Thursday, October 18 , 2018, 5:42 am | Fair 50º

 
 
 
 

Freeze! Locals Stand Up Against Poverty

In a flash, a movement without a movement makes a silent statement

At 3 p.m. Sunday, a portion of State Street had additional obstacles for tourists and locals walking around downtown — people frozen in place along the sidewalk.

A whistle rang out from the corner of De la Guerra and State streets that prompted at least 40 people to stop where they were for almost 10 minutes.

Passers-by navigated around them or stood nearby to watch. There were many cups frozen halfway to mouths, steps half-taken and even a violinist with his bow stuck halfway across the strings. More than one pedestrian gave in to the temptation to poke the statue-like figures, but most just wanted to know what the group was up to.

The group was part of a global grassroots movement — Stand Against Poverty. Its larger movement, “Stand Up and Take Action,” has millions of participants worldwide to demand progress toward the Millennium Development Goals put forth during the U.N. Millennium Summit.

Santa Barbara’s contribution, the freezing flash mob, was organized by Education Generation UCSB. The student organization was created in 2008 and supports a Canadian program, educationgeneration.org, which provides scholarships to students around the world.

Melissa Veras, one of the UCSB group’s organizers, said this particular method of attention-getting was chosen because of its fun factor.

While 12 people participated in the group’s march last year, many more showed up to Sunday’s event. Education Generation UCSB approached local nonprofit and performing arts groups to participate, as well.

“It’s something easy, something fun and it appeals more than a march,” Veras said.

The group was pleased with the attention and, its members hope, increased awareness.

“It’s the most peaceful, impactful effort at getting poverty more resolved,” Veras said.

More than 116 million people participated in last year’s events worldwide, which broke the Guinness World Record for largest mobilization. This year, Stand Against Poverty reported 8,192 events planned during the weekend action period.

The Millennium Development Goals include a framework to end poverty and inequality by 2015. The eight goals are eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.