Mar 13, 2009    #028
Contact: Laura Byerley

UMKC Chapter of NAACP Presents “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week”Events begin March 16, and include a community panel and campus sleep-out

In keeping with the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s urban-serving mission, Jasmine Powell wants students to understand homelessness and reach out to the community. To achieve this goal, the junior political science major and UMKC’s NAACP chapter are presenting “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.” Events begin Monday, March 16, and include a week-long non-perishable item drive at the Volker and Hospital Hill campuses.

“This is the first time we have hosted the event, and we wanted to help students realize the severity of poverty in America – especially in the areas surrounding UMKC’s campus,” said Powell, who serves as the program and research chair of UMKC’s NAACP chapter.

Following is a schedule of events:

- 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, March 16 – “Faces of Homelessness” – Watch a short documentary about poverty in America, and listen to a panel of community members who have dealt with homelessness. The panel will include citizens who are currently battling homelessness, a resident of Community LINC Transitional Housing, someone who was able to overcome homelessness and someone who currently works in the homeless advocacy field. The event will take place in Room 201 of Haag Hall, 5120 Rockhill Rd.

- 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17 – “Skip-A-Meal” Day with Sodexho – Stop by the ground floor of the University Center (5000 Holmes), and donate the money you would usually spend for breakfast, lunch or dinner to Harvesters: the Community Food Network.

- 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, March 18 – Movie Night: “The Pursuit of Happyness” – Watch and discuss the hit movie that shows a father’s struggle with poverty and his rise to success. The event will take place in the Community Room at Oak Place Apartments, 5050 Oak St.

- 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, March 19 – NAACP General Meeting – Learn about what’s going on with the UMKC Chapter of NAACP and how you can become involved. The meeting will feature special guests from Kansas City-area agencies dealing with hunger, homelessness and poverty. The meeting will take place at the African American History and Culture House, 5245 Rockhill Rd.

- 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Friday, March 20 to Saturday, March 21 – “A Night without a Home” Sleep-out for the Homeless – Co-sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the UMKC Chapter of NAACP, this community sleep-out will take place at the campus Quad area. This event will give the students, faculty and staff the opportunity to experience homelessness first-hand by sleeping outside. At the sleep-out, participants can discuss, think and learn about homelessness. The event will begin with a silent march from Oak Place Apartments to the Quad area, followed by an opening ceremony.

Keynote speakers, including past Kansas City mayor and current Congressmen Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver II, student performers and other community members will be present that evening. Participants are urged to only bring the clothes they are wearing (layer according to the weather) and one blanket. They will sleep outside with only boxes to protect them. Although one night outside can in no way simulate homelessness, this awareness-raising activity can promote advocacy, protest and education.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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