The United Nations’ (UN) World Development Information Day is annually held on October 24 to draw attention of worldwide public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.
World Development Information Day activities attract the media, including television journalists.
Many events are organized to focus attention on the work that the UN does, particularly with regard to problems of trade and development. Many of these are aimed at journalists working for a range of media, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines and Internet sites. Direct campaigns may also be organized in some areas. These may use advertisements in newspapers and on radio and television as well as posters in public places.
In South Africa, indabas (gatherings of community representatives with expertise in a particular area) are often held. Representatives of local, national and international bodies are invited to share, discuss and consolidate their ideas around a particular development issue of local or national importance.
World Development Information Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
On May 17, 1972, the UN Conference on Trade and Development proposed measures for the information dissemination and the mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems. These became known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which was passed by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 1972.
This resolution called for introducing World Development Information Day to help draw the attention of people worldwide to development problems. A further aim of the event is to explain to the general public why it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation to find ways to solve these problems. The assembly also decided that the day should coincide with United Nations Day to stress the central role of development in the UN’s work. World Development Information Day was first held on October 24, 1973, and has been held on this date each year since then.
In recent years, many events have interpreted the title of the day slightly differently. These have concentrated on the role that modern information technologies, such as Internet and mobile telephones can play in alerting people and finding solutions to problems of trade and development. One of the specific aims of World Development Information Day was to inform and motivate young people and this change may help to further this aim.
On October 24, 1945, the United Nations (UN) came into force when the five permanent members of the security council ratified the charter that had been drawn up earlier that year. These members were: France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Since 1948, the event’s anniversary has been known as United Nations Day. It is an occasion to highlight, celebrate and reflect on the work of the United Nations and its family of specialized agencies.
United Nations offices around the world join in to observe United Nations Day.
On and around October 24, many activities are organized by all parts of the UN, particularly in the main offices in New York, the Hague (Netherlands), Geneva (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria) and Nairobi (Kenya). These include: concerts; flying the UN flag on important buildings; debates on the relevance of the work of the UN in modern times; and proclamations by state heads and other leaders.
United Nations Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
The foundations for a “League of Nations” were laid in the Treaty of Versailles, which was one of the treaties to formally end World War I. The treaty was signed in Versailles, France, on June 28, 1919. The league aimed to encourage disarmament, prevent outbreaks of war, encourage negotiations and diplomatic measures to settle international disputes and to improve the quality of life around the world. However, the outbreak of World War II suggested that the League of Nations needed to take on a different form.
The ideas around the United Nations were developed in the last years of World War II, particularly during the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, the United States, beginning on April 25, 1945. The UN was officially created when a UN charter was ratified on October 24 that year.
United Nations Day was first observed on October 24, 1948. The UN recommended that United Nations Day should be a public holiday in member states since 1971. There were also calls for United Nations Day to be an international public holiday to bring attention to the work, role and achievements of the UN and its family of specialized agencies. These have been spectacular, particularly in the fields of human rights, support in areas of famine, eradication of disease, promotion of health and settlement of refugees.
The UN does not work alone but together with many specialized agencies, including: the World Health Organization (WHO); the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The UN emblem consists of a projection of the globe centered on the North Pole. It depicts all continents except Antarctica and four concentric circles representing degrees of latitude. The projection is surrounded by images of olive branches, representing peace. The emblem is often blue, although it is printed in white on a blue background on the UN flag.
ELIZABETH PENA, ACTRESS ON THE BIG SCREEN AND SMALL SCREENS
By DANIEL E. SLOTNIK
OCT. 16, 2014
Elizabeth Peña, an actress who appeared in major studio pictures like “Rush Hour,” independent films like John Sayles’s generational drama “Lone Star,” and a host of television shows, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was 55.
Her manager, Gina Rugolo, confirmed her death, saying it followed a brief illness.
