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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pitt-Bradford to Mark National
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will hold a social sciences symposium to examine “Hunger and Homelessness in America” as part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

The symposium will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 11 in the Harriett B. Wick Chapel. It is open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Speakers will be the Rev. W. LeRoy Beckes; Pitt-Bradford student Matthew Bedekovich; Stephanie Eckstrom, coordinator of Pitt-Bradford’s Master of Social Work program: and Dr. Gautam Mukerjee, associate professor of economics at Pitt-Bradford.

Beckes, an instructor of religion at Pitt-Bradford who has been active with The Friendship Table in Bradford, will discuss the issues of homelessness and hunger from a Biblical and theological perspective.

Bedekovich is a criminal justice student from Monaca. He will address the relationship between homelessness, poverty and crime and how being homeless affects one’s tendency to be victimized or commit crimes. Bedekovich is the Pitt Impact Coordinator through the Pitt-Bradford Office of Community Engagement and is coordinating events for the campus’s observation of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

Eckstrom will identify the prevalence and patterns of hunger across the United States. She will also explore the experience of food scarcity in hopes of challenging the stereotypes and stigma surrounding hunger.

Mukerjee will examine the growing incidence of homelessness in America and how its pattern has been changing over time, the reasons behind the problem and policy responses to it.

Pitt-Bradford’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences is sponsoring the symposium. For disability-related needs related to the event, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at (814)362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu.

Other events planned for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Nov. 16-22 are a blanket drive by the Pitt-Bradford Staff Association, a waste reduction program, a poverty simulator, the 30-hour famine fundraiser for hunger, a Night Without a Home and Cardboard City, during which students spend the night outside.

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