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Event Recap: Is Poverty Your Problem?

Written by Danisha Moore on Nov 22, 2019

On Tuesday, November 19, we hosted an event in partnership with Chicago Ideas titled “Is Poverty Your Problem?” The morning panel was moderated by our CEO, Beth Swanson, and featured local leaders who are using powerful grassroots collaborations to address the structural barriers that keep some Chicagoans in a perpetual state of poverty. Jahmal Cole (My Block, My Hood, My City), Arne Duncan (Emerson Collective), Ric Estrada (Metropolitan Family Services) and Billy Moore (Inter-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN)) shared insights on why poverty is everyone’s problem and how we can all be part of the solution.

If you missed this powerful event, don’t worry. You can watch the full video here and we’ve pulled together a few of our favorite moments and takeaways below.

If we don’t address trauma, we’ll never break the cycle of poverty.

Jahmal Cole, Founder, My Block, My Hood, My City

When philanthropy and the public sector don’t bring community voices to the table, we are actually exacerbating the problem.

“[People living in poverty] know what they need, and they know what they don’t need. For us not to listen, and not work in partnership with them as we create programs and initiatives, is the height of ego. In fact, it’s selfish.” -Arne Duncan

We must involve everyone affected by violence–including the perpetrators–in designing solutions and repairing communities.

William “Billy” Moore, Case Manager, Inter-City Muslim Action Network

Collaboration is key to sustainable solutions.

Ric Estrada, CEO, Metropolitan Family Services

We each have the power to impact our communities for the better.

Jahmal Cole, Founder, My Block My Hood My City

The best way we can fight poverty is to create opportunity.

Arne Duncan, Managing Director, Emerson Collective

Chicago can’t truly be a world-class city if 1 in 4 kids are living in poverty.

Beth Swanson, CEO, A Better Chicago

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