest post by Samantha J. Andrews (IPED ’17) current recipient of the David L. Boren Fellowship.

The Fordham IPED program, followed by a year of intensive Arabic language study as a David L. Boren Fellow in Jordan, has given me a solid foundation from which to transition my career. As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, I have always felt a strong sense of duty. Leaving active duty service, I searched for new ways to serve my country. Fortunately, Fordham IPED offered me a Public Service Fellowship, connecting with a variety of opportunities to chart my career transition.

I was first introduced to the David L. Boren Fellowship through Fordham’s Prestigious Fellowships Office, which actively seeks out IPED students for application to competitive scholarships. I was immediately interested, as the focus of my graduate research was on the Middle East. Through our program’s career trips to the United Nations and Washington DC, as well as talking with our director, Dr. Schwalbenberg, I learned how important it would be in my career to have greater experience in the region. Thus, with the guidance and support of Fordham IPED and its staff, I applied for a twelve month, intensive language program in Jordan.

I spend three to four hours per day in formal language instruction. Here, I am pictured with one of my teachers and another student reviewing the day's lesson.

I spend three to four hours per day in formal language instruction. Here, I am pictured with one of my teachers and another student reviewing the day’s lesson.

Every day I spend in Jordan, I feel thankful for the opportunity. My language studies, while challenging, are rewarding. My sole mission in Jordan is to immerse myself in the language and culture, learning as much as I can from my experiences. Fortunately, I have found it easy to build relationship with Jordanians, due largely to their generosity. One of the highlights of my fellowship was an invitation to attend my language teacher’s wedding. The experience provided valuable cultural insight, as well as an opportunity to cross cultural barriers and build relationships with a group of women that I may otherwise have never known.

I would recommend the David L. Boren Fellowship to students who want to gain a greater understanding of a particular country or region. The Fellowship is unique because it gives you the freedom to identify your language and research goals, and then, design a program around them.

Sharing in my teacher's wedding celebration was a unique and wonderful experience.

Sharing in my teacher’s wedding celebration was a unique and wonderful experience.

 

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Buckle Up: Dr. Michael Buckley is Off to Retirement

Dr. Michael BuckleyAfter teaching as an adjunct for Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business for two years, Dr. Michael Buckley joined the faculty of Fordham University in 2003. He’s a Senior Lecturer in Economics, and teaches courses such as Financial Analysis and Global Financial Markets, which are taken by many IPED students. Before joining Fordham, Dr. Buckley worked in the private sector for twenty-five years, gaining expertise in foreign exchange, internal risk, and emerging market lending.

In a recent conversation with Ms. Donna Odra (IPED ’12), Dr. Buckley discussed his time at Fordham. He described teaching with IPED as one of the many high points of his career at Fordham. In terms of what kept him here, he mentioned that the work never ceased to be interesting, as there’s always a fresh crop of students, and he could come up with new courses, or improve the one’s he already teaches. Although he will of course miss his colleagues and his students (not least of which IPED students) as he enters retirement, Dr. Buckley is very much looking forward to spending more time with his twenty-month-old grandson in Brooklyn, birding with his wife, traveling, and reading. He certainly won’t miss giving make-up exams and grading!

Join us in thanking Dr. Buckley for his significant contributions to Fordham University and in particular the IPED program. We will be celebrating Dr. Buckley on Tuesday, May 3, at 7:30pm in the Economics Conference Room, Dealy Hall.

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