Media Advisory: Irish president to address world poverty, hunger

ATTENTION: Reporters covering international affairs, global hunger, poverty and income inequality, Irish arts and culture

WHAT: A talk at the University of California, Berkeley, by Irish President Michael Higgins on ending world poverty and hunger.

In addition, the president will announce a donation to launch an Irish studies program within UC Berkeley’s Institute for European Studies to support and promote scholarship on Ireland and to foster cooperation with Irish universities.

Berkeley’s Celtic Studies Program was the first degree-granting program in Celtic languages and literatures in North America, when it was launched in the 1911-12 academic year.

WHEN: 3-4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 26

WHERE: Chevron Auditorium, International House, 2299 Piedmont Ave., at the intersection of Piedmont and Bancroft avenues.

BACKGROUND: Higgins is a statesman, an academic, an activist for human rights and democracy, a poet and writer. He was a factory worker and clerk before becoming the first in his family to attend college. He has served as a lecturer in political science and sociology at National University in Galway, Ireland, and in the United States.

At a recent Sustainable Development Summit at the United Nations in New York City, Higgins delivered addresses on income inequality, gender equity and alleviating world hunger. According to statistics provided by World Hunger Day on Oct. 16, about 795 million people – or one in nine people around the world – are undernourished. Poor nutrition is blamed for 45 percent of all deaths of children under the age of 5.

Berkeley’s global poverty and practice minor, established in 2007, is one of the largest minors on campus.

DETAILS: All but a handful of seats for Higgins’ talk are reserved for the campus community. Credentialed reporters wishing to attend must reserve a seat through UC Berkeley Media Relations by calling (510) 643-5651.