Oxfam Alaska brings new spirit of activism to UAA

In these days of uncertainty and national crisis, students all over America are looking for ways they can help. Fortunately, the University of Alaska Anchorage now provides a way.

A new club, Oxfam Alaska, dedicated to ending the root causes of poverty, hunger and inequality has come to our campus. Oxfam believes that no person or group of people should be left out of the economic development that has been dominating the globe over the past 50 years.

How does this help with our current crisis you might ask? Terrorism results from a lack of hope in a group's political and social conditions. If people believe that there is no mechanism open to them for expressing their feelings and affecting the political landscape, they then begin to look for other, possibly violent, means to be heard.

We have even seen this in our country. When the Rodney King verdicts were announced a portion of Americans felt they had no recourse through the government, that justice had not been upheld and thus violence broke out.

The international stage isn't any different. There are large segments of the world that view the United States as having sole power to influence international decisions. This, coupled with the fact that areas like Africa have been left behind economically and ignored socially, leads the people of those areas to believe that the U.S. doesn't care and won't listen unless the consequences of those actions are horrifyingly brought to the American doorstep.

Oxfam International and Oxfam Alaska work to alleviate these and other international developments and social justice problems through domestic education and international action. Our parent organization has identified several international problems and works to coordinate with other international rights groups, such as Amnesty International, to end the conditions that created those problems. Instead of sending impoverished areas food and money, although in emergencies we do this too. Oxfam helps those areas develop skills and resources needed to provide food and other necessities for years to come. We also lobby Congress, the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations and other international agencies to end the conditions that continue to contribute to social injustices around the world. Oxfam has been successful in many of these efforts.

These efforts take action from students and citizens like you. If you are interested in getting involved with ending the horrible poverty, hunger and inequalities in the world and thus alleviate the effects that follow, then check out one of the informative meetings Oxfam Alaska will hold on Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. in the Campus Center room 105 and Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Commons. Please come and help the unheard people of the world. For more information, contact Casey Reynolds at 751-7237 or lodgedog1@yahoo.com