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The Rich Man Poor Man dinner event is a unique experience that raises awareness in our local community regarding global health issues, with disparities being the central focus. Bringing together students, faculty, global health advocates, physicians, and community members, the primary objective of this event is to bring to light the disparity that exists in access to stable and nutritious sources of food, clean water, and timely healthcare. The second main objective of this event is to raise funds for local and global health initiatives. Over the last eight years, the Rich Man Poor Man dinner has raised over $160,000 and has hosted an average of 200 guests per year. Over the years, the Rich Man Poor Man dinner has become a well-respected event in the medical community that attracts high profile speakers, musicians and attendees.

Large inequality in income, education and food security exist at both a global and a national level. This inequality will be illustrated by serving tables of eight, where one individual will be served the “Rich Man” three-course meal, while the remaining seven will be served a simple “Poor Man” meal. Overall, this initiative will allow participants to experience a glimpse of the lived disparity of a majority of the world’s population. In addition to raising awareness regarding current global health issues, the Rich Man Poor Man dinner will raise funds for one local not-for-profit initiative, one international not-for-profit initiative, and the Student Run Clinic (SRC), which is a local student-led health clinic that serves homeless and marginalized populations in Calgary. The SRC is run by first and second year medical students, and provides quality medical care for Calgary’s underserved populations, while simultaneously giving medical students the opportunity to engage with marginalized urban populations.

Selection of the not-for-profit organizations benefitting from this event will occur through an open call for applications, and will be conducted by members of the Global and Public Health Interest Group at the University of Calgary. The benefitting organizations will also be chosen based on this year’s theme for the event, which is yet to be determined. Past themes for the Rich Man Poor Man dinner have included socially relevant topics such as mental health and homelessness. Past not-for-profit organizations benefitting from this event have included the Calgary Drop-In Centre, Partners in Health, the Global Generation Foundation, the Southern Sudan Healthcare Accessibility Rehabilitation and Education Project (SSHARE), and L’Arche Calgary.

In order to coordinate this advocacy event, over twenty student-volunteers will be involved in encouraging participation from the local community, helping to collect donated items for the silent auction, and facilitating a successful evening. Overall, the goal of the event is to host 200 guests, and raise over $30,000 for the SRC and the selected not-for-profit projects. Moreover, the dinner event will encourage students and guests from the community to continue to participate in advocacy and encourage action in local and global health issues.

The 9th Annual Rich Man, Poor Man (RMPM) Dinner & Silent Auction taking place on October 28th, 2017. The ticket purchasing will be available soon! Donations are also welcome.