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June 2015

Let’s Start a New Message to People in Poverty

Why Do We Blame the Poor for Poverty? What do you imagine when you think of American culture? I see bootstraps. When I think of American culture I think about personal responsibility and equal opportunity. I was raised on the idea that I could do anything I wanted to if I got an education. But today, that American dream seems only to be available to the middle class and the wealthy. Here’s why: The wicked step sister of personal responsibility and equal opportunity is blame and shame. Specifically, because “America is the land of opportunity” we blame people experiencing economic …
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Understanding What it Means to be an Ally

Allies are important to social justice movements because they work as agents for social change. An ally is someone who supports and advocates for the equality, equity, dignity, and rights of oppressed people groups of which they are not a part. An ally is also someone who challenges people and systems who, consciously or unconsciously, perpetuate oppression against those oppressed groups. An ally’s job is to walk alongside the oppressed people group they are supporting. This comes in many different forms, ranging from being an outside support, doing behind-the-scenes work, or being a stranger calling out oppressive comments or behaviors. …
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“Did you miss our last newsletter?

“I have my life back” – Tracey’s Success By Tracey Gennrich, Daily Work Job seeker To have a job again, after a very long stretch, means I have my life back. I’ve never experienced a flood or fire, so I don’t know what that situation would be like, besides being terrible. But, at least in either of those instances, if you have insurance, you can begin to rebuild your life.  Without a job, your life is on hold. You have no idea when you’ll get another job and worry constantly about money. Just because you’re unemployed doesn’t mean the bills stop. …
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May Newsletter

“Connecting the Disconnected” A message from Executive Director Julie Hoff On May 13, nearly 250 people joined us at our third annual Steps to Success Luncheon. This year, we were fortunate to have Chris Farrell, author and economics commentator for MPR and Marketplace, as our emcee. He is a fabulous speaker and profound writer… and in his remarks, he talked about Crystal Palmer, a housing activist he met while doing a public radio documentary about Chicago’s efforts to transform public housing projects into mixed income communities. During the interview process, Palmer asked, “How do we connect the disconnected? That’s the key to success …
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