CORVALLIS, Ore. - Author and social critic Donna Beegle will speak on "Understanding and Breaking Down Poverty and Diversity" on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at Oregon State University. Her talk begins at 7 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center.

Beegle, the daughter of migrant laborers, left school when she was 15 to get married. At age 25 she found herself with no husband, two children, little education and few job skills. Her story of rising above those circumstances to eventually attain a Ph.D has been featured on PBS, and she is the subject of a yet-to-be aired documentary titled "Invisible Nation."

She is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit, PovertyBridge, which is dedicated to changing lives for people in poverty.

Beegle's keynote address follows the 5 p.m. grand opening of the Associated Students of OSU Human Services Resource Center in MU East/Snell Hall. The center is a place where OSU students facing financial hardships or crisis can get resources and support. Among the services offered are MealBux, the OSU Emergency Food Pantry, graduate conference subsidies, emergency housing services, health insurance subsidies, and rental assistance.

Beegle also will hold a two-day day poverty institute, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 20-21 in the MU Ballroom. A panel of students will address their personal experiences from 2:45 to 3:15 p.m., during the Wednesday, Oct. 20, session.

"This conference addresses an area of diversity that is often ignored, and that is the area of poverty," said DeeDee Overholser, program coordinator for the Human Services Resource Center. "This conference normally costs hundreds of dollars but it is being offered to OSU community at no charge. It is intended to lay the groundwork of poverty competency on OSU campus and then have training perpetuated from within using the many talented people already on campus."

To register for the conference go to There is no charge for the events, but people may donate canned food or toiletries for the OSU Food Pantry. Registration is required, and is open to the general public.

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DeeDee Overholser, 541-737-3747