Global Outreach Week shows off — and extends — Berkeley’s reach in the world

Berkeley is in the midst of Global Outreach Week, a student-initiated demonstration of the campus’s commitment to making a difference in the world — and an invitation to get involved.

Hotel Rwanda movie poster

Global Outreach Week will include a free showing of Hotel Rwanda on Friday, April 16.

The full week of activities will culminate with Friday’s free showing of Hotel Rwanda, and then Saturday’s free outdoor concert by the indie band Cold War Kids.

All of the week’s events, organized by the Associated Students of the University of California, Berkeley, are designed to raise awareness of Berkeley’s global reach, through its students, faculty and graduates. It is also intended to inspire more participation and to raise money for charities that send books to Tanzanian schools, help Haiti deal with the aftermath of January’s devastating quake, and buy malaria nets for Africans, among others.

“It’s to show how Cal students can get involved in the global community, and how much is happening on the Cal campus that can affect things in the world,” says Nick Castle, a sophomore who is co-director of Global Outreach Week.

This is the first event of its kind for ASUC, says Castle, who works in the office of ASUC President Will Smelko. A core team of 10 to 15 students has been working much of the year to bring it together, he says, with help from dozens of others and a big hand from the administration and alumni.

“UC Berkeley is at the top of the list when it comes to making a difference in the world,” is the way Smelko describes the reason for Global Outreach Week, according to the event’s website the event’s website.

Events kicked off Sunday with a basketball tournament at the Recreational Sports Facility that raised $500 for the NothingButNets campaign to save Africa’s children from malaria. Monday’s “Eco-Styles” fashion show provided information about sweatshops and sustainability along with the latest in sustainable clothing.

On Wednesday, students plan lunchtime tabling on Sproul Plaza, with videos and demonstrations to show people what Cal researchers are doing about global poverty, according to Castle. Thursday, a faculty panel will show how technology — including a bike-powered maize sheller — can help fight world hunger.

At Friday night’s “Hotel Rwanda” showing on Memorial Glade, a faculty panel will discuss the 1994 massacre.

Topping off the week will be Saturday’s Concert for Cal, which invites the entire campus community plus visitors attending the Cal Day open house to plunk themselves down on Memorial Glade for the Cold War Kids show, which is co-sponsored by the Save My Oceans campaign.

The Global Outreach schedule is posted on Facebook (search for ASUC Global Outreach Week 2010).