March 13, 2012
From Huffington Post:
With campaign season in full swing, it seems everyone has a panacea for what ails us. And while I wish such a simple solution to the division of our indivisible nation existed, the reality is more complicated, requiring first and foremost that we understand the gravity of the situation.
This month, I gave a speech as part of the TedX series on this very topic. This post is adapted from that talk, hoping to shed light on the reality of poverty in America -- that it's everywhere, has no age, race or creed, and affects us all, whether we live in poverty or not.
The face of poverty is one like Charlene's, a single mom working hard to raise two daughters on minimum wage, with bills for her eldest's asthma medication mounting and an unenviable decision before her -- pay the electric bill or buy food?
I care about Charlene's future -- and her children's -- not just because it's my job or because that's the mission of the nonprofit where I work, but because as a human being, I am inextricably linked to Charlene. That's why I'd like to share eight facts about poverty that will provoke your head and haunt your heart. These facts and stories are not meant to overwhelm you, but instead, inspire you to see the world differently, to see that the fate of one impacts the fate of us all. And ultimately, show how you have the power to impact change on a life in need.