State senator and local mayors to speak at Auburn University on poverty issues

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State and local elected officials are participating in the Auburn University Honor College’s spring "k(no)w poverty?" lecture series as they address the relationship between politics and poverty.

The lineup includes Alabama Sen. William "Billy" Beasley, Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and Auburn Mayor Bill Ham. The dates and topics are listed below. Each event will be held from noon to 1 p.m in the Caroline Marshall Draughon Presentation Room in the Ralph Brown Draughon Library.

Sen. Beasley will present "Poverty and Politic in Alabama" Feb. 19. Beasley, from Clayton, represents Alabama District 28. He is a 1962 Auburn graduate who runs a small business as a rural pharmacist.

Mayor Fuller will speak on "Politics and Poverty: What’s the answer and does anybody care?" Feb. 25. He is an Opelika businessman and past-president of Fuller Broadcasting Company.

Mayor Ham will present "All Poverty is Local" March 3. Ham, an Auburn graduate, has been involved in Auburn city government since his first term on the city council in 1986.

The lectures are part of a series of free, public events held mid-February though early March to discuss issues relevant to poverty in the community, region, state and world. More information is available by emailing Wade Berry at

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.