International speaker Martha Lucia Gutiérrez: “Guatemalan and Colombian Peasant Women ́s Access to Justice”

The Poverty and Inequality Transdisciplinary Working Group, Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, and the CCPA Latin American Partnership Fund recently presented international guest speaker Martha Lucia Gutiérrez at the University Downtown Center.

Gutiérrez spoke with graduate students in public administration and social work, in addition to conducting a workshop about her research for doctoral students.

PAFF 520
Professor Aleksey Tikhomirov’s PAFF 520 21st Century Governance class, where Gutiérrez spoke to MPA students and shared a video based on her research on Guatemalan indigenous and peasant women’s fights to access to justice.

Gutiérrez, associate professor in the faculty of political science and international relations at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia, also serves as Director of the Javeriana ́s Observatory on Youth. Her fields of research are social policies, specifically policies around youth, women, family, access to justice of women victims of conflict, and health.

The professor has been awarded several grants to undertake participatory formulation and evaluation of policies on youth, family and women, as well as to develop policy recommendations around youth ́s substance abuse, health policies and civic engagement in health policies. She has edited, authored and co-authored numerous books and book chapters, and has vast experience teaching qualitative research.

Gutiérrez received a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a master’s degree in rural development and a formal training in international health by the Pan American Health Organization.

This visit is part of a Memorandum of Understanding between Binghamton University and Javeriana University that has supported faculty exchanges for more than three years.

MSW classes
Professors Lisa Blitz and Youjung Lee’s classes, where Gutiérrez spoke to MSW students and shared a video about her research.

Poverty Simulation event at the UDC during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (November 11-19, 2017)


The Department of Social Work at Binghamton University’s College of Community and Public Affairs and the Southern Tier Homeless Coalition are again partnering to draw attention to the challenges of poverty through a Poverty Simulation, happening from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 at the University Downtown Center.

The simulation experience is designed to expose participants to the realities individuals and families in poverty face, by having them assume the role of a low-income family member struggling to provide basic necessities and shelter over the course of a month.

Participants, may find themselves newly unemployed and facing eviction; a senior citizen unexpectedly raising grandchildren on a fixed income; or the victim of domestic violence seeking safety for themself and their young children.

The Simulation will be followed by a debriefing period to create space for participants to share their experiences and consider opportunities for change.


The event will be facilitated by Shari Weiss, community housing manager with Catholic Charities of Cortland County and moderated by Cassandra Bransford, associate professor, Department of Social Work, Binghamton University.

The Poverty Simulation will also incorporate a panel discussion from regional experts on local challenges and community efforts. Panelists include:

  • Scott Beattie – assistant superintendent for instruction, Windsor Central School District
  • Rev. Greg Johnson – senior pastor, Cornerstone Community Church; chaplain at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, and instructor with Broome County’s Re-Entry Program
  • Majeedah Razzaq – intensive housing family advocate, Opportunities for Broome, and member of the City of Binghamton’s Community Development Advisory Committee
  • Tonia Thompson – superintendent, Binghamton City School District
  • Nancy J. Williams-Frank – commissioner of Social Services and Community Mental Health, Broome County

Plan to arrive prior to 6 p.m. start of the simulation, which will begin on time. Food and refreshments provided.