Global Health Storytelling

Ending Poverty by 2030: Fantasy or Attainable Goal?

March 24, 2016

6–8:30 p.m.
Instructional Building
72 East Concord Street
Hiebert Lounge
Live-Streaming Available During Event

Is ending global poverty in the next 15 years a feasible goal when extreme poverty can still be found in the wealthiest nation in the world? What do a circus and ending poverty have in common? Do public health and journalism share common goals? Please join us on Thursday, March 24, for a vibrant discussion that seeks to answer these and other questions by bringing together voices from journalism, public health, and the performing arts.

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expired at the end of 2015, and have been replaced by the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first MDG focused on eradicating extreme poverty and food insecurity. The SDGs now aim to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” by 2030. Whether this goal is realistic or a well-intentioned fantasy is the subject of the 2016 public forum hosted by the Boston University Program for Global Health Storytelling and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

The BU Program for Global Health Storytelling is a multidisciplinary initiative (sponsored by the College of Communication, the School of Public Health, and the Center for Global Health and Development) exploring the intersection between public health and journalism, the points where we often collide and ways in which we can better collaborate. The goal of these gatherings is to create a public forum where journalists and public health professionals, students of both disciplines, and interested community members come together in sometimes heated, constructive debate. All are welcome to this public event.

Speakers will address poverty in developed and developing countries, the health impacts of social injustice and deprivation, and the power and limitations of the performing arts and storytelling to contribute to the global movement to eradicate poverty.


Matt Black, documentary photographer: His current project, “The Geography of Poverty,” combines stark, black-and-white photography with census data to tell stories from some of America’s most marginalized communities.

Guillaume Saladin and Yamoussa Bangoura, circus acrobats from the Canadian Arctic and Guinea, West Africa: Their circus troupes, Artcirq and Kalabante, are featured in Circus without Borders, a film depicting how performers from disparate parts of the world are addressing poverty and despair through performance.

Circus without Borders filmmakers: Linda Matchan (Producer) and Susan Gray (Director) will introduce an excerpt of their film and share insights from the filmmaking process.

Yvette Cozier, assistant dean for inclusion and diversity and assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health: Professor Cozier will talk about poverty, race, and other social and cultural factors that influence physical and mental health.