News & Events > a monstrous octopus the tentacles of poverty campus and community wide symp

‘A Monstrous Octopus: The Tentacles of Poverty’ - Campus and Community-wide Symposium Seeking to Enhance Understanding and Collaboration on Poverty and Social Disparities

  • Date: 01 Feb
  • Location: Life Sciences Center - Dartmouth College
  • Time: 12:30 p.m.

In his Nobel Laureate lecture in 1964, Martin Luther King likened the evil of poverty to “a monstrous octopus [that] projects its nagging, prehensile tentacles in lands and villages all over the world.” Identifying these tentacles as they abut on health, business and global cultures and then seeking avenues to social justice and equity within our Dartmouth community and beyond, a coalition of Dartmouth students, aided by faculty and administration, seeks to engage our community in a broad-based conversation about this octopus derived from mutual interests in the arts, medicine, business and social science and from our direct engagement with affected individuals. To that end, The Geisel School of Medicine chapter of Physicians for Human Rights, the Tuck Center for Business & Society, the Nathan Smith Society and the William Jewett Tucker Foundation of the Dartmouth College are collaborating to host a campus-wide poverty symposium at Dartmouth College. This event seeks to promote awareness and understanding among all students, faculty, and members of the Dartmouth & Upper Valley communities of issues of poverty on the local, national, and global levels. It is also our hope that this symposium will yield activism and volunteerism among Dartmouth students and community members as well
as inspiration for future collaborations across Dartmouth towards the alleviation of poverty.

This symposium is made possible thanks to the contributions of the Nathan Smith Society, the student chapter of Physicians for Human Rights and the Dean’s Office of the Geisel School of Medicine, William Jewett Tucker Foundation, the Tuck Center for Business & Society, and the Upper Valley Haven.

For more information, visit our website at or contact

Friday, February 1st, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Life Sciences Center - Keynote Address by Dr. James S. Withers
Dr. Jim Withers is a professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and the founder of Street Medicine Institute. He is the initiator and global leader of the Street Medicine movement. Since 1992, he has been providing medical care to Pittsburgh’s unsheltered homeless population. Through an organization, Operation Safety Net, Dr. Withers makes house calls to the homeless and envisions street medicine as a mission of mercy on a global scale. As an educator, he has built a “classroom” that would allow the students to work in the reality of the alienated and excluded poor of Pittsburgh as a Street Medicine Fellow.

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