Ms. Peña played everything from love interest to comedic sidekick in movies and on television for 35 years. She was a demolition specialist alongside Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in “Rush Hour” (1998). As Pilar Cruz, a history teacher who rekindles a romance with a small-town Texas sheriff in “Lone Star” (1996), she won an Independent Spirit Award for best supporting actress. “The sultry Ms. Peña gives an especially vivid performance as the character who is most unsettled by the shadows of the past,” Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times in 1996.
Her first major film role was as Tim Robbins’s lover in Adrian Lyne’s psychological thriller “Jacob’s Ladder” (1990). She reportedly won the part over stars like Julia Roberts, Andie MacDowell and Madonna.
A television regular, Ms. Peña appeared on shows like “L.A. Law,” “American Dad” and “Boston Public.” In the mid-1980s, she starred as a maid who marries her employer to stay in the United States in the short-lived sitcom “I Married Dora,” and starting in 2000 she played a hairdresser in “Resurrection Blvd.,” the Showtime drama about an upwardly mobile Latino family.
More recently she played the mother of Sofia Vergara’s character on the hit ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” even though she was only 13 years older than Ms. Vergara.
Elizabeth Peña was born in Elizabeth, N.J., on Sept. 23, 1959. Her father, Mario, was a Cuban actor, director and playwright, and Ms. Peña spent much of her childhood in Cuba before returning to the United States. She graduated from what is now the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan.
She performed in a production of “Romeo and Juliet,” translated into Spanish by the poet Pablo Neruda, at the Gramercy Theater in 1979 and made her film debut in the Spanish-language film “El Super” that year.
Ms. Peña went on to play the mistreated wife of Ritchie Valens’s half brother in the biopic “La Bamba” (1987); Jamie Lee Curtis’s confidante in the action film “Blue Steel” (1989); and Richard Dreyfuss’s and Bette Midler’s maid in the comedy “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” (1986).
She also did voice-over work in the animated film “The Incredibles” (2004) and cartoons like “Justice League.”
She married Hans Rolla in 1994. He survives her, as does their son, Kaelan; their daughter, Fiona Rolla; her mother, Estella Margarita Peña; and a sister, Tania Peña.
Ms. Peña said that she researched Mexican-American culture to prepare for her part in “Lone Star.”
“I recorded people’s voices to get the proper inflection,” she told The Ottawa Citizen in 1996. “I crossed the border a whole bunch to collect a lot of history. I would sit for hours looking at the women, how they dressed.”
“In the United States, all Spanish-speaking people are lumped into one category,” she continued. “But we’re all so different.”
Norward Roussell, who in 1987 arrived in Selma, Ala., as the city’s first black superintendent of schools with aspirations to equalize educational opportunity — only to be fired three years later amid racial animosities, protests and a school boycott that recalled the historic Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march of 1965 — died on Monday in Selma. He was 80.
By the time Dr. Roussell came to Selma, blacks owned businesses and held administrative positions like postmaster, and many whites hoped that the bloody attack on demonstrators by club-wielding state troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge that had horrified the nation was distant, shameful history.
“We were wrong,” Joe Smitherman, who was first elected mayor of Selma in 1964 as a supporter of George C. Wallace, Alabama’s segregationist governor, and served for 38 years, said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1990. “And I don’t know how to say it better than that. And I was part of that wrong.”
In Selma, Dr. Roussell (pronounced ROO-sell), who had been a top administrator in the New Orleans school system, chose to take on a very touchy educational issue: the “leveling” or “tracking” of students by ability. Poor minority students had tended to end up in the lowest of three groupings, and black parents had been protesting that their children were segregated into inferior instruction.
Gay Talese, who had covered the 1965 march for The New York Times and returned to Selma in 1990 to report on the school-board controversy, said in his memoir “A Writer’s Life” (2006) that Dr. Roussell was determined to at least reform, if not end, what had been a haphazard, arbitrary process. (Tracking has since been largely abandoned in American schools.)
“The movement had finally succeeded during the mid-1950s in enrolling black students in white classrooms, providing blacks and whites with an equal opportunity for a broader education, and also as classmates to learn more about one another and ideally promote greater understanding and tolerance,” Mr. Talese wrote of Dr. Roussell’s motivations. “What a pity it would be if the victory over school segregation in the 1950s were followed at century’s end by school segregation of another type.”
