Archive | November, 2010

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Raj Patel Brings CT Food for Thought

HARTFORD — In November, the month when Americans celebrate plenty, author and activist Raj Patel will remind us that the world food system is broken, and, yes, half the world is starving while the other half is glutted.

Patel, author of “Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System,” will speak to a Jorgensen audience on Monday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.

The event is sponsored by 20 UConn entities, and the fee will be a $5 donation to the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic.

Patel has been a vocal critic of corporate America, the food industry and even his former employers – the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. He claims to have been tear-gassed on four continents as a result of his public dissent. In his writings and appearances on NBC’s “The Today Show,” NPR, BBC and “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central, he details a skewed food system dominated by a few powerful corporations that ultimately control how much and what food comes to the world’s tables. He tackles issues of food market manipulation, over-engineered growing practices, and the high but hidden cost of cheap food in this country.

He has testified on the global food crisis before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, and he writes for publications that include The Guardian, the LA Times,, The Mail on Sunday and The Observer. His latest book, “The Value of Nothing,” which came out this year, is a New York Times bestseller.

The British-born Patel, who became an American citizen in January, holds degrees from Oxford, the London School of Economics and Cornell. He is now a visiting scholar in the Center for African Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, a fellow at Food First, also known as the Institute of Food and Development Policy, a research associate at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and a past visiting scholar at Yale.

Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2132 Hillside Road on the UConn campus in Storrs. This event is open to the public for a $5 donation to the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic, CT. For information, visit


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Greater Hartford YMCA Selects New CEO

HARTFORD — The Greater Hartford YMCA now has a new president.

After a nationwide search,  Springfield YMCA official James Morton was selected to be the new president and CEO.

Morton replaces former CEO Kevin Washington, who left in July to run the YMCA of Greater Boston.

Morton, 55, was executive director of the Massachusetts Career Development Institute Inc. and a former public school teacher.

He launched a YMCA Youth & Government program for students at the High School of Commerce in Springfield.

He holds a B.A. from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a law degree from Northeastern University.

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