On November 12, Participate in PIH’s READ, CONNECT, ACT

November 2, 2009
by Eric T. Harris, Grassroots Communications Coordinator

In a mission to bring greater awareness of global health and social justice issues into our communities, Partners In Health and their supporters across the country are holding a day of nationwide book parties called Read, Connect, Act. This is a great opportunity to get a chance to host your own book party around Strength in What Remains by Dr. David Walton.

You are encouraged to invite friends, family and neighbors, or find out if a book party is already being planned for your area. Then, you can join PIH online as Tracy Kidder and Dr. David Walton answer your questions in a live webcast.

Tracy Kidder’s book is a thought-provoking and profoundly satisfying book that will inspire feelings of humility, admiration, and disquietude and may sow the seeds of humanitarian activism for some readers. The book focuses on Dr. Paul Farmer, who joined up with RESULTS on Saturday, October 17, for the online 2009 RESULTS National Outreach-Stand Up Event where he talked to us about the importance of building and strengthening the world’s health systems. He emphasized the importance of linking together to tackle global health challenges and the significance of advocacy in the global community. As a specialist in infectious diseases, Farmer’s goal is nothing less than redressing the “steep gradient of inequality” in medical service to the desperately poor. His work establishing a complex of public health facilities on the central plateau of Haiti forms the keystone to efforts that now encompass initiatives on three continents.

David Walton is a physician who works with PIH’s project in Haiti and was recently on an episode of 60 Minutes on CBS. His book is an unlikely story about Deo, a young medical student who fled the genocidal civil war in Burundi in 1994 for the uncertainty of New York City. Against absurd odds, he arrived with little money and even less English, sleeping in Central Park while delivering groceries for starvation wages. Through his own ambition and a few kind New Yorkers, he was led to Columbia University and, beyond that, to medical school and American citizenship. What gives Deo’s story its particular power is that becoming an American citizen did not erase his connection to Burundi, in either his memory or his dreams for the future.

Will you be participating in Read, Connect, Act on November 12 at 8:30 pm ET? Leave us a comment and tell us!

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