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Oxfam at ASU looks to raise awareness for worldwide social issues

ASU students are fighting world issues with petitions, challenges, and events such as Monday's Oxfam Jam

Students gather at the MU on ASU's Tempe campus to watch Pratyusha Gutti perform a dance at the Oxfam Jam on Monday, March 13, 2017. 

Students gather at the MU on ASU's Tempe campus to watch Pratyusha Gutti perform a dance at the Oxfam Jam on Monday, March 13, 2017. 

An ASU organization hosted a jam session to bring together social justice and the arts to raise awareness and spur action. 

Oxfam is a global movement of people that works to end the injustice of poverty. Its official mission statement is to "create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and social injustice.” 

Oxfam at ASU is a smaller chapter of that organization and is fighting for the same thing by raising awareness on a local scale.

But Oxfam is more than just raising awareness. Club treasurer and political science sophomore Isabella Russian said, “this club takes action.”

The Oxfam Jam, the club's recent action, was held at the Memorial Union on Monday. The event was designed to raise awareness for refugees fleeing from the Middle East.

The club, while local, chooses to fight issues that affect people worldwide, Russian said.

“These are human rights that affect the whole world,” Russian said. “It should be the whole world's concern.”

The club has another event coming up soon referred to as the $2 a day challenge, which will take place April 3-7. 

Senior advisor and change leader Nyle Hamidi, a biochemistry senior, said there is more to the club than just having events and raising awareness. It also takes a more active approach by writing letters and petitions to send to both local congressmen and to others in Washington D.C., he said.

The club is trying to making a lasting change and fight for a “just world without poverty,” Hamidi said.

“It is more important than raising money for groups you haven't heard of or people you’ll never see,” Hamidi said. “It is about making real change."

Vice President Nambi Srivatsav, a computer science master's student, believes the club is doing good work with its events and letters. However, as a species and as a world, people “need to work much harder,” he said.

There are events happening around the world that many people don't know about, even though they are often times directly affected by it, he said. Millions around the world live in poverty conditions and resources are not being utilized equally. 

Hamidi said that the club collects petitions on a wide range of issues, with everything from poverty and homelessness, to world hunger and access to basic necessities. One commonality, Hamidi said, is the club’s goal to find a final solution.

“The goal is to fix the problem, not perpetuate it,” Hamidi said. We don’t want a stack of interesting things that could happen. We want a stack of things that did happen.”

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