The Asst. Prof. of International Studies, Bertin Kouadio, and students co-organized a Global Awareness Week on campus. The presentations were part of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) project.
Three students from the International Studies Department were responsible for displaying posters between Mon, Oct. 31 and Fri, Nov. 4. Ian Irvin ‘11, Kimberly Croft, and Timmurra Morton ‘13 presented daily from 11:00am and 1:00pm in Lenfest Commons. When asked about the poster topics, Irvin said, "Topics were chosen from a list that the UN and other institutions would be discussing that week."
On Mon, Oct. 31, the group discussed international arms trade and how it causes global suffering. The students revealed a number of statistics regarding the damage of arms trafficking. According to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, "In all parts of the world, the ready availability of weapons and ammunition has led to human suffering, repression, crime and terror among civilian populations." "Most people were shocked about this because they didn’t know this kind of thing exists and that the biggest suppliers of guns are advocating for peace," says Kouadio.
On Tue, Nov. 1, the group focused on women and multinational corporations. "Women are targeted for a number of reasons. They are more likely to accept their working conditions, they are less likely to unionize, and they are seen as obedient. It’s all about exploitation," explains Kouadio.
The group presented a third topic on local and the global health issues. Their poster showed maps that illustrated the concentration and frequencies of diseases of particular global concern like Malaria, HIV and other high concern epidemics throughout the globe.
On Thurs, Nov. 3, the International Studies Department presented on the global distribution of gross domestic product (GDP). The GDP is one of the primary indicators which gauges the health of a country’s economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period. The poster addressed the distribution of GDP between what is considered the global north and the global south.
On the last day, Fri, Nov. 4, the group presented on world hunger and the rising population. On Mon, Oct. 31, the world population reached seven billion. This current development leads people to wonder how the world is going to deal with continuous population growth and the inaccessibility of certain countries to proper nutrition.
"The presentations were successful because it was interesting to students, faculty and staff, because the students that joined were really involved, and because students told me they didn’t know international relations was about this kind of thing. Their support was good," says Kouadio.