General

  • “Poverty and Development” Visualizes a Fairer Economy by Transitioning the Informal Sector

    On Thursday, November 8, 2012, the Pell Center hosted a lecture given by Karen Tramontano, the founder and President of the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) at DiStefano Lecture Hall. The lecture, Poverty & Development: The Role of the Informal Economy in Changing People’s Lives discussed how developing countries’ economies benefit from integrating the “informal sector” of businesses with the formal sector. The informal sector, as defined by GFI, refers to … Read More

  • Visualizing the Electoral College

    The American election day routine, go to work, get in line to vote, cast your ballot, and then spend the night waiting for the winner to be announced. Most Americans however, do not know what happens when they vote. These two brief videos explain where your vote goes, the American Electoral College, and the problems that it causes.

  • The Last Stand: A Final Look at the Polls Before Election Day 2012 (Op-Ed)

    A summary of this morning’s polls on The New York Times, The Washington Post and Real Clear Politics: an edge for President Barack Obama in the Electoral College, a veritable deadlock between Governor Mitt Romney (47.4%) and President Obama (47.8%) in the popular vote, and an uncertain turnout for the swing states. In one final attempt to sway voters hours before Election Day, both candidates are currently wrapping up their … Read More

  • Malala Yousafzai Opens Our Eyes to What Really Matters

    Everyday, brave men and woman are tirelessly promoting democracy and basic human rights. In a country such as Pakistan, this heroic task comes with great risk. On Tuesday (10/9/12) Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old girl from Swat Pakistan, was attacked by the Taliban for her support of girls’ education. This inconceivable act of extremism served as a wake up for conservative clerics, secular politicians, military leaders, media figures, and the general … Read More

  • Foreign Policy: Is it Relevant to Today’s Politics?

    A new election season is always an exciting and vibrant time for the people of the world, but especially for the citizens of the United States of America. The Salve Regina and Newport communities took part in this excitement with an event to watch the first of three debates between Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and President of the United States Barack Obama. To shake things up a bit, the … Read More

  • The Electoral College: Does It Matter?

    In case you did not notice the past few months, the 2012 Presidential Election is a big deal. The United States faces two choices that will lead to two very different outcomes. Stimulating our economy, creating jobs for the American people, is on the forefront of the many other issues the nation faces—issues on healthcare, foreign policy, education, and sustainable energy also need to be addressed. Americans are highly encouraged … Read More

  • Play Nice: The Importance of Fair Trade

    In a world where the gap between rich and poor keeps growing, fair trade makes a difference. The main purpose of fair trade practices is to provide opportunities to impoverished nations and their people. The Fair Trade Federation defines fair trade as “an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system.” Fair Trade organizations ensure … Read More

  • Afghanistan End Game: Event Report

    On Wednesday, August 1, the Pell Center and Newport CIV jointly hosted an evening conversation with two prominent experts on the course of the war in Afghanistan.  Dr. Bernard Finel of the National War College and Dr. Mark Jacobson of the German Marshall Fund of the United States engaged an audience of more than 100 people with assessments of where we stand after nearly 11 years of fighting. America’s war … Read More

  • Do Facts Matter? Should they?

    Former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once famously quipped: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” If only it were so simple. New research and events demonstrate that facts, science, and evidence don’t really matter when we’re discussing controversial issues—even if the controversy is engineered. A recent letter in the journal Nature examines the relationship between science literacy and the perception of risk from … Read More

  • God and American Politics

    I just returned from the Pell Center round-table with Professor Dan Cowdin on the role of God in American politics.  It was a lively conversation that affirmed just how intimately intertwined are issues of faith, identity, and public values. As the conversation ensued, we made reference to several texts from American history.  I’ve linked to each below. President John F. Kennedy’s Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association (1960) Rev. … Read More

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