But on Dec. 24, 1989, the school board’s six white members voted not to renew Dr. Roussell’s contract, which was to expire on June 30, citing incompetence. The five black members walked out. On Feb. 2, the white majority voted to dismiss him altogether.
Blacks and their supporters staged sit-ins; students boycotted school until all 11 of the city’s schools were closed; many white parents withdrew their children and enrolled them in all-white private schools. As tensions mounted, Gov. Guy Hunt sent 200 National Guard troops to Selma to restore order, recalling the scene almost a quarter-century earlier.
Everybody seemed to have something to say. In an evaluation, the board said that Dr. Roussell had been “dictatorial” and “abrasive.” Black lawyers complained that the process by which the school board members were chosen — they were appointed by the City Council, not elected — was unconstitutional. White parents claimed that Dr. Roussell had pushed a political agenda and had not enforced discipline.
Mayor Smitherman suggested that people were reliving the civil rights movement, although at a considerably less intense level. This time, Mr. Talese reported, when demonstrators yelled, “C’mon beat us,” troopers ignored them. When the protesters knelt to pray, troopers took off their hats and lowered their heads.
Dr. Roussell was reinstated, but his contract was not extended. He sued the school board for $10 million in damages, but settled for $150,000 and left.
Norward Roussell was born in New Orleans on July 11, 1934. He and his identical twin brother, Norman, were the youngest of seven children. Their father, Edward, who had been a baseball player in the Negro leagues, owned a fruit-cart business and never went to school. His wife, Rosa, taught him to read and write his name. He died when the twins were 8.
People magazine reported in 1990 that the day after their high school graduation, the twins awoke to find their mother standing over their beds with sack lunches. They got jobs digging ditches. A week of that was enough, and they both quit and found employment at a nearby laundry. After a year there, they joined the Air Force and went to Korea, where they were assigned to administrative work.
Their brothers and sisters contributed savings to send the twins to Dillard University in New Orleans, where they both majored in biology. They then earned master’s degrees in chemistry from Fisk University in Nashville and Ph.D.s in education from Wayne State University in Detroit, before going on to careers in teaching and educational administration.
Norward worked in New Orleans schools and eventually became area superintendent, supervising 30 schools and 28,000 students. He was then hired by Selma.
Mr. Talese wrote that Norward Roussell was a “slender gentleman” who carried himself with “majestic dignity.” He was, he continued, “perceived as an orderly individual who would create an atmosphere within the school system and the city that would foster biracial cooperation and advance the idea that headline-making activism was detrimental to Selma’s economic growth.”
He accepted an invitation to be the first black in Selma’s Rotary Club, but did not pursue membership in the country club. “I did not come to Selma to claw down racial barriers,” he told Mr. Talese.
After leaving Selma, Dr. Roussell went to Tuskegee, Ala., to be superintendent of the Macon County schools, which ran into financial trouble and were taken over by the state during his tenure. After four years in Tuskegee, he returned to New Orleans to become an executive at his alma mater, Dillard. He finished his career as interim superintendent of the New Orleans public schools. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home in New Orleans, he moved back to Selma.
In addition to his daughter and brother, he is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Joan Verrett; his sister, Ada Anderson; his sons, Eric and Norman; and three grandchildren.
“I sought fairness in the system,” Dr. Roussell once said. “It was simply that.”
Correction: October 17, 2014 An obituary on Thursday about Norward Roussell, the first black superintendent of schools in Selma, Ala., misstated the number of years he was superintendent of the Macon County schools in Alabama. It was four years, not eight. The obituary also misspelled part of the name of the bridge where state troopers attacked civil rights demonstrators in 1965. It is the Edmund Pettus Bridge, not the Edmund Pettis Bridge.
It was the most notorious spy case of the Cold War — the conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union — and it rested largely on the testimony of Ms. Rosenberg’s brother David Greenglass, whose name to many became synonymous with betrayal.
