Poverty: The War on Humanity
by Pojanee Fleury
Published Fall 2012
There is a war going on, one that reaches deep into the bellies of men. A war that, despite being fought on multiple levels claims the lives of thousands each year and has others living day in and day out in absolute misery. American PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley has declared that poverty is “the new slavery(1).” Poverty is the leading cause of violence, suffering, sickness and death all around the world. At the recent General Debate of the 67th Session of the Untied Nations General Assembly, leaders of nations ravaged by the effects of poverty, addressed their challenges and presented their plans to eradicate it, paving the way for true economic growth and stability.
Her Excellency Mrs. Joyce Banda President of the Republic of Malawi spoke candidly about poverty, its affects on the citizens of Malawi, and her plans on how to fix deep-rooted problems that exist in the country. President Banda quoted Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his re-election speech in which he stated that the “biggest threats to security and peace are poverty, lack of opportunity and lack of hope(2).” Poverty is the absence of peace, it is the absence of hope and it is the absence of growth. There are many reasons why poverty exists around the world but its eradication is essential to the survival of the future generations. There has been significant progress made around the world to raise the standard of living for those affected by poverty, however, natural disasters, climate change, and recent challenges in the global economy have setback the progress leaving some regions back at the bottom of the uphill battle of economic stability.
The Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Baldwin Spencer along with President Banda, and many other heads of nations, that struggle with poverty in their countries continue to speak out about the challenges faced by their citizens at recent Debates. They have articulated issues that have brought about deepening levels of poverty in recent years. Prime Minister Gonsalves stated that “in [the] Caribbean region, the global economic and financial meltdown continues to be felt most acutely by the poor, the youth, the elderly and the vulnerable, who bear no responsibility for the rampant financial speculation and unregulated movement of capital that spurred the [recent] crisis....[the] region is forced to contemplate the implications of a potential 'lost decade' of development(3).” This is a deep crisis for a country that has been struggling with poverty since its conception and independence; any set back in development can be fatal. This was seen in the case of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. It was a setback that will take an estimated 20 years from which to recover, meaning that during that time there would be very little to no growth and an extremely weak, fragile economy. The social effects of poverty dramatically increase in such a climate. PM Gonsalves continued to say that, “small, highly-indebted middle-income developing countries, like those in the Caribbean, which are very vulnerable to natural disasters and international economic convulsions have especial concerns(3).” The vulnerability of developing nations challenges the efforts of economic stability and security. Instability in the global economy, limited access to the multinational markets, climate change, and terrorism are some of the major threats to development and stability. Among these threats are circumstances that are out of human control while others are the direct result of human inequities.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Caribbean American Family Fun Day
Branch Brook Park (Prudential Concert Grove)
Newark, New Jersey
For More Information Contact:
Lady Ira Lewis
The TENTH Annual Essex County Caribbean American Family Fun Day is set to take place July 10, 2016 at the Prudential Concert Grove of Branch Brook Park. It is a celebration of the plethora of cultures and traditions brought over from the Caribbean. This free event has been the cornerstone of many families’ summer for the last nine years bringing out more than 4,000 people. From 10am to 7pm Branch Brook will be alive with music, live performances, face painting, stilt walker clowns, fun games and more!
Our partner and main sponsor, Essex County of New Jersey will join us in celebrating the City of Newark 350th Birthday at this year’s Fun Day. The people of Newark are a beautiful mosaic of ethnicities, history, culture, music and food. Every year we provide all County residents with the opportunity to learn more about this important area of the world and foster a broader understanding of the 28 different countries that comprise the region with a special highlight on the Caribbean.
We invite press and media to cover this historic event.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RE: The Unity Parade 2015
Contact: PJ Fleury, Public Relations Officer
The African Diaspora Parade & Festival and the National Ghana Parade Council are coming together for the very first time to produce a Unity Parade. Previously, the two organizations conducted parades separately, however, this year have come together to produce a bigger Parade and Festival on Saturday, August 15, 2015 in the Bronx, New York. With the intent to have a greater impact on the community, this event will foster a platform for community bonding and togetherness. Community organizations, cultural groups, and businesses are invited to participate in a parade march, which will begin at Louis Nine Blvd and E 170 Street – a popular hub of the African community in the city. After the march, a festival will take place in Crotona Park with performances, appearances by public officials, and a Back-to-School Giveaway.
The African Diaspora Parade and Festival (ADPF) was founded in 2011,with the purpose of serving as an outlet to highlight and celebrate the cultural diversity of both continental Africans and Africans descendants throughout the Diaspora by showcasing their music, art and technology.
