Category: Poverty

January 16, 2019 Ayanna Albertson

Voices of Everyday Leaders

As spring graduation draws near, college seniors are faced with several time-sensitive responsibilities. From securing their grades, to paying graduation fees and all remaining tuition balances, to the grueling process […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

And the Young Shall Save Us So many economic protections are at stake with this new Congress. The most consequential midterm elections of our lifetime awaited our robust participation last […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Maya Boddie

Last week, Community Change partners from across the country united in Washington, D.C. on the campus of Gallaudet University, to share, learn, and discuss what organizing will look like as […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Tomicka Robinson

Roquesha Oneal is an everyday leader, a woman of fortitude and generosity. She resides in Detroit with her 15-year-old child with a disability and enjoys visits with her two adult […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

Cutting “Food Stamps” is Child Abuse Every Sunday Jose “Frankie” Benjamin-Nay, an 18-year old Puerto Rican-American, darkens the doors of Mount Zion Baptist Church to provide technical support for the […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Ayanna Albertson

Beyond the Ballots – Keeping the Momentum The U.S. midterms was a big deal for many communities and candidates alike. Whether people agreed with the overall decisions made within their […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

SNAP Benefits Guarantees Family’s Food Thirty-seven-year-old LeAnn is married with five children and five stepchildren (who live with their grandmother). She has a Master’s degree in business administration but can […]

We All Matter

Ayanna Albertson

I’ve only had the chance to vote in two presidential elections: 2012 and 2016. My first election was monumental. I was a part of making history. I remember the overwhelming […]

Underserved communities find no relief as water rates increase

Jiquanda Johnson

Tia Simpson stood in front of nearly 40 journalists pleading her case for clean and affordable water. The 34-year-old Flint resident endured the aftermath of being exposed to the city’s […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bobbi Dempsey

PA Group Strives to Bust Myths About SNAP—and People Who Use It Lisa Raditz cringes when she overhears some of the comments people make about SNAP recipients based on common […]

Column: Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

I, like so many Americans of my era, believed… After 12 and a half years in an often stress-filled role as an associate director in public relations at a local […]

Column: Voices of Everyday Leaders

Tomicka Robinson

Why we vote I’ve been asked a lot lately “why I knock on doors” to encourage people to vote. Mainly because of my background in social justice work. I’ve used […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

The work of community organizers is daunting. Late nights. Endless knocking on doors. Rallies and protests to protect our healthcare, ensure we all have enough food to eat and keep […]

Returning to Life Outside Prison—Without Food on the Table

Willie Francois

This piece was co-published with Civil Eats Calvin* anticipates walking out of a New Jersey prison next month, hopefully for the last time, eager to live out his responsibilities as […]

In Alaska, Changes To Snap Could Spell Disaster

Jody Ellis

This piece was Co-published with Civil Eats Sarah was born in the Alaskan village of Utqiagvik (formerly known as Barrow) and she spent a good portion of her youth there. […]

We must fight to keep Nevada families from going hungry

Nadia Eldemerdash

Like many Americans, I have always envisioned America as a country of plenty, a country of opportunity. In such a country, there is no reason for anyone to go hungry. […]

SNAP works and so should Congress

Marcia Dinkins

WASHINGTON D.C.—  The Center for Community Change hosted a partners and leaders convening to discuss strategies and to develop collective actions opposing the harmful cuts proposed in the Farm Bill, […]

With payday loan , Trump again shows he’s not out to help the working class. He’s out to get them.

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

During his campaign, and again and again since becoming president, the Tweeter-in-Chief has brashly portrayed himself as “a populist,” a protector of the working class. His style, his rhetoric, and […]

No more #EmptyPlatesEmptyPromises

Marisol Bello

More than 60 mom, dads, seniors and people with disabilities delivered empty plates to the Washington, D.C. office of Texas House Rep. Mike Conaway, author of the Farm Bill, to […]

Ideas of MLK, RFK still needed today

Dorian Warren

This piece originally published in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. When President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1964, his audacious goal was to end poverty in the […]

7 Lessons I learned from the Rust Belt and Appalachia

Stephen Smith

I  am a community organizer in West Virginia. At the end of 2017,  I traveled for a week with friends and colleagues through Appalachia and the Rust Belt, seeking lessons […]

Trump’s budget will take food away from the struggling families, children and the elderly who need it most

Holly Straut-Eppsteiner

Since the release of the 2019 Trump budget, a great deal of attention has focused on its proposal to eliminate half of families’ food assistance benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition […]

How One Late Paycheck Messed Up My Life

Sharisse Tracy

I know at a deep level that my family lived paycheck to paycheck. A check comes in. We pay our bills. We have no savings to speak of. But it […]

Universal pre-K won’t solve poverty. Better jobs will.

Wendi C. Thomas

Memphis council members promote politically safe investment in children while ignoring underpaid parents


Christen Hill

In two underserved DC communities, there are only three groceries stores to serve 148,000 people.

A Hurricane Is Never An Excuse To Mock The Poor

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

I remember. I remember because I will always love New Orleans. All the residents of the Gulf Coast, or anyone who loved New Orleans – and who was old enough to remember August 29th, 2005 – has mourned the day ever since.

