Summer Series: Jessica Way and the U.S. Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security

The U.S. Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security is an annual program dedicated to understanding and analyzing the conceptual challenges of world hunger. It is an initiative funded by USAID in order to bring together and build up future leaders in the area of global food security. This year, the program took place the first two weeks of June on Purdue University’s Campus in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Jessica Way (‘18) attended along with a cohort of 39 other Borlaug Summer Institute Fellows. The cohort consisted of interdisciplinary PhD and graduate students, with representatives from a diverse range of academic fields; including food scientists, anthropologists, plant breeders, economists, and others. Each participant brought a unique area of expertise to the area of global food security, and all share a passion for finding creative solutions to feeding the world’s hungry in a sustainable way.

 

During the intensive summit fellows heard from a diverse and talented pool of speakers; including faculty, practitioners, and policy makers. The presentations addressed the biggest challenges associated with global food security, and their possible solutions. Sessions were supplemented by practicums and field trips, where fellows learned about the cutting edge technologies being developed and engaged to address the world’s largest problems.

The most influential part of the program was the opportunity for collaboration among an outstanding group of individuals who all share the same drive to end global hunger. The problems are daunting. Earth’s resources are constantly more constrained, and global population is estimated to reach 10 billion by 2050.  Climate change and political turmoil provide additional obstacles. Yet, it is encouraging to know that these challenges are taken seriously by a talented group of young “hunger fighters.” One Borlaug Fellow in the conference shared an African proverb that quickly became a Summer Institute Mantra; “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” After spending two weeks with the U.S. Borlaug Summer Institute Fellows of 2018, Jessica has no doubt that together the Borlaug Summer Institute Fellows will go far in fighting hunger and promoting global food security.

If you are interested in learning more about the Borlaug Summer Institute visit the website: http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/food/borlaugfellows/summer-institute/ Applications are due in February.

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Fordham Students supported the UNDP Equator Prize 2017

The Equator Prize winners and UNDP team celebrate before the pre-ceremony reception at Bryant Park Grill. Photo credit UNDP-Arnaldo Vargas

This September, the UNDP Equator Initiative hosted the 2017 Equator Prize in New York City, New York to honor 31 local and indigenous people working on notable climate justice projects in their communities around the globe. The winners spent a week in New York City participating in community dialogues, capacity building workshops, and interacting with media representatives as the 2017 UN General Assembly began. Several Fordham IPED students were involved in building case studies with the winners and connecting their work with the Sustainable Development Goals.

IPED student and UNDP intern, Vikktoria Brezheniuk, speaks with one of our winners at a workshop. Photo credit Mike Arrison for UNDP-Equator Initiative

Equator Prize winner, Ghulam, from Pakistan works with IPED student and UNDP intern, Owen Fitzgerald, to build a case study on the Baltistan Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization. Photo credit Mike Arrison for UNDP-Equator Initiative

Winners’ projects ranged across oceans, forests, and drylands. In Kenya, the Mikoko Pamoja group created a carbon credit-based payment for ecosystem services in order to improve mangrove restoration. In Ecuador, Alianza Internacional de Reforestación (AIRES) is an organization led by indigenous Maya women that works toward food security and disaster risk reduction through reforestation and agroforestry. Each community project supports several of the Sustainable Development Goals from poverty reduction to climate action to gender equality. Check out all the winners and their projects featured on the Equator Initiative website.

The female winners and UNDP team members, including Fordham UNDP interns Tess Hart and Victoria Brezheniuk, celebrate their work and the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo credit Larissa Nowak-Equator Initiative

On Sunday, September 17th, preceeding the Prize Ceremony, there was a reception held at Bryant Park Grill. Winners, government officials, donors, and other special guests gathered to network and celebrate together.

Winners from the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group in Belize, Dorla and Conway, with IPED student and UNDP intern, Sarah Garwood, at the Bryant Park Grill reception.

Sunday, September 17th marked the Equator Prize Ceremony held at Town Hall Theatre in New York City. Many people came to speak and celebrate with the winners including Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, and Gary Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society. Fordham IPED students were invited to volunteer at the ceremony. Fordham IPED interns worked on stage management, social media coverage, and interpretation resources.

 

IPED student, Stephanie Swinehart, volunteered at the Equator Prize ceremony. Photo credit Wahanga for UNDP-Equator Initiative

IPED student and UNDP Intern, Greg Fischer (left), translated for Brazilian Prize winner and speaker, Benki, at the Equator Prize Ceremony. Photo Credit UNDP-Arnaldo Vargas

To see more photos and coverage of the Equator Prize and other events from the week, check out the Equator Initiative on Facebook and Twitter!

 

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IPED at the 2017 Concordia Summit

2017 Concordia Summit

On September 18th and 19th five IPED students, Brian Harper, Robyn Emory-Murray, Mohammed Rahman, Kelsey Garcia, and Jessica Way, attended the 2017 Concordia Summit in New York.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Fox News, The Five Co-host, Dana Pruitt

The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit was a 2-day convening of over 2,000 leaders, influencers and decision makers working to drive transformative action by building partnerships for social impact. Each year the Summit takes place at the beginning of the United Nations General Assembly Week. Videos of the summit for Day 1 and Day 2 are on Youtube.