For his role in the conspiracy, Mr. Greenglass, an Army sergeant who had stolen nuclear intelligence from Los Alamos, N.M., went to prison for almost a decade, then changed his name and lived quietly until a journalist tracked him down. He admitted then, nearly a half-century later, that he had lied on the witness stand to save his wife from prosecution, giving testimony that he was never sure about but that nevertheless helped send his sister and her husband to the electric chair in 1953.
Mr. Greenglass died on July 1, a family member confirmed. He was 92. His family did not announce his death; The New York Times learned of it in a call to the nursing home where he had been living under his assumed name. Mr. Greenglass’s wife, Ruth, who had played a minor role in the conspiracy and also gave damning testimony against the Rosenbergs, died in 2008.
In today’s world, where spying has more to do with greed than ideology, the story of David Greenglass and the Rosenbergs is an enduring time capsule from an age of uncertainties — of world war against fascism, Cold War with the Soviets, and shifting alliances that led some Americans to embrace utopian communism and others to denounce such ideas, and their exponents, as un-American.
Mr. Greenglass, who grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a household that believed Marxism would save humanity, was an ardent, preachy Communist when drafted by the Army in World War II, but no one in the barracks took him very seriously, much less believed him capable of spying.
He was not well educated, but his skills as a machinist — and pure luck — led to his assignment in 1944 to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, where America’s first atomic bombs were being developed. After being picked to replace a soldier who had gone AWOL, he lied on his security clearance report and was assigned to a team making precision molds for high-explosive lenses used to detonate the nuclear core.
When Mr. Rosenberg, already a Soviet spy, learned of his brother-in-law’s work, he recruited him. Security was often lax at Los Alamos, with safes and file cabinets left unlocked and classified documents lying on desks. Mr. Greenglass had no need for Hollywood spy tricks. He kept his eyes and ears open, and in mid-1945 sent Mr. Rosenberg a crude sketch and 12 pages of technical details on the bomb.
That September, after the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed with atomic bombs, ending the war, David and Ruth Greenglass visited the Rosenbergs’ apartment in New York. What happened there later became a matter of life and death, for as Mr. Greenglass delivered his latest spy notes, a woman — either his wife or his sister — sat at a Remington typewriter and typed them out.
The significance of that act did not become evident for five years. By then the Soviet Union, once America’s ally, had become a Cold War foe, witch hunts for suspected Communists were underway, and spy networks were being broken up. Klaus Fuchs, a physicist who had worked at Los Alamos, was caught, and named Harry Gold as a courier. Mr. Gold then named the Greenglasses and the Rosenbergs, who were arrested in 1950.
Mr. Greenglass admitted passing secrets to Mr. Rosenberg, but refused at first to implicate his sister. But just before the Rosenberg trial, Mr. Greenglass changed his story. Told that Ruth had informed F.B.I. agents that Ethel had typed his notes, he supported his wife’s account and agreed to testify against his sister and her husband.
Mr. Greenglass was under intense pressure. He had not yet been sentenced, and his wife, the mother of his two small children, faced possible prosecution, though her role had been minimal. In federal court in Manhattan in 1951, Mr. Greenglass’s testimony — corroborated by his wife’s — clinched the case against Mr. Rosenberg and implicated Mrs. Rosenberg.
Referring to Ethel Rosenberg in ringing hyperbolic phrases, the chief prosecutor, Irving H. Saypol, declared, “Just so had she, on countless other occasions, sat at that typewriter and struck the keys, blow by blow, against her own country in the interests of the Soviets.”
The jury found the Rosenbergs guilty of espionage conspiracy, and the presiding judge, Irving R. Kaufman, sentenced them to death. Appeals failed, and the Rosenbergs, who rejected all entreaties to name collaborators and insisted they were not guilty, were executed at Sing Sing on June 19, 1953. A co-defendant, Morton Sobell, was also convicted and was imprisoned for 18 years.
Mrs. Greenglass was not prosecuted. Mr. Greenglass was sentenced to 15 years, but was released in 1960 after nine and a half. He rejoined his wife and for decades lived quietly in the New York area, working as a machinist and inventor.
