The Illinois State University Department of Economics and Center for Renewable Energy will host a free screening of the documentary Poverty, Inc. at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at Capen Auditorium in Edwards Hall, 110 S. University St., Normal.

Mark Weber, co-producer of the film, will be in attendance to answer audience questions following the screening. The event is free and open to the public.

The documentary examines the West’s role as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multibillion-dollar poverty industry. Filmmakers attest the results have been mixed—in some cases even catastrophic—and leaders in the developing world are growing increasingly vocal in calling for change. Drawing from more 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity that can no longer be ignored. From TOMs Shoes to international adoptions, and solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, the film challenges everyone to ask the tough question: “Could I be part of the problem?”

“Oftentimes, our actions, though motivated by goodwill, have unintended consequences. I think it is important to think deeply about these issues and be sure to do the careful analysis that is required,” said Director of the Center for Renewable Energy David Loomis “Energy, poverty, and economic development are important topic areas for seriously-minded individuals.”

Poverty, Inc. stems from a larger initiative called PovertyCure, which began in 2007 and officially launched in 2011. They built a community of over 350 partner organizations and 1.2 million Facebook fans spanning 144 countries. Find more information on the movie.

Find more information on the Center for Renewable Energy.