Deborah Toler, PhD

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Dr. Toler with Jean Paul Aristide

Politics of Global Hunger and Racism

Ideal Use: Black History Month, globalization, WTO/IMF protest, racism, media bias, food politics programs.

Dr. Deborah L. Toler is a researcher, writer, media analyst and activist on the global political economy of racism. Her work focuses on globalization’s impact on poverty and hunger in Africa, Haiti, Cuba and in U.S. communities of color. She was an active participant at both the December 1999 WTO protests in Seattle and the April 2000 World Bank and IMF protests in Washington DC. She is a member of the International Committee of the Black Radical Congress. In the United States, Toler is an activist engaged in mobilizing against globalization’s negative effects and in the movement to end the U.S. blockade against Cuba.

Deborah has a Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University and an M.A. in International Affairs from Ohio University. She recently completed course work for an M.A. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research in New York City.

Deborah most recently was Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First) in Oakland, California where she coordinated their Africa and Haiti programs. Before working at Food First, Deborah served for many years as Program Director and Field Representative for East and Southern Africa at the Boston based development agency Oxfam America. In addition to working in Haiti and Cuba, Deborah has lived and/or worked in a number of African countries including Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal and Mali.

Dr. Toler has also published articles and been interviewed in, and /or written opinion pieces in a number of major publications including African Agenda (Accra, Ghana), Africa International (Paris), Essence, Emerge, the Atlantic Monthly and New York Times Sunday magazines, and The Hartford Courant, Weekly Mail /Guardian (South Africa) and San Francisco Chronicle newspapers. She is a frequent contributor to the Progressive Media Project. In addition to numerous appearances on New York City and Bay Area radio shows, she is a frequent guest on Pacifica and Urban America radio stations and has been a guest on several nationally syndicated radio and television shows such as Democracy Now, Making Contact, Living Room and the Armstrong Williams Show. She lectures frequently on college campuses all over the United States.

Currently Dr. Toler is writing a book analyzing the ways in which racist media and development policy representations of Africa obscure globalization causes of poverty and hunger on the continent.

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