Former British PM Gordon Brown Visits

    Brown focused his lecture on global education. After serving as Prime Minister and the head of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom from 2007-10, Brown co-led the Global Campaign for Education’s High Level Panel in 2011. The panel is part of the Global Campaign for Education, an organization that’s aided in funding more than 40 million educations in developing countries such as South Sudan, and has promised to make governments accountable to their education pledges.

    “If you educate a child, it’s the best anti-crime, the best anti-deprivation, the best anti-delinquency policy,” Brown said. “If you educate a child, you are breaking a cycle of poverty for the future.”

    Specifically, Brown addressed Millennium Development Goals formed by world leaders at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit. Several of the goals, including reducing the infant mortality rate and women’s childbirth mortality rate, are likely to fail by the goal’s 2015 deadline, Brown said. 

    “We can meet one goal, the education goal,” Brown said. “We have managed over the last few years to get millions of children to school, but today there are 67 billion children who are not going to school. In the year 2012, it is wholly unacceptable for a young child in Africa or Asia to be denied that chance for education.” 

    Two of the eight Millennium Development Goals focus on global education. 

    These goals aim to ensure that all children complete primary schooling by 2015, eliminate gender disparities in primary education by 2005 and eliminate gender disparities at all educational levels by 2015. 

    The Helen Edison Lecture Series offers free public lectures about humanitarian issues and has hosted the likes of Al Gore, Mohammad Yunus and Toni Morrison. 

    Helen Edison funded the lecture series with a generous endowment. Edison died in 1990.

    “This is a donation and request after [Helen Edison] died, we got the money to fund free public lectures to stimulate public discourse and to discuss important topics,” media coordinator Henry DeVries said. “Students can attend at no charge, and they are aimed at both students and the public.”

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