A 1983 book by Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton, “The Rosenberg File: A Search for the Truth,” rekindled interest, concluding that Mr. Rosenberg was a dedicated spy but that his wife had played only a minor role, and raising questions about the evidence and the government’s tactics in the case. Mr. Radosh and Sol Stern also interviewed Mr. Greenglass for an article in The New Republic.
Sam Roberts, a Times editor and reporter, later found Mr. Greenglass and, after a 13-year effort, obtained 50 hours of interviews that led to a book, “The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case.” In the book, Mr. Greenglass admitted that, to spare his wife from prosecution, he had testified that his sister typed his notes. In fact, he said, he could not recall who had done it.
“I don’t remember that at all,” Mr. Greenglass said. “I frankly think my wife did the typing, but I don’t remember.”
He said he had no regrets. “My wife is more important to me than my sister. Or my mother or my father, O.K.? And she was the mother of my children.”
In a 2008 interview with Mr. Roberts, Mr. Sobell admitted that he had given military secrets to the Soviet Union, and concurred in what has become a consensus among historians: that the Greenglass-Rosenberg atomic bomb details were of little value to the Soviets, except to corroborate what they already knew, and that Ethel Rosenberg had played no active role in the conspiracy.
David Greenglass was born on the Lower East Side on March 2, 1922, to immigrants from Russia and Austria. He was 14 when he met Julius Rosenberg, who began courting Ethel, who was seven years older than David, in 1936. The Rosenbergs were married in 1939.
David graduated from Haaren High School in 1940 with only fair grades. He attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, but flunked out.
Mr. Greenglass and Ruth Printz, who had been neighbors, childhood sweethearts and members of the Young Communist League, were married in 1942. They had a son and a daughter, who survive him.
He had several machinist jobs before being drafted in 1943, and the Army put his skills to use. He fixed tank motors, inspected equipment and worked on ordnance in California and Mississippi. He was also assigned to classified work at Oak Ridge, Tenn., where uranium was being enriched for a secret weapon.
To pass his security clearance for the most sensitive work of the war at Los Alamos, Mr. Greenglass disguised or omitted Communist associations in his background. For character and work references, he alerted the writers — all friends — how to respond, and only glowing reports came back. “All evidence indicates subject to be loyal, honest and discreet,” Army intelligence reported.
Everywhere — even at Los Alamos — he preached communism, trying to persuade fellow G.I.s and co-workers that they would someday prosper in a utopian society free of squalor and injustice. Letters to his wife, some signed “Your Comrade,” also sprinkled dialectics among the endearments. “We who understand,” he wrote, “can bring understanding to others because we are in love and have our Marxist outlook.”
The deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Greenglass, like those of the Rosenbergs more than 60 years ago, are unlikely to end public fascination with the case, whose betrayals have been woven into American culture. In Woody Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” the character played by Mr. Allen says dryly that he still has feelings for his vile brother-in-law.
“I love him like a brother,” he says. “David Greenglass.”
At the 1974 national convention of the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco, Judith Edelman presented data showing that 1.2 percent of registered architects in the United States were women. Only coal miners and steelworkers, she suggested, counted a lower proportion.
These survey results, she said, “clearly demonstrate that the alleged grievances are not all in the heads of some paranoid chicks.” She then agreed to lead a task force to tackle the issue, out of fear that someone “insufficiently stubborn” would get the job.
Ms. Edelman died of a heart attack at 91 on Oct. 4 at her home in Manhattan, her son Marc said. Her legacy includes designing housing for the needy, health clinics and other buildings throughout New York City, as well as drafting many respected planning studies.
But it was as a firebrand for women in architecture — she said she came to be called Dragon Lady at A.I.A. headquarters in Washington — that Ms. Edelman established a broader reputation. In the early 1970s, as feminism challenged many institutions, she pointed out that women were far less likely to be in architecture schools or partners in firms than men, and were paid less.
