Poverty Track Participant Emails

August Email

Your decision to join the Poverty Track is a great one! December will be here sooner than we know, and I am expectant of the good things God will do in our community at Urbana.

My name is David de Leon, and I’m your track emcee! I serve as InterVarsity Staff at UC Berkeley and currently help direct the Manila Global Urban Trek, a summer immersion experience for college students to discern if God is calling them into incarnational ministry among the poor. 

I want to tell you about our two plenary sessions. In our two set apart times, we will get to hear from global and national leaders as they share about the experience and theology that has shaped them and their calling.

  • Session 1 (December 28): We'll learn about "Conviction," and explore what God has to say about justice and wholeness in our world.
  • Session 2 (December 29): We'll dive into the topic of "Courage," and how to allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to live out our calling and conviction in how we respond to poverty in our world.

It is a gift that we get to come together from our different backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings, and learn together at Urbana. We envision our time to be an opportunity for exchange, and a place to see what God does as we come together as a community of people from under-resourced and well-resourced socioeconomic backgrounds. While explicitly acknowledging and exploring the diversity of socioeconomic backgrounds in our track can be a very vulnerable thing for us, I trust that God has a gift for us as we do so.

A few additional reminders…

Book Your Housing
Don’t forget: we’re encouraging all track participants to stay at the DoubleTree Hotel. To get the Urbana rate, book your room through Your Account (see more below).

If you haven't done so yet, please join our Facebook group. And keep an eye out for e-mails from us in the near future!

Peace,

David de Leon
Poverty Track Emcee

You are receiving this email because you signed up for the Poverty Track. If you wish to change tracks, or want to curate your own schedule from over 150 seminars in nine categories, access Your Account, Registration and Housing, and select “General Seminar Program” under User Profile.

Here’s how to book your hotel room at the Urbana rate:

  • Log in to Your Account.
  • Click “Registration and Housing.”
  • Scroll to the bottom and click the “Make Hotel Reservation” button.
  • Choose your dates (the DoubleTree Hotel will be the only hotel option).
  • Book your room using a credit card to ensure that your reservation is complete (debit cards are not recommended).
  • Add roommates by providing their first and last name and the email address they registered with when you book your room.
  • Note: To make a reservation at a different hotel, you must contact the Urbana Housing Bureau at 800-262-9974 or urbana@connectionshousing.com.
  • Housing at the DoubleTree Hotel is available on a first come, first served basis.

September Email

Urbana is just under four months away and we’re excited to meet you in person. God is going to do good things in our time together, and we're looking forward to the creative ideas for alleviating global poverty that the Lord will spark in us.

Even though we're not in St. Louis yet, we can still connect and prepare for our time together as a track. The best way to do this is to join our Urbana 15 Poverty Track community on Facebook! Our Facebook group gives you the opportunity to:

  • meet others in the track
  • receive important track info and announcements
  • share interesting ideas and articles related to poverty—in North America and around the world
  • start building community

There have already some inspiring articles shared in the group. We’re also all staying in the same hotel to deepen community and continue conversations outside of track sessions so the group is also a good way to find roommates.. 

So don't forget: join our Facebook group now! And add to your friends who are a part of the track to the group too.

And while you're at it, book your hotel room at the DoubleTree. To get the Urbana rate, book your room through Your Account (see more below).

Peace,
Poverty Track Leadership Team
David, Chizu, Scott, Scott and Katye

ICYMI: Read previous track emails so you don’t miss out on key info!

Here’s how to book your hotel room at the Urbana rate:

  • Log in to Your Account.
  • Click “Registration and Housing.”
  • Scroll to the bottom and click the “Make Hotel Reservation” button.
  • Choose your dates (the DoubleTree Hotel will be the only hotel option).
  • Book your room using a credit card to ensure that your reservation is complete (debit cards are not recommended).
  • Add roommates by providing their first and last name and the email address they registered withwhen you book your room.
  • Note: To make a reservation at a different hotel, you must contact the Urbana Housing Bureau at 800-262-9974 or urbana@connectionshousing.com.
  • Housing at the DoubleTree Hotel is available on a first come, first served basis.

