We need to have an informed conversation about how to dramatically reduce poverty in this country, and low-income people themselves should play a leading role.

Real People. Real Stories. Real Solutions For Poverty.

In America, too many of us fall into the trap of thinking: “Poverty is terrible but there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Today, the Half in Ten Education Fund — dedicated to cutting poverty in half in 10 years — introduced a new project called talkpoverty.org dedicated to demonstrating that exactly the opposite is true: we know how to dramatically reduce poverty. The website is a hub where people can learn about poverty in America and what we can do to reduce it.

It also serves to unite and strengthen the antipoverty community, bridging the gap between local and national voices, between grassroots activism and policy work, and between those who are struggling and those who are more economically secure. At the site, you can find basic data and interactive maps about poverty in America; hear from people living in poverty and people dedicated to the fight against poverty; and get involved with local, state and national organizations to take action.

Celebrity chef, food activist, and head judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Tom Colicchio helps kick off the site with one of it’s first posts: “It’s time to #VOTEFOOD.” He traces his history as a chef: from not thinking about hunger and poverty, to attempting to offer food “at a more democratic price point” than his fancy restaurants, to raising money for organizations combating hunger, to finally starting the activist network Food Policy Action. He writes:

As soon as one legislator loses their job over the way they vote on food issues, it will send a clear message to Congress: We’re organized. We’re strong. Yes, we have a food movement, and it’s coming for you.

Former governor Ted Strickland (D-OH), the President of CAP Action, recalls his own personal story of growing up in poverty and always remembering those less fortunate than himself. “It’s un-American, frankly, that you can work and work and work and not get out of poverty,” he concludes.

National figures aren’t the only voices, however. Another featured post is by Sherita Mouzon, a member of Witnesses to Hunger and a Peer Mentor for the Salvation Army in Philadelphia. She writes:

My scars run long and deep—they will always be there. The long lasting effects of trauma stick with you. But I refuse to let my past dictate my future. My memories keep me humble. I’m shaped not by the commonly accepted “fact” that since I grew up in poverty I have to live in poverty now. Instead, I’m shaped by the idea that while you can’t change the past, you can change the future.

Talkpoverty.org melds these activists’ voices with an extensive data set of poverty indicators and demographic data, as well as interactive maps like the one below:

In addition to blog content and data, the website will include:

  • Updates on local, state, and national anti-poverty campaigns and how to get involved
  • Features on anti-poverty victories and lessons learned
  • Alerts for anti-poverty actions and events
  • Synopses and links to the latest research, articles, videos, television programs, and
    other media

Head over and check it out now!

BOTTOM LINE: 46 million Americans live in poverty, including more than one in five children. We need to have an informed conversation about how to dramatically reduce poverty in this country, and low-income people themselves should play a leading role. By listening to those who are living in poverty and those who are fighting poverty every day, we can grow the movement we truly need to ensure that all Americans have a fair shot at economic prosperity.

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Advocacy Team