In 1974, Ada Louise Huxtable, architecture critic for The New York Times, wrote that it was “appalling” that the institute’s national membership consisted of 24,000 men and 300 women. When Life magazine in 1976 surveyed women in professions, it said that “none even today is a more exclusively male preserve than architecture.”
In 1971, Ms. Edelman became the first woman elected to the executive committee of the New York chapter of the institute, with the goal of persuading what she termed “an exclusive gentleman’s club” to elevate women. She also fought for change from outside the establishment, helping found the Alliance of Women in Architecture in 1972.
In designing buildings, Ms. Edelman was clearly successful. The firm she started with her husband built more than 1,500 apartment units and commercial enterprises between the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges; devised a way to preserve the facades of nine brownstones on the Upper West Side to fashion a single multiunit building, where Jackie Robinson was one of the first residents; restored the La MaMa theater on the Lower East Side; and built many affordable housing projects. It won awards from the City Club of New York, the Municipal Art Society and the American Institute of Architects.
Her great feminist cause has fared less well. Although women now account for half of all graduates of American architecture schools, they represent only 20 percent of licensed practitioners and an even lower proportion of partners in firms, according to the blog of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, which chronicles women’s past and present contributions to the industry.
Judith Deena Hochberg was born on Sept. 16, 1923, in Brooklyn to immigrants from Eastern Europe. Her childhood fascination with building turned into a desire to become an architect when she visited an architect’s office as a junior in high school. The desire solidified when an injury prevented her from dancing, her first love.
Her politics came from her upbringing. “I was raised in a very lefty environment,” she said in an interview with the blog of ESKW/A, the current name of her firm. (The initials stand for Edelman Sultan Knox Wood.)
She attended Connecticut College and New York University before earning an architecture degree from Columbia. Her class was mostly women and Latin Americans, because American men were fighting in World War II. In the interview, she said she had led a successful rebellion to include more modernist architecture in the curriculum.
Columbia professors, she recalled, often said, “We’re wasting our time on you girls.” Asked by her interviewer if they said that to the women directly, she replied, “Oh, yes.”
When Ms. Edelman started looking for a job, she heard something similar. “We don’t hire girls,” one potential employer after another said.
She finally found work drawing designs for brickwork for mental hospitals. She was then hired by the architect Huson Jackson, who had an office in Greenwich Village, where she lived. Mr. Jackson, a professor at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, was a leader in bringing the International Style from Europe to the United States.
“He was a great thinker, but he couldn’t draw, interestingly enough,” Ms. Edelman said. “He’d draw a squiggle and say, ‘Turn this into a building.’ ”
In 1947, she married Harold Edelman, and they spent a year traveling in Europe on a fellowship she had won from Columbia. After returning to the United States, they formed a partnership with Stanley Salzman, who had worked with Walter Gropius, a giant of the profession who founded the Bauhaus architectural school. Mr. Salzman left the firm in 1979 and died in 1991.
Mr. Edelman died in 1999. In addition to her son Marc, Ms. Edelman is survived by another son, Joshua; her sister, Joan Gitlow; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Ms. Edelman, who attended a design criticism session two weeks before her death and then walked more than a dozen blocks home, was the model for a 1974 children’s book, “What Can She Be? An Architect.” The authors, Gloria and Esther Goldreich, changed the character’s name to Susan Brody.
As a young architect, Ms. Edelman did not know of Julia Morgan, the great California architect who designed San Simeon, the home of William Randolph Hearst, and more than 700 other buildings. She made that admission in a speech accepting the Woman of Vision award from the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women in 1989.
Later generations knew about Ms. Edelman. In that same speech, she talked about a young female architect, unknown to her, who years ago had said she named her cat Judy Edelman.
“Astonished, I asked why,” she said.
The woman, she said, answered, “What other role models are there?”
A health worker carries a bin at an Ebola isolation center owned by Doctors Without Borders in Guinea
CREDIT: AP Photo/Youssouf Bah
On Thursday, as the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testifies before Congress about the potential failings in the recent response to a case of Ebola infection on U.S. soil, much of the country is in panic mode. An increasing number of lawmakers are calling for a travel ban to the affected countries in West Africa, and some school districts are canceling class over fears that students will contract the deadly virus.
