Rev. David Beckmann, author of Exodus from Hunger and a noted expert on overcoming hunger and poverty, will speak at Newman University at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center, in the Dugan Library on the Newman campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Beckmann, a World Food Prize laureate, has been president of Bread for the World since 1991. He is one of the United States’ foremost advocates for finding solutions to the problem of world hunger.
“He’s a rock star,” said Rosemary Niedens, associate vice president of academic affairs. “We are extremely lucky to get him here on campus.”
Beckmann’s book, Exodus from Hunger, is the “freshman read” at Newman this year; all Newman freshman students are required to read the book and take part in hunger-related activities. The students have held various events already this semester, as a way to make their own impact on the problem of world hunger. On Aug. 22, as part of “Jet Days” orientation for new students, Newman partnered with Outreach, Inc., to host a food-packaging event to help the hungry. All new freshman students, student orientation leaders, and several Newman faculty and staff members helped package nutritious meals to be sent to Manyoni, Tanzania, where Outreach partners with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ to provide food for vulnerable children.
Niedens, who attended the event, said that the connection with the ASCs really made the event special for her and for Newman. She said that in less than three hours the workers packaged over 50,000 meals, and with those the sisters will feed up to 1,300 hungry children a day. Feeding starving people, by itself, is not enough, said Niedens, and it’s going to take people from all over the world pushing for change to end the tragedy of world hunger.
Beckmann will speak to the freshman class and give a public lecture on the problem of hunger and America’s impact on finding a solution.
As president of the hunger-advocacy organization Bread for the World, Beckmann has led large-scale and successful campaigns to strengthen U.S. political commitment to ending hunger and poverty throughout the world. He is also president of Bread for the World Institute, the policy research and analysis arm of Bread for the World, and president of the Alliance to End Hunger. Beckmann serves on USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid and other committees, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has testified before Congress on hunger and poverty issues more than 20 times. He also appears regularly in the media including the Huffington Post, C-Span, “Bill Moyer’s Journal,” PBS’s “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly,” and NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “The Diane Rehm Show.”
Beckmann is a Lutheran pastor. He earned degrees at Yale University, Christ Seminary and the London School of Economics, and holds multiple honorary degrees. He previously worked for the World Bank for 15 years.
For more information on Beckmann or Bread for the World visit www.bread.org.