Current and former First Ladies: Michel Sidibe, Laura Bush, H.E. Monica Geingos, Lorena Castillo

Rt. Honorable Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the U.K., and Susan Glasser, Colunist for POLITICO

“Within the span of several hours, we heard presidents and prime ministers, several First Ladies, and leaders in the public and private sectors from all over the world. A remarkable range of topics were covered, from the refugee crisis and global conflict to farming, climate change, hyper-partisanship, and information overload. Concordia was a great way to get a sense of the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing the world and to hear from some of the people who are at the forefront of efforts to address these issues.” – Brian Harper

Rob Fraley, World Food Prize Laureate, speaking on modern agriculture

“I really appreciated the diverse approaches to solving the world’s challenges that were represented, ranging from art to science and technology to policy solutions, as well as the contrasting viewpoints that were shared from both sides of the aisle.” – Kelsey Garcia

Cherie Blair, Andrew Forrest, Scott Price, Stuart Pann, and Richard Edelman on Modern Slavery

“I really appreciated the opportunity to listen to thought leaders in specific fields, whether that be intergovernmental poverty initiatives, the reality of modern slavery, or ways to use music and the arts to meet and solve global challenges. Diversity of thought can only speed the road to possible solutions for the biggest issues facing our world today.” – Robyn Emory-Murray

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African Youth Leadership Summit: Carlos Baeta Shares His Experience

Carlos Baeta, IPED Class of 2017

“One of the distinguishing features of the summit, I believe, is the level of engagement and unity that it inspired in all of us.”

Carlos with Summit colleagues

Last month, Carlos Baeta (IPED ’17) attended the African Youth Leadership Summit in Marrakech, Morocco. Through its partnership with the MasterPeace Organization and a competitive screening process, the summit brought together 180 young people from close to 30 African countries in order to engage in workshops and seminars focused on developing entrepreneurship, leadership and African unity and integration. A veteran of other youth leadership conferences, Carlos said that “the different experiences and solutions that my colleagues had developed and actioned-out” was what stood out the most.

This was a unique platform for so many diverse participants with a common goal to come together and engage in actionable discourse. Carlos writes, “I believe one of the greatest services that we could do for ourselves, our countries that we represented and our continent, was to be as engaged and open minded as possible. The potential to learn and grow increases significantly when you have people from different backgrounds and with different skillsets collaborating on finding nuanced solutions to the plethora of challenges and opportunities my continent has.” His coursework and experiences with IPED, he says, have helped him to frame his thoughts in such a way that he could participate with his colleagues in a meaningful and impactful manner.

When asked about a specific experience he wanted to share from the summit, Carlos had this to say: “I have never been to North Africa before or rather embarrassingly enough, interacted with people from countries such as Chad or Sudan for example. I would be remiss if I did not say that this experience is something that will be embedded in me for the rest of my life.”

Carlos and fellow attendees to the Summit

Carlos came to attend the Summit through his personal network, but says that there are a plethora of platforms such as OpportunitiesForAfricans on Facebook as well. “I would suggest signing up to pages and platforms to stay abreast with the best and latest opportunities.”

Carlos is a native of South Africa and grew up in the small town of Vryheid in rural Kwa Zulu Natal. He says, “I have always dreamt about travelling and experiencing different cultures and seeing different cities. Since I have begun my studies at Fordham, I have been fortunate enough to have travelled to four different countries and attend countless different seminars. It has been a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to one day use my cumulative experiences and skills to extend these types of opportunities to other young South Africans back home.”

Contributed by Carlos Baeta

Edited by Robyn Murray

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Coverdell Fellows at Fordham IPED

Michael Johnson at the Fordham BID

Michael Johnson during his duties at the Fordham BID

Each year the IPED program, in conjunction with the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, offers several Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) an academic fellowship to attend Fordham IPED. Recipients of the fellowship are partnered to work with a local community development organization. Last year, IPED offered five fellowships to incoming graduate students for the class of 2018. Each of the fellows has an internship with a Bronx community partner to gain experience in urban development in the United States.

Erika Cox, Class of 2018

Erika Cox with a community art piece for the Fordham BID

 

Michael Johnson and Erika Cox are both partnered with the Fordham Road Business Improvement District (BID), an organization comprised of local retailers who promote business development and improve the quality of life along Fordham Road, a major retail street serving various immigrant and low-income communities in the Bronx. Michael works in a role as Business Outreach Coordinator and managing the team of Fordham undergraduate interns. Erika spends her time coordinating public affairs campaigns, planning art beautification projects, and as the organization partner liaison.

Kelsey Garcia, Class of 2018

Kelsey Garcia during filming of a promotional video for the Belmont Community

Kelsey Garcia is partnered with the Belmont BID, to promote the economic wellbeing of the business community by promotion of the “Little Italy in the Bronx” brand and its strong ethnic heritage and leadership in the community. The BID’s focus areas are sanitation, security, marketing and promotion, cultural programming, and streetscape improvements. Kelsey is a community relations intern and was recently featured in a promotional commercial for the community.

Jessica Way, Class of 2018, at UNHP

Jessica Way at the UNHP 2016 Fundraiser

Jessica Way is a research intern at University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP), a north-west Bronx non-profit dedicated to improving affordable housing attainment in the community. UNHP achieves its mission by issuing low interest loans and providing technical assistance to community leaders and affordable housing managers through the Northwest Bronx Resource Center. UNHP has a blog with more information.

Cody Harder, Class of 2018

Cody Harder works with the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC) as a Project Development Intern. The Project Development Department is responsible for construction projects from beginning to the completion and closing.

All Coverdell Fellows are full-time students pursing their internships on a part time (12 hours per week) basis.

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