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Call to End Global Poverty Comes in Musical Form at Tulane University

November 2, 2007

Kathryn Hobgood
Phone: 504-865-5229

khobgood@tulane.edu

Grammy-award winning singer and pianist John Legend will perform at Tulane University’s McAlister Auditorium at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in a special concert to bring attention to global poverty. Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs, author of The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, and Legend will appeal to the audience about ways in which individuals can help end global poverty by the year 2025. The special event is sponsored by Tulane University and TUCP Lyceum and is free and open to the public.

In The End of Poverty, Sachs, an economist at Columbia and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, argues that extreme poverty can be eliminated globally by the year 2025 through carefully planned development aid – some initiatives which have been outlined as Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations. He presents the problem as an inability of very poor countries to reach the "bottom rung" of the ladder of economic development; once the bottom rung is reached, a country can pull itself up into the global market economy, and the need for outside aid will be greatly diminished or eliminated.

Legend read Sach’s book, which was a New York Times bestseller lauded by former President Bill Clinton, and was inspired to launch the “Show Me Campaign,” through which fans are encouraged to donate funds toward improving the lives of the poorest people in Africa. Legend’s song “Show Me” has become an anthem for the cause of ending poverty.

This special concert event, “Ending Global Poverty by 2025: Inform, Elect, Transform,” is an outreach program of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, where Sachs is director. Tulane is the first university to host this event.

"John Legend and I are delighted to be able to kick off our national campus tour here at Tulane," said Sachs. "Tuesday's dialogue is coming at a critical moment in this country's history. As we approach next year's elections, this opportunity to speak with students and concerned members of the community about the fight against poverty in the U.S. and around the world could not be more timely and important."

Alex Miller, associate director for campus programming at Tulane, says he is excited this event is coming to New Orleans. “It’s important to us, because it brings light to a global issue that we experience locally. John Legend and Jeff Sachs will enable us to look at the issue of poverty and how our students can get more connected and involved in helping to eradicate it.”

More than one billion people worldwide suffer in extreme poverty, which has been defined by the World Bank as incomes of less than US$1 per day. For more information, visit http://www.millenniumpromise.org/

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