Patel Center Event Focuses on Poverty Issues in the Americas

Scholar and activists will examine new forms of politics and governance during the February conference.


TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 9, 2010) – In an era where new social movements have emerged around issues of poverty, inequality and globalization, USF’s Patel Center for Global Solutions will bring leading scholars and activists in the Americas together in February to explore the new political movements of the poor.


The Feb 2-4 conference, “Social Movement Governance, the Poor and the New Politics of the Americs,” is presented jointly with the University of South Florida, the University of Bergen, the journal Globalizations and academic publisher Routledge. The event will be the inaugural conference for the new Patel Center for Global Solutions center under construction on the Tampa campus.


Organizers call it the first large meeting of its kind to bring together scholars who play central roles in the activist movements in the Americas along with civil society organizations and social justice groups.  The conference comes just days before the World Social Forum is held in Dakar, Senegal on Feb. 6.


Featured speakers include:


·         Gonzalo Berrón of the Hemispheric Social Alliance in São Paolo, Brazil, who has been a leading international critic of neoliberal trade practices which have been criticized as perpetuating inequality in developing nations in the Americas.


·         Camilo Perez-Bustillo, a research professor in the graduate program in human rights and faculty law at the Autonomous University of Mexico City, who has been active in indigenous rights movement campaigns and the World Social forum.


·         Norman Girvan, a professorial research fellow at the University of the West Indies and author of several books and articles on foreign investment, multinational corporations,  the IMF, external debt and social development.


·         Kari Polanyi Levitt, an emeriti professor of economics at McGill University who is an expert on the political economy of Latin America, its history and development.


USF Faculty members who also have studied social justice movements in the United States, such as the Coalition of Immokolaee Workers in southwest Florida, and refugee populations, also will speak on their experiences of joining academic scholarship with social activism.


The deadline for registration is Dec. 1. Visit for full details.


Media Contact: Vickie Chachere, 813-974-6251.