What matters to Richard Matthew

Richard Matthew

Associate dean of School of Social Ecology talks about his research on extreme poverty

Richard Matthew, associate dean of the School of Social Ecology, director of the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation and professor of urban planning and public policy, studies intense human and environmental suffering, which forces him to think about what he can do about it.

“I want to live a life that stands up to scrutiny,” Matthew recently told a packed audience at a “What Matters to Me and Why” presentation. “One way to do that is to take a position on some of the issues my kids will have to deal with in their lifetime — the big environmental challenges, the enormous inequality, the continuing violence that our society and many others face. … I want my children to know that I want to participate in finding ways to address these issues.”

His moving presentation touched on his life from when he got a full scholarship to study at a prestigious school to the time he ran away from home at 15 to doctoral studies at Princeton and and his years of traveling the world studying poverty and the social effects of climate change.

Watch his entire talk on YouTube.

Offered since 2012, “What Matters to Me and Why” is an informal noontime series designed to build and strengthen bonds between people who teach, learn and work together daily, and to foster understanding of how each embraces UCI values. The series is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor.

Earlier in the year, Daniel S. Stokols, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of urban planning and public policy and founding dean of the School of Social Ecology, delivered a “What Matters to Me and Why” talk.