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UCO To Host Speaker, Screen Documentary On Poverty In America

April 2, 2013

Media Contact:  Courtney Harlin, University Relations Staff Writer, University of Central Oklahoma, 405-974-2121,


The University of Central Oklahoma’s Institute of Hope will host Keith Kilty, Ph.D., to speak about poverty in America and a viewing of his documentary “Ain’t I a Person” at 6 p.m. April 9 in Pegasus Theater located in the Liberal Arts Building.     

The event is free and open to the public as part of the Institute of Hope’s educational series. 

“It is important for Central students to be aware of the poverty America faces. I’m hoping this lecture will fill our students with the desire to touch other people’s lives in a positive way and to reach out and help those less fortunate,” said Brenda Chappell, Ph.D., assistant professor of Sociology and Substance Abuse Studies. 

“For 2012, the Department of Health and Human Service poverty guidelines are an income of $23,050 or less for a family of four. Single earners would have to earn over $11.00 an hour to be just above the line, while the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.”

Kilty is a veteran political activist, particularly in the anti-war and civil rights movements. He is professor emeritus in the College of Social Work at Ohio State University and has been an active member of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, where he served as vice president and chaired the Poverty, Class, and Inequality Division. He is also a long-time member of the Social Welfare Action Alliance.

After retiring in June 2007, Kilty began working on “Ain’t I a Person.” The documentary seeks to spread awareness on the issues of poverty in America by telling the stories of several underprivileged families and how they manage their lives on a day-to-day basis.

Created by three graduates from UCO’s College of Liberal Arts, the Institute of Hope fights prejudice and abuse through educational programming and student financial aid opportunities. The institute sponsors lectures, films and student activities while also providing students with special circumstances tuition and fee waiver scholarships, as well as textbooks.    

For more information contact Chappell at 405-974-5546 or