Global Poverty will offer you the opportunity to learn more about the relationship between poverty and wealth, both internationally and domestically. The struggle against poverty is one of the defining challenges of our time. Over one billion people worldwide live on less than $1.00 a day, tens of thousands of children die daily from poverty-induced causes, and well over half the world lives in serious poverty, including tens of millions in wealthy countries. You will consider important ethical questions, such as "Who possesses wealth in the world today, how did they come to acquire it, and what political debates have occurred as a result of it?" You will ask questions about yourself and what role you play in solving this important social justice issue.

Global Poverty is a year-long academic program that will provide you with the opportunity to fulfill one of your graduation requirements as well as off your the exclusive opportunity to take one of the most popular classes at Furman as a first-year student:

  • During the Fall 2014 semester, you will take History 142: Modern Latin America (which fulfills the "Historical Analysis" and "World Cultures' GER credits as well as meets requirements for the Poverty Studies and Latin American Studies minors) and explore the historically situated origins of the differentiation of wealth. Particular attention will be given to the Latin American region while examining the wealth inequities that have defined the region as part of the developing world.

  • During the Spring 2015 semester, you will take Poverty Studies 101: Introduction to Poverty Studies (which is a required course for the Poverty Studies minor), one of the most popular courses at Furman, and explore the meaning of poverty from philosophical and practical perspectives. The causes and potential solutions to poverty will be examined as well as the roles and responsibilities of individuals, business, government, and other institutions in the struggle against poverty.

Global Poverty will allow you the opportunity to explore the debates over the origins and consequences of poverty and the current distribution of wealth in the world. You will also witness poverty firsthand through your participation in service learning experiences that will help you determine how you can personally address or alleviate its causes.

Engaging Poverty Issues Beyond the Classroom

Global Poverty will provide you with the opportunity to learn about poverty within your local community by exposing you to some of Greenville's poverty reduction/alleviation agencies. Through visits to local agencies such as the Frazee Dream Center, Greenville Literacy Association, or United Ministries, all of which deal directly with impoverished people on a daily basis, you will gain insight into the human context of poverty issues, hear firsthand the stories of those affected, and develop relationships with people whose life experience differs significantly from your own.

"These are the types of classes I firmly believe every student should take before graduating, mostly because it helps you understand how the other 99% of the world lives. You'll learn about some of the pressing social issues facing the world today and how to make a difference combating inequality and injustice on a local and international scale."

Rachel Whitten - Furman Graduate and Engaged Living Alumnus

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