Some observers have noticed that the national response to the Ebola outbreak — which is ravaging several impoverished countries in West Africa, but which doesn’t pose much of a threat here at home — has been disproportionate compared to how the U.S. reacted to the recent spread of other infectious diseases.
“With Mad Cow disease (in Great Britain), you didn’t restrict travel; when you had bird flu in China you didn’t restrict travel,” Leo Mulbah, who heads up the Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, told the Detroit Free Press. “So why now?”
In his interview with the newspaper, Mulbah suggested it’s because countries like Liberia don’t have the same political or economic clout as countries in Europe or Asia. That’s certainly true. On top of that, however, there’s another dynamic that’s been gaining increasing attention over the past few weeks: The undercurrent of racial stereotypes and prejudice.
Thanks to Ebola, some xenophobic attitudes have been on full display recently. Last month, a cover of Newsweek used a chimp to illustrate a story about how bush meat imported from Africa could be a “back door for Ebola.” Lawmakers have suggested that Ebola-infected people may stream across the Mexico border. A community college in Texas stopped accepting perfectly healthy students of Nigerian and Liberian descent. Liberian immigrants who live in Texas are getting refused service at restaurants. There are a lot of comparisons being made to AIDS, the last scary disease to come out of Africa that gave rise to similar racial fears and stereotypes.
Plus, there are some very basic racial factors at play. The vast majority of the people who are suffering and dying from Ebola are black. The handful of people who are being flown to the U.S. to receive care at top hospitals, given an experimental Ebola drug, and ultimately recovering from the virus are white. This dynamic was not lost on the family members of the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., a Liberian man named Thomas E. Duncan. Along with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, they have criticized the Texas hospital where Duncan was treated, saying he received substandard care because he was a black man and an immigrant.
Not everyone agrees with that assessment — particularly conservative media outlets, who were quick to mock a CNN anchor who suggested that Duncan’s accent and ethnicity may have influenced hospital staff’s immediate response to his illness. But Duncan’s individual case isn’t necessarily the issue. It’s one data point in a much larger historical context of racism, xenophobia, and stoking fears about Africa.
There’s a long history of treating Africa like a dirty and diseased place, as meticulously documented in a Washington Post piece published at the end of August. This history can be traced through colonialism, slavery, and racist imagery portraying Africans as savages or apes. While Americans frequently associate immigrants with diseases — there have been plenty of examples of that dynamic in the debate over the migrant border crisis — research has found that type of xenophobia is even stronger against African immigrants than it is against people from Europe or Asia.
“When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that Ebola had crossed into the United States, carried on the body of a black man from Liberia, the threat of infection was suddenly perceived as quite real,” Stassa Edwards wrote on Jezebel this week.
So, it’s perhaps not surprising that the current coverage of Ebola is setting up the type of clear “us versus them” narrative — privileged versus disenfranchised, Western versus African, and white versus black — that often emerges in the moral panic over diseases. Particularly in cable news discussions about the imperative to seal our borders against the impending threat of the virus, the people who have Ebola are being framed as the “others.” And from that perspective, the outbreak only matters in terms of how it impacts Westerners.
Meanwhile, as the headlines are dominated by the latest updates on the two Americans who are currently infected with Ebola, thousands of African people have died from a disease that their governments are not prepared to combat. Groups like Doctors Without Borders have been begging for more outside assistance for months, but the help hasn’t come fast enough. The United Nations’ newly-created Ebola fund is already running out of money. The slow international response is another example of racist attitudes, according to Dr. Joia Mukherjee, a professor at Harvard Medical School and the chief medical officer at the nonprofit Partners in Health.
“I think it’s easy for the world — the powerful world, who are largely non-African, non-people of color — to ignore the suffering of poor, black people,” Mukherjee said in an interview with Public Radio International. “These are not countries that contribute massively to the global economy, so it’s easy to just otherize this problem.”
