WorldLink Meeting Gives Local Youth Voice on Global Issues

The 13th annual WorldLink Youth Town meeting at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice  will give hundreds of high school students from San Diego and Baja a voice in fighting global poverty. The event takes place Friday, Jan. 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The opening keynote speech takes place in the Shiley Theatre, just up the street from the institute. Remaining sessions are in the institute.

Poverty is an issue that plagues us both here and abroad – with 12.6 percent of San Diego’s population living at the poverty level and nearly 8,000 homeless, according to the Regional Task Force for the Homeless in San Diego. Students will be exploring these issues at sessions including “Global Poverty in Our Own Backyard: Helping the Homeless in San Diego.”

Other sessions during the meeting include:

  • Ending Hunger at Home: How Urban Youth Are Growing the Food Security Movement with Paul Bertler, field coordinator, Heifer International
  • Capitalism For a Cause:  Using Sustainable Practice to Help Eliminate Global Poverty with Jeffrey Church, co-founder, NIKA Water, Inc. and Nina Church, co-founder, NIKA Water, Inc.
  • Building a Better World, One Community At a Time with Engineers Without Borders
  • Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds – The Ugly Truth Behind the Beautiful Gemstone with Tiseke Kasambala, senior researcher, Human Rights Watch
  • If You Want to Help for a Lifetime, Give An Education with David Lynch, Founder, Responsibility in Tijuana

Through the program’s emphasis on global citizenship, students will learn about the issues facing our local and international community and engage in thoughtful discussions about potential solutions in a form where their voices are heard and valued. Students gain valuable leadership skills by being involved in every aspect of the meeting from choosing speakers and topics and deciding on the theme for next year’s meeting.

Students will engage in discussions with experts in the field from global agencies including the U.S. Agency for International Development; Human Rights Watch and Heifer International, focusing on issues of education, health care, food security, trade and finance, infrastructure and governance.

More than 700 students will attend the WorldLink youth Town Meeting that is grounded in the belief that youth have much to offer and much to gain from discussions with experts and professionals regarding the complexities and challenges of global affairs.

For a complete list of briefing topics and additional information on the WorldLink program, go to

About the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice is beginning its ninth year of its mission to foster peace, cultivate justice, and create a safer world.  In 1998, Joan Kroc gave the University of San Diego $25 million to build the Institute and establish the conflict resolution and peacebuilding program with the request that this be a place “to make peace, not just talk about it.”  Early in 2003, Kroc gave $5 million for a Distinguished Lecture Series, which has created opportunities for heads of state, top United Nations officials and leaders of international non-government organizations to address the students and San Diego community at large.  In 2003, Kroc gave the university an additional $10 million for the Institute and its work and $40 million for the creation of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.   The IPJ is one of two institutes working under the auspices of the School of Peace Studies - the other being the Trans-Border Institute, which is focused on challenges and opportunities in this border region.    

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.