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Week of September 17, 2012

Vivian R. Shaw Lecture

Child hunger expert to discuss how mothers living in poverty are demanding economic justice

Mariana Chilton, a nationally recognized expert on child hunger in America, will deliver the Vivian R. Shaw Lecture, “Witnesses to Hunger: How Mothers Living in Poverty Are Demanding Economic Justice.”

The Vivian R. Shaw Lecture is endowed by U-M alumna Ellen Agress in memory of her mother. The free public lecture is part of the program to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the U-M Women’s Studies Department.


The lecture will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Stern Auditorium, U-M Museum of Art

Chilton is an associate professor at Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. She is director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, which develops innovative solutions to the challenges of hunger and economic insecurity. She also is co-principal investigator of Children’s Health Watch, a surveillance study monitoring the health and well-being of children under the age of four.

Chilton founded the award-winning Witnesses to Hunger, to increase women’s participation in the national dialogue on hunger and poverty. Witnesses to Hunger is a multi-city network of mothers of young children committed to ending childhood hunger and breaking the cycle of poverty.

Using photographs, video and oral commentary, the mothers share their personal experiences of poverty and hunger with policymakers, advocates, the media and community members to provide input in the design and implementation of public assistance programs.

Witnesses to Hunger was recognized as a White House Champion Non-profit in 2012.

Chilton has testified before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on the importance of child nutrition programs and other anti-poverty policies. She served as an adviser to Sesame Street and the Institute of Medicine.

She has been recognized with the Unsung Hero Award for Improving the Lives of Women and Girls from Women’s Way and the Young Professional Award in Maternal and Child Health from the American Public Health Association.

Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, National Public Radio, CBS National News and MSNBC. Her work also was featured in a 10-part front page Philadelphia Inquirer Series, Portrait of Hunger.

Chilton received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.



Anne Curzan, professor of English language and literature and professor of linguistics, LSA, and professor of education in the School of Education, on her linguistics radio show: "I’m trying to help people enjoy more, and worry and judge less."


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