Book Now

November Email

With Urbana next month, we’re excited for all that God is going to do in our time together. Below are key details you need to know as we prepare, and also more on scholarships!

Do you have friends who want to come to Urbana but are concerned about the cost? Don’t let money stand in the way!

There are Urbana 15 scholarships waiting for students who need them. If you or your friends need a scholarship and are part of an InterVarsity chapter, talk to your InterVarsity staff worker. Some funds are still available.

If your friends are not part of an InterVarsity chapter, there are some scholarships for ethnic minority students that aren’t part of InterVarsity. Please email (or have your friends email) urbana.povertytrack@intervarsity.org and put “Minority Student” in the subject line. In the body of the email, they should state their first and last name, and Urbana ID (from the confirmation email), along with the ethnic minority community they most identify with. Please do this by November 30. Scholarships are limited.

Finally, if you need to work in order to help pay for your tuition or to help your family financially, send an email to urbana.povertytrack@intervarsity.org with “Working Student” in the subject line. Give us your first and last name, and Urbana ID (from the confirmation email), a short description of your job, and the number of hours per week you typically work. The other scholarships above may also be available if you qualify. Just apply for each scholarship separately.

I’ll get by with a little help from my friends

The majority of you probably don’t have the funds to buy a new car or all the electronic gadgets you would like. Most of you are college students living on ramen! But many of you have never experienced the sort of grave financial challenges that some of our friends are facing. You may have a friend who barely has the funds to attend Urbana, but definitely can’t afford to stay at the DoubleTree. Consider letting them know about the scholarships above, and then invite them stay in your room for free (of course you should check with your roomies). Three of you could pay about $35 per night instead of $25 and easily accommodate a friend who needs to couch surf in order to attend. Learn more about housing online.

Those from well-resourced backgrounds and those from under-resourced backgrounds need each other to understand and solve the complexities of poverty. Why don’t we start working together now so that all of us can experience Urbana together?

Metro Pass

Hopefully most of you have arranged your housing for the Union Station DoubleTree. There will be great benefit to staying together there. Some of you may be next door at the Pear Tree which should work out just fine. For those staying at the DoubleTree and Pear Tree we highly recommend getting a week-long Metro Pass in order to get around (these hotels are almost a mile from the America’s Center where many of the seminars and main sessions will be held). Purchase your weeklong Metro Pass at the discounted rate of $17.50 before Urbana, instead of the normal $27 to make it easier to get around when you arrive onsite. Pre-Urbana purchases must be made by December 15. Passess will also be available at the America's Center onsite.

We look forward to seeing you at Urbana.

God Bless,
The Poverty Track Team 

December Email

In just over a week, we will be in St. Louis for Urbana! We are so excited about what God will do in the Poverty Track and our five days together. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your track experience:

  1. Remember: The Poverty Track Welcome Session starts December 27 at 4 p.m. in the Ferrara Theater of the America's Center (just across from registration). This is before the rest of Urbana begins. Make sure to be there!
  2. Join our Facebook group. This is the best place to get up-to-date information about the track. We'll send announcements through the group from this point on, so make sure to join. Half of our track is still missing – if that's you, join now!
  3. A limited number of rooms are still available at the DoubleTree Union Station hotel on a first come, first served basis. Book your room soon through Your Account or contact the hotel directly if need be. There may also be some space available at the nearby Pear Tree Inn.
  4. We still have scholarships for working students and for non-InterVarsity ethnic minority students. If that's you, email urbana.povertytrack@intervarsity.org.
  5. Download the Urbana app from the App Store or Google Play, and check out the Poverty Track Guidebook located under Afternoon Program – Tracks. These resources will give you a head start when you get to St. Louis.
  6. Meet with a Poverty Track mentor. These justice practitioners from around the world are ready and excited to answer your questions and share from their experiences. Read our mentors’ bios here. You can start booking mentor meetings on December 26.

For general Urbana logistics and arrival information, go to urbana.org/arrival-housing.

In Christ, who is truly our Emmanuel,

The Poverty Track Team

Read previous Poverty Track emails here.

Urbana Year