Mercy Corps Announces Innovative Public Space in NYC

Feb. 12, 2008

NEW YORK - Mercy Corps, renowned for its entrepreneurial approach to international relief and development work, recently announced the name of the-first-of-its-kind interactive education and action center. The Action Center to End World Hunger, an approximately 4,000-square-foot-space scheduled to open in the fall of 2008 in Lower Manhattan, will offer New Yorkers and tourists an opportunity to learn about global hunger and poverty, what efforts are being made to combat these global challenges, and how they can get involved.

The Center, designed by Edwin Schlossberg's firm ESI Design, a leading global experience design firm, aspires for a Platinum LEED rating-the highest level assigned by the U.S. Green Building Council. It represents Mercy Corps' commitment to public education in the United States. Mercy Corps is a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and winner of Fast Company and Monitor Group's 2008 Social Capitalist Award.

"For 28 years, Mercy Corps has been at the forefront of addressing the challenges that plague the world," stays CEO Neal Keny-Guyer. "We are so pleased to join the New York City and Battery Park City landscapes to raise awareness about global issues, arm individuals with the information to make a difference, and help revitalize a neighborhood that understands so well the results of human strife."  

Mercy Corps was chosen by the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) to create The Action Center to End World Hunger as part of NYC's post-9/11 recovery. The Center has been given a public amenity lease for 60 years along with a BPCA pledge of $1.25 million in support. Other city organizations supporting the center include The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, through a grant of $1 million; The New York City Council with $250,000; and The Mayor's Office with $500,000. The Center has an estimated $5.4 million construction budget, and has also received funding from private sources.  

"The Action Center to End World Hunger will complement the nearby Irish Hunger Memorial, and together they will remind all of us that human suffering persists throughout the world today. This new center will give people the opportunity to take action and participate in alleviating the world hunger crisis," notes Jim Gill, chairman of the BPCA.

The Action Center will demonstrate Mercy Corps' commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility as it considers lowering operating costs, reducing waste sent to landfills, conserving energy and water, and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

"This is a new kind of cultural institution ... both for New York City and the country," states Edwin Schlossberg, founder and principal designer at ESI Design "The Action Center to End World Hunger will prepare visitors to make a lasting change-both at the Center and in their communities-by providing interactive displays and dispatches from the field overseas that immerse them in the daily Mercy Corps experience."

A particularly exciting aspect of the Action Center is the educational work planned for educators and youth groups. The Action Center will feature engaging displays, content and exercises to inspire young visitors to join in efforts to end hunger and poverty. Included in the plans are interactive training towers with in-depth features on four key areas in the world; a news bureau that will enable visitors to view live feeds from various countries in which Mercy Corps is offering assistance; a flexible screening space for films; presentations that will highlight people and countries in need; and action stations that provide immediate and long-term opportunities to make a difference. The Center will also feature a space in which individuals can purchase crafts and other items, with proceeds going to community artisans involved with Mercy Corps.

The Action Center to End World Hunger is scheduled to open in the fall of 2008. To learn more, visit

About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps works amid disasters, conflicts, chronic poverty and instability to unleash the potential of people who can win against nearly impossible odds. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided $1.3 billion in assistance to people in 100 nations. Supported by offices headquartered in North America, Europe and Asia, the agency's unified global programs employ 3,400 staff worldwide and reach nearly 14.4 million people in more than 35 countries. For more information, visit

About ESI Design
Headquartered in New York City, ESI Design creates innovative physical and virtual environments that connect audiences with today's leading cultural and commercial institutions. Clients include Sony, Best Buy, McDonald's, Reuters, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island. For examples of the firm's work, go to

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