Global attempts to combat poverty are noble, but are those involved in the poverty industry part of the solution or part of the problem? This insightful question will be addressed at a free screening of the movie “Poverty, Inc.,” Wednesday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Akron Civic Theatre.
The movie looks at a broken system of global aid and spans 20 countries and 150 interviews. Mark Weber, the movie’s co-producer, who is deferring graduate school at MIT to travel the country in a van, will be on hand at the event for a post-movie question-and-answer session.
Akron resident Lindsey Jo Scott was the catalyst for bringing this film to Akron.
Scott is a compassion entrepreneur for the nonprofit Trades of Hope, which empowers disadvantaged women around the globe, offering them job skills and a living wage by selling handcrafted goods. She applied to host a local screening of the film and says this movie’s message falls in line with the mission of Trades of Hope: helping women to overcome poverty through entrepreneurship rather than dependence.
“I’m excited about the conversation it’s starting,” she says. “It’s in line with one of my passions, which is empowering people.”
Although “Poverty, Inc.” presents a humbling message for people, it’s a necessary conversation, says Scott, who adds she hopes viewers of the film could be inspired to realize that we could overcome poverty with not only our hearts but with our minds as well.
Trades of Hope also is inspired by what Scott refers to as a “ripple effect,” wherein a series of small efforts create ripples that lead to bigger results. “We can’t do this alone,” she adds. “We’re in this together.”
When she first scheduled the screening, there was a cost for tickets, but Scott has managed to find a number of sponsors, including Akron Community Foundation, The International Institute of Akron, Trades of Hope and Essential Story, and even the Akron Civic Theatre, which is only charging for stagehands.
The film has played in over 40 film festivals, including Michael Moore’s invitation-only Traverse City Film Festival, and will be shown in about 16 cities.
Although the screening is free, donations are still needed to cover the movie licensing and other costs. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/povertyincakron, contact Scott at [email protected], or give a donation at the movie.