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2015
Saturday, October 17, 2015
The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on October 17 each year since 1993. It promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty promotes awareness of the need to eradicate poverty worldwide.
Various non-government organizations and community charities support the Day for the Eradication of Poverty by actively calling for country leaders and governments to make the fight against poverty a central part of foreign policy. Other activities may include signing “Call to action” petitions, organizing concerts and cultural events, and holding interfaith gatherings that may include a moment of silence.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is a global observance and not a public holiday.
The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to October 17, 1987. On that date, more than 100,000 people gathered in Paris, France, to honor the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. Since that moment, individuals and organizations worldwide observed October 17 as a day to renew their commitment in collaborating towards eradicating poverty. In December, 1992, the UN General Assembly officially declared October 17 as the date for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (resolution 47/196 of December 22, 1992).
In December 1995, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997–2006), following the Copenhagen Social Summit. At the Millennium Summit in 2000, world leaders committed themselves to cutting by half the number of people living in extreme poverty by the year 2015.
The United Nations Postal Administration previously issued six commemorative stamps and a souvenir card on the theme “We Can End Poverty”. These stamps and the souvenir card featured drawings or paintings of people, particularly children, working together in the fight against poverty. Many of these images used strong colors and contrasts. These stamps resulted from an art competition where six designs were selected from more than 12,000 children from 124 countries.
Note: Although the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was first officially celebrated by the UN in 1993, many people around the world celebrated the day annually on October 17 since 1987.
Many events are organized on and around World Food Day. On and around October 16, a wide-ranging program is organized at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome, Italy. The program is aimed at leaders of political and non-political organizations at all levels and at increasing press attention on topical issues around food supply. Other UN organizations and universities around the world organize symposia, conferences, workshops and presentations of particular issues around food production, distribution and security. In addition, special initiatives, such as the “International Year of Rice” in 2004 and the “International Year of the Potato” in 2008 were launched.
Across the globe, many different events are organized to raise awareness of problems in food supply and distribution and to raise money to support projects to aid in the cultivation of food plants and the distribution of food. An example of this is TeleFood, which funds micro projects to help small-scale farmers at the grassroots level. The projects aim to help farmers be more productive and improve both local communities’ access to food and farmers’ cash income. Fundraising events include sponsored sports events, charity auctions, concerts, and marches.
World Food Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
The FAO aims to raise levels of nutrition across the globe, improve agricultural productivity at all levels, enhance the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. It also provides assistance to countries changing their agricultural policy, to aid regions out of famine situations, to help implement appropriate technology and facilitate a neutral environment to discuss issues around food production.
At the FAO’s 20th session in Rome, Italy, in November 1979 the conference called for the observance of World Food Day on October 16, 1981, and on the same date each year. The UN General Assembly ratified this decision on December 5, 1980, and urged governments and international, national and local organizations to contribute to observing World Food Day. World Food Day has been held each year since 1981.
The FAO’s symbol consists of a circle. Inside the circle is a graphical image of an ear of wheat and the letters F, A and O. The FAO’s motto “fiat panis” (let there be bread) appears under the ear of wheat. The first version of this design was a badge distributed to delegates at an FAO conference in Copenhagen in 1946. The current version was registered with the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property on July 1, 1964, and has been used widely since about 1977.
A World Food Day official symbol consists of three abstract human figures harvesting, distributing and sharing food. The figures are depicted in a bluish-grey color and the food in an orange shade. This draws attention to the food. The whole image aims to bring attention to the necessity and joy of growing, harvesting and distributing food.
BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS · A BLOGSITE FOR THE PRAISING OF ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL AND SUBLIME IN HONOR OF ALL BLACK WOMEN. "ONLY THE BLACK WOMAN CAN SAY WHEN AND WHERE I ENTER, IN THE QUIET, UNDISPUTED DIGNITY OF MY WOMANHOOD, WITHOUT VIOLENCE AND WITHOUT SUING OR SPECIAL PATRONAGE, THEN AND THERE THE WHOLE. . .RACE ENTERS WITH ME." ANNA JULIA COOPER, 1892