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Read-a-thon sparks Haitian celebration

November 5, 2010

Haitian music, photography and poetry will be on display on Thursday, Nov. 11, as Loyola University New Orleans continues its celebration of the Half the Sky read-a-thon, a fundraiser for Fonkoze, the largest Haitian financial institution created to assist the country’s rural-based poor.

That day, the Loyola community will hear from Fonkoze representatives about their organization and how donations raised through the read-a-thon will help bolster their efforts to improve the economic and social challenges in a country ravaged by poverty. The event will take place from 5-7 p.m. in the Audubon Room in the Danna Student Center.

The read-a-thon began in September with Sheryl WuDunn’s visit to Loyola, in which she discussed her award-winning novel, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” Loyola provided free copies of the book to attendees in return for their commitment to help raise funds for Fonkoze, which serves more than 45,000 women and assists with the reconstruction of homes affected by the 2010 earthquake.

Through FirstGiving, a fundraising website for nonprofits, individuals are able to create account profiles and share them with family and friends to raise donations for Fonkoze.

The Haitian celebration is a part of International Week, in which Loyola joins with other college campuses around the world to highlight international education and exchange. This year’s events include brown-bag lunches on Nov. 8, with Larry Lorenz, Ph.D., School of Mass Communication professor, on Nov. 9, with Katherine Fidler, Ph.D., assistant history professor, and on Nov. 10, with Sue Weishar, Ph.D., Jesuit Social Research Institute migration specialist and fellow, and attorney Laila Hlass, Loyola Law Clinic staff attorney.

The lunches will begin at 12:30 p.m. on their respective days, in Mercy Hall, Room 301, and will highlight each speaker’s work in the international realm. A full list of International Week events are listed at www.loyno.edu/cie/international-week.

For more information about the read-a-thon and how to support Fonkoze, contact Kristy Magner, coordinator for International Student Services, at 504-864-7550 or kmagner@loyno.edu.

The Half the Sky read-a-thon is co-sponsored by the Center for International Education, University Ministry and the Women’s Resource Center.

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