Thursday, March 08, 2012

Congresswoman McCollum among panelists at March 13 Event On World Population Impacts

MINNEAPOLIS – Congresswoman Betty McCollum, award-winning journalist Dennis Dimick from National Geographic, and Saint Mary’s University professor David Opp will come together on March 13 to lead a discussion on global population issues and how the world’s rapidly growing population of 7 billion people is impacting our lives.

“Our panelists bring perspectives and insights as varied as they are deep to the issue of population. We hope to bring home the relevance to our community – students in particular – of what might seem like a distant issue,” said Fred de Sam Lazaro, director of the UnderTold Stories Project at the Minneapolis campus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. De Sam Lazaro will moderate the event, “Population in Perspective.”

Congresswoman Betty McCollum is recognized among her colleagues for addressing issues in some of the world’s most densely populated, impoverished regions. She is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Global Health Caucus, a bipartisan group that studies and educates people about international public health issues. She serves on the U.S. Congressional International Conservation Caucus, which promotes natural resource conservation to support habitat and biodiversity protection, poverty alleviation, economic development, and regional safety. Congresswoman McCollum has also been an outspoken advocate for global human rights as a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

Dennis Dimick, executive editor for the environment at National Geographic magazine, leads the publication’s coverage of energy, climate and sustainability issues. He guided its creation of a year-long 2011 series, “7 Billion,” focused on global population and its impact. (The world’s population exceeded 7 billion in October 2011, according to the United Nations.) The series delved into issues including demographics, food security, climate change, fertility trends, and biodiversity – all as they relate to population. Dimick has overseen projects that have been recognized by the Overseas Press Club, the Society of Environmental Journalists, and Pictures of the Year International.

David Opp teaches global economics and sustainable development in the MBA program at Saint Mary’s University.

The public is invited to this free event at Saint Mary’s University Event Center at 2540 Park Avenue in Minneapolis from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13.

For more information and to RSVP, visit The event is sponsored by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, National Geographic, Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership, Saint Mary’s University, PBS NewsHour, UnderTold Stories, and the Minnesota International Center.

About the Under-Told Stories Project

The Under-Told Stories Project is a collaborative project involving international journalism and teaching. It produces high-quality, multimedia reporting from around the world for public and commercial news outlets. It also engages students from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in courses, internships and mentoring opportunities to help them reflect on the world’s under-reported news stories and gain hands-on skills in media production.