September 1, 2018 at 6:15 pm

Wealth & Poverty | How I Spent My Summer, Sept. 24

Wealth and Poverty Week: Action on Inequality, with graphic in background showing two coins.

The Wealth and Poverty theme at Ohio University presents a student panel, “How I Spent My Summer:  A Panel Discussion of SHECP Poverty Intern Experiences,” on Monday, Sept. 24, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Alden 319.

This panel features the five Ohio University students (see below) competitively selected to represent Ohio University for summer internships through the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty over the summer of 2018. Come hear their stories and what they have to share about the challenges and meaningful experiences they had serving agencies on the frontlines of addressing poverty and inequality in the United States. Time will also be devoted for individuals to learn more about the SHECP program and opportunities in the future. Dr. Stephen J. Scanlan (Sociology and Anthropology) moderates the panel.

Ohio University has been a member of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) thanks to the support of the 1804 Fund. SHECP was established in 2011 to foster collaboration across member institutions in poverty studies and the preparation of students “for a lifetime of professional, civic, and political activity that will diminish poverty, drawing on a multitude of perspectives and initiatives.” SHECP enhances undergraduate and professional education on poverty and related issues through the integration of classroom study with summer internships and extra-curricular activities. The program does not wish to develop independent majors or departments but instead seeks to enrich all undergraduates and professional students with the opportunity to explore an understand poverty and its relationship to their individual studies. In the end, the fundamental mission of the program is “creating engaged citizens now to make a difference for the future.” OHIO membership in SHECP connects the university to a network of scholars and community organizations working in the issue, contributing to growth in poverty studies and benefiting from conversations that explore poverty from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Emily Walter (Geography): Food Justice Organizer at New Roots, Inc., Louisville, KY.  Just like air and water, everyone has a right to fresh food. New Roots works with fresh food insecure communities to create sustainable systems for accessing the farm-fresh food we all need to be healthy and happy. In a nutshell, they are uniting communities to spread food justice.

Bailey Williams (Economics): Legal Assistant for the Richmond Public Defender’s Office, Richmond, VA. The Richmond Office of the Public Defender represents both adults and juveniles charged with criminal offenses in the City of Richmond. They are dedicated to protecting and defending the rights and dignity of our clients through zealous, compassionate, high quality legal advocacy. The office advises clients, empowers them to make decisions and advocate on their behalf in court.

Kayla Wood (Journalism): Advocacy Intern for United Planning Organization, Washington, D.C.  United Planning Organization includes educators, dream builders, opportunity-makers and poverty-fighters. UPO believes that everyone deserves a chance to pursue and live sustainable, successful lives. Their approach is holistic and generational. As the only Community Action Agency serving the residents of Washington, D.C., they have touched thousands of lives over the last 50 years. They offer more than 30 programs and human services assisting everyone from newborn babies to senior adults.

Serena Zhou (Social Work): Criminal Justice and Re-entry Program Intern at the U.S. Federal Court, Camden, NJ.  Every year hundreds of federal inmates are released from prison and return to their communities. Of those released many face significant barriers to successful reintegration back into society. Several of these barriers are legal in nature, such as outstanding child support payments, difficulty in receiving benefits, lack of identification, driver’s license suspensions, and other civil legal issues. To that end, The Rutgers School of Law-Camden, in conjunction with United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, has established the Federal Prisoner Reentry Project. The goal of the Project is to work closely with the United States Office of Probation to identify potential clients with civil legal issues that prevent successful re-integration into society.

Franchesca Rife (Sociology): Legal Advocate at Legal advocate at Tapestri Inc. in Atlanta. Tapestri is dedicated to ending violence and oppression in refugee and immigrant communities, using culturally competent and appropriate methods. As advocates for refugee and immigrant families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and exploitation, the organization is committed to using education, community organizing, direct services and advocacy to effect change in the lives of these families. The name Tapestri symbolizes the different threads of society coming together to form a safe cover to protect its many colored communities.

Learn about Ohio University’s internship program with the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty.

The student panel is one of six events during “Action on Inequality Week” from Sept. 21-28.

Any questions, please email Yeong Kim at

About Action on Inequality Week

Going beyond teaching, learning, and advocating for equality, many are taking positive, important actions against inequalities in income, health, education, and well-being in local communities. The Wealth and Poverty Week on Action on Inequality brings the OHIO community together to discuss various actions to combat the growing inequalities in our society and advance the common good.

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