Kristina Austin, Reporter
Maria Schmeeckle, sociologist and professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, will present an informal discussion entitled “Worldwide Outlook for Children” as part of Children’s Studies Brown Bag Discussion Series from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday in Schroeder, Room 206.
During the discussion, Schmeeckle will discuss global children’s issues and raise questions about disadvantaged children and the way they are received.
From there, Schmeeckle plans to introduce her newest project in children’s studies, a collaboration with another sociologist at Case Western Reserve University, Brian Gran.
Together they are creating a web resource called “Worldwide Outlook for Children” that will synthesize worldwide data about children’s well-being that will include indicators of children’s rights and interests.
“Some of these indicators are currently already available, but they’re not all in one place, they’re not easily looked at, they’re not child friendly and they’re not in multiple languages,” Schmeeckle said.
“Our vision is to create something that could be of use not just to adults, but to young people who are interested in young people.”
Schmeeckle hopes to have a very early prototype of this web resource to show on Wednesday.
“It won’t be publicly visible yet, but we want to be able to show it, so people can imagine what it’s going to be,” she added.
Students who are interested in thinking from a global perspective or about children’s issues would especially benefit from attending the event, Schmeeckle said.
“The way I think of it is knowledge is a precursor to action,” Schmeeckle said.
“If we don’t know what children are suffering, how can we direct our attention to them? So those students who might want to get involved to help with this issue in the future or to continue to raise awareness on their own, they might be interested in coming.”
According to Roberta Trites, director of the children’s studies, the Brown Bag Series emerged as a way to create a sense of community with the children’s studies minor.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own brown bag lunch as part of the event.