The National Ghana Parade Council (NGPC) was founded in 2009. The mission of the council is to promote and celebrate the diversity of Ghanaian culture. Through an annual festival and other cultural initiatives, the council has empowered Ghanaians while developing and maintaining alliances with other African communities in the greater New York City Area.
The Unity Parade 2015 will set the stage for an annual event that the community will look forward to every year. It is the perfect event for families, as there is something for everyone. This will be a day of exciting displays of culture, pride and diversity. Guest artists include Obrafour, K. K. Ofosu, Okyeme Kwame and 2 Shy and DJs Onasis, Mike and Alpha. There will be games, face painting, and more. All are welcome to attend and celebrate African culture!
For more information and to follow updates on The Unity Parade visit:
Facebook & Instagram – The Unity Parade
This year’s forum was interesting to say the least. From an impromptu protest, over 4,500 attendees, and a theme that spoke volumes through the walls of John Jay College, the weekend was exciting and inspiring. For me, it reaffirmed why I do community work. It let me know I was in the right place, surrounded by like minds - 4,500 of them! It is the largest attendance in the 10 years of the Left Forum. This let me know that there are a lot of people in this fight for a better society.
My forum experience started with attending a great panel “Alternative Media and Political Activism.” An informative documentary was shown about community work happening around the world and also shown was the 90s Hip Hop video “It's Like A Jungle Sometimes” from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. We were asked what we gathered from the video, which showed images of inner city life, from violence to police harassment to the survival through hardships. Participants took turns speaking on the messages the video presented. It was great to see alternative media at work in the roots of Hip Hop. For a young blood like me that hadn’t seen the video before, I was surprised how raw it was. I know when the video first hit the media circuit it had a profound effect on those living through those hardships. To see your plight displayed to world, to know people could feel your pain, to know that the message was getting out there must have filled them with hope. I truly love to see Hip Hop at its political and community roots. Alternative media is a powerful tool that can shed light on issues and increase awareness around world. It has the ability to cultivate political activism, especially in the youth. I attended the panel with my colleague and mentor Dr. Michel Vington, who also enjoyed the panel and the displays of alternative media. We then held our panel presentation “Functioning from the Core – Towards a Human Technology for Community Empowerment and Global Unity.”
With a small group of participants, the discovery was made that community work is being done in the least most effective manner. Let me explain. Dr. Vington’s methodology sheds light on motivation science, or the art of motivating people in a way that is both meaningful and sustaining. According to this school of thought, there are four ways to motivate people: one way is to motivate them with giving them a positive reward, another way is to give a punishment, another is to take away a reward and the last is to take away a punishment. Dr. Vington explains that when you try to motivate people outside of the realm of giving a positive reward - and more specifically a random positive reward, based on the merits of centeredness - then you are motivating them in fear. With the fear of consequences and creating a reactionary consciousness, movements are failing. This is the main factor why movements have been lacking sustainable organizers to reach goals of progress and change. Continue
I do my own thing. That's right. I don't conform to anything. I just live the way I know I am supposed to. Yes, I have my faults, my limitations. I am overcoming, or so I intend to, so this is not a boast. I am always complimented on my strength to be myself and posed questions like "What's your secret?" or "How do you do it?" I tell them Its no secret, there's no mystery. Once you allow yourself to connect to the Divine Universe, you are automatically free. It doesn't cost anything, it doesn't require materials, costumes, or anything else for that matter. Freedom is a state of mind. A state of knowing. I know that I am free because I am. Nothing can box me in not even the Universe because as an expression within it, I am manifesting from my unique creative gifts I was blessed with. The Universe is constantly changing, growing, forming, expressing, loving, transforming….as are we. As above, so below. The Universe is Free, no one owns it, nothing tells it what to do - it just Is. We are who we are until boxes are formed and norms are established. Well, one thing is good in that. We get to see the beauty of expression, some are powerful and right for human beings and some are harmful and demoralizing. I chose to be inline with the Divine, loving essence. I live the way I know is right and line with that. I give. I love. I pray.
Freedom is an expression of one's will to be true to one's self. It is a state of mind. In your mind if you THINK you are FREE then you are period. Nothing can take you away from that. When you are FREE, you can think freely. When you think freely then everything becomes a question to you. Why are there so many killings in urban neighborhoods? Why are there so many killings in rural neighborhoods? I mean, it could go on &on. The real question is what are you going to do about. See, freedom comes with a responsibility. When you know something is right, you do it. We each have the ability to make this world a better place.
Publisher and Community Organizer Focused on Health and Wellness, Upliftment of Africa and the Caribbean, and Enriching Young People Worldwide.