John Donaldson

On February 7, at Singapore Soka Association (SSA) Headquarters, the 10th annual SSA Student Peace Lecture titled “Poverty is for Me to Change” was held with some 600 people in attendance.

In his lecture, keynote speaker John Donaldson, associate professor of Political Science at Singapore Management University, presented poverty as an issue that goes beyond the economic sphere. “Poverty” he stated, “is an issue of politics and power.” He stressed how it deprives people of security and dignity, highlighted that many poverty-related deaths are due to preventable conditions such as malaria or diarrhea and posited that there is a sense of apathy reinforced by existing social structures that allows poverty to continue.

Emphasizing that people in all fields are needed to tackle poverty and calling on individuals to take action, he stated, “To make a difference . . . You just need to be you.”

The SSA Student Peace Lecture was first held in 2005. It serves as a platform where students can learn from experts in various fields related to peace and education with a view to inspiring dialogue.

[Adapted from the February 3, 2015, issue of SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association (SSA); photos courtesy of SSA]

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