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Acclaimed Journalist and Author William Greider to Address the “Economic Crisis and the Common Good”

The April 6 Villanova University-Catholic Relief Services Symposium will examine the economic crisis within the wider context of the common good and Catholic social tradition

VILLANOVA, Pa., March 29, 2010 – Prominent political journalist and author William Greider, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, will give the keynote address for "Economic Crisis and the Common Good: Local and Global Dimensions," a symposium sponsored by the Villanova University Partnership with Catholic Relief Services on Tuesday, April 6. Greider, who has also written for both The Washington Post and Rolling Stone, will take the lectern at 7:30 p.m. in The Connelly Center's Villanova Room. Both the keynote address, as well as the afternoon sessions of the symposium, are free and open to the public.

The symposium begins at 1 p.m. in The Connelly Center on Villanova University’s main campus, and features sessions from Villanova University faculty, as well as speakers from Catholic Relief Services. Topics include: "What Happened and Why," "Is the Capitalist System Fundamentally Flawed," "Who is Bearing the Impact," "The Effectiveness of Social Safety Nets" and "What Ordinary Citizens Can Do."

“We are attempting to look at the economic crisis within the wider context of the common good and Catholic social tradition,” said Suzanne Toton, coordinator of the Villanova University Partnership with Catholic Relief Services and a member of the University’s Theology/Religious Studies faculty. “We want to encourage a broader and deeper discussion that contributes to a more informed and actively engaged society.”

Toton added that Greider was an ideal choice to address the topic because of his long history of challenging American politics and, more recently, mainstream economic thinking. His 40-year career as a reporter and best-selling author has taken him from the White House to Wall Street, and from major multinational corporations to the Federal Reserve. With his distinctive critical perspective, Greider examines power on behalf of ordinary Americans who are distant from the inner circles of the country’s governing elite.

In his latest book, Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country, Greider describes the recent epic turning point in U.S. history driven by financial crisis, economic deterioration and other fundamental adversities. He sees a hard passage ahead, but optimistically envisions a better country emerging on the other side. Greider claims that Americans can lead more fulfilling, self-directed lives, provided the people themselves step up and reclaim their role as citizens to the fullest meaning of the word.

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The Villanova University partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) began in May 2005 with a formal signing of a memorandum of understanding. The purpose of the partnership is to collaborate in education, research, advocacy and service to deepen the respective and shared missions of the institutions to further global justice and peace and build solidarity. CRS is the official overseas humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. It alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries without regard to race, religion or nationality.

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.