The Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation is currently in the process of creating a poverty magazine geared towards bridging the engagement of the community with the resources of the campus as well as incorporating visual and artistic elements with the intent of adding dimensionality to the understanding of poverty. The goal of the project is not only to use it as a mechanism to broadcast the reality of poverty but to also do something that most publications that discuss poverty fail to do; the magazine will potentially highlight solutions developed by the community at large, by the university through research and by students via mechanisms like the Designing Solutions for Poverty Award.

The first issue will focus on poverty in Orange County. With a team of highly dedicated students and faculty, the Blum Center hopes to be the catalyst to a discussion about poverty that is not purely academic. Instead, the magazine will be a resource for the more colloquial discourse that is needed to truly understand and highlight solutions for  poverty.

This initiative was started by the Blum Center’s Faculty Director, Richard Matthew. His interest in it solidified when he realized that the publication could bridge a gap between all of the different academic departments at UCI. The mission of the Center is to connect the resources of the university to the larger community, to produce research on poverty, to organize courses related to poverty and poverty alleviation, and to make poverty more visible. Students from every part of the university, Literary Journalism majors, English majors, programmers from the School of Information & Computer Sciences, and Art majors can all contribute something productive and valuable to this project.

The Center is also open to working with any interested partner organizations in an effort to feature stories from as many community members as possible. The magazine is meant to highlight the work being done in the community and with the community, but will be focused on the experiences of a few people/organization rather than a survey of all. The magazine is another step towards engaging businesses, community members, and students with the goal of addressing poverty.

The Blum Center hopes to have the digital and print versions of the magazine launched by the beginning of spring quarter, but to do that, they need the help of students. Currently, there are two undergraduates working on the editorial team (open to graduate students as well). The Center hopes to add a few more interns, contributing authors and artists to the team to help with the production of the magazine.

“I think the biggest challenges students face when finding meaningful platforms to create work is the modularity in student involvements. What this magazine represents to me is an opportunity for students, regardless of major, can partake in– whether that’s editorial work, social media and marketing, web design, event planning and more.

A big goal with this publication is to fight against the connotation of student run publications being circulated within the campus alone There’s a great deal of energy and enthusiasm for me with this project because it speaks to my two biggest passions: artistic expression coupled with social action.” Aditi Mayer, Intern for the Blum Center’s poverty magazine

“I think the greatest part of this project has to be its ability to bring together many different kinds of people. We welcome students to this opportunity, regardless of major and host opportunities that require people with different talents and interests.

As a Public Health Policy major, helping create a magazine was not something I saw within my skillset. However, helping bring this magazine to life has awakened my passion for social justice and drives creative abilities that I never realized I possessed. The goal of this magazine aims not only create awareness but to also highly encourage and provide opportunities for individuals to create direct change.” Valeria Tovar, Intern for the Blum Center’s poverty magazine

If you have any interest in joining or contributing to the magazine, email the Blum Center at blumcenter@uci.edu for more information and next steps.

There will also be a submission opportunity open in Winter Quarter 2016. For more information about submissions email blumcenter@uci.edu.

A fully-online undergraduate course, PP&D 115 Global Poverty & Inequality in the 21st Century, will launch in Winter 2016. Students from all majors are encouraged to register. To stay updated, sign up for our mailing list at: http://blumcenter.uci.edu/news/newsletter-signup/

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