Kids shouldn’t be sent home for lice, but schools can’t ignore the issue either

Stephanie Land

This article previously appeared on The Washington Post Last night, my 3-year-old daughter made soft, singing noises while she dipped a plastic boat in and out of the bubbles of […]

The Republican Health Care Plan is an Attack on People Like Me

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

This article first appeared on The Progressive. How many Americans will be impacted by the GOP’s Obamacare repeal legislation, drafted under veils of secrecy? How many will suffer the consequences? […]

Poverty Is Rampant In The U.S., But We Pretend It’s Not

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

When my older brother and I were in elementary school, the teacher assigned the class to bring a bug into class that was familiar in our neighborhood. My brother, who […]

Pell grants put me through college. Now Trump wants to cut them.

Stephanie Land

I started college when my daughter was only 14 months old. We had been homeless six months earlier. My life up until I discovered I was pregnant had been blissfully […]

Soda Industry vs. Quality Child Care

Center for Community Change

By Chirag Mehta, Senior Policy Advisor, Center for Community Change Coca-Cola and the soda industry at large are pulling out all the stops to fight Santa Fe, New Mexico residents […]

Trickle Down Devastation: A Single Mom Responds to Trump’s Tax Plan

Alison Stine

ATHENS, Ohio – You’re not a single mother. You have a spouse or a partner. You don’t have kids, or if you do, you’re raising them in a two-parent, two-income […]

Trump Voters and I Have One Thing in Common: We’re Scared of Losing Medicaid

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

I recently read about a county in Kentucky that is typical of the kinds of depressed white communities that have dominated the news since Trump’s election. Owsley County is 83 […]

What Living in a High-Poverty Neighborhood Taught Me About Protests

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Photo credits to Dorret.  Originally published in TalkPoverty.  About 13 years ago, I lived in Charleston, South Carolina, where I was trying to make ends meet as a freelance writer.  […]

Surburbia Isn’t Just Soccer Moms and Perfect Lawns Anymore

Angela Pupino

Photo credits to Cameron Parkins.  Originally published on TalkPoverty and The Nation. When my father, aunt, and uncle decided to pool their money to buy my grandmother a house closer […]

Free-Range Parenting Is A Privilege For The White And Affluent

Stephanie Land

Photo credits to Ryan Dickey.  Originally published in The Establishment.  At first glance, my 9-year-old daughter doesn’t look “poor.” She meticulously chooses her outfits for school, often sleeping in them—even […]

Yes, Food Can Be Entertainment for Low-Income People

Stephanie Land

Photo source: Originally published on Talk Poverty.  I woke up yesterday hungry. Since my last shopping trip four days before, I’d not eaten much, saving most of the food […]

The Class Politics of Decluttering

Stephanie Land

In a piece published by the New York Times, writing fellow Stephanie Land explores the role that class plays in the minimalist movement. She writes that, for many Americans, a minimalist life is an economic […]

Why Good Jobs Are Needed in the Food Stamp Debate

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Originally published on Equal Voice.  It’s already begun happening. In 2016, 500,000 to 1 million recipients will be officially cut from the “food stamp” rolls. Some reports say it could […]

‘Unlocking Opportunities’ Policy Brief

Joseph Pate

By: Dorian T. Warren, Chirag Mehta, Steve Savner Imagine a 21st-century jobs program that puts families first, makes extensive investments in America’s most impoverished places and creates millions of good […]

What Happens When You Can’t Afford Self-care

Stephanie Land

Originally published on Talk Poverty. For the last year, I have been keenly aware of my dire need for two things: therapy and exercise. But for those who struggle to […]

The Answer is Muhammad Ali: Who else?

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Originally published in the Huffington Post. For most of my life, I haven’t idolized sports heroes. I may be the exception to the great American male rule-of-thumb. There have been […]

With $55,000 Debt, You Learn to Appreciate the Little Things

Stephanie Land

Originally posted on The Guardian as a kick-off to their series on debt. I expected college to feel like a major accomplishment. I walked across the stage, eight months pregnant with […]

Sheryl Sandberg Thinks She Finally Gets Single Moms, But She Doesn’t Get Me

Stephanie Land

Originally posted in SheKnows. I read Sheryl Sandberg’s recent Facebook post from the trenches of a horrible Mother’s Day weekend. The youngest had thrown up on Friday night, and we […]

Saying Your House is Messy Because You Play With Your Kids is a Privilege

Stephanie Land

Originally published in the Washington Post. I grew up in what some would call an immaculately clean home. I hated my mom a little for it. I wasn’t allowed to […]

Domestic Violence is Trapping Women in More Than Just Bad Relationships

Stephanie Land

Originally published on SheKnows. There are moments in my life that I can return to easily. I don’t have to close my eyes or envision the surroundings or what it […]

Out of Homelessness, A Mom Turns Advocate

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published on Rooflines, a Shelterforce blog. Jenean F. and her husband worked hard to achieve the increasingly elusive American Dream. She was a stay at home mom and he […]

Just Because I’m Poor Doesn’t Mean My Kid Shouldn’t Have Nice Things

Stephanie Land

Originally published on She Knows.  My daughter and I were living in a conservative area when I started to notice an outcry to test people receiving public assistance for drug […]

Who Are the ‘Legitimate’ Poor?

Stephanie Land

Originally published on Talk Poverty. Recently, I disobeyed a cardinal rule of the Internet and decided to read comments on an article I once published in the Missoula Independent. I […]

Back to School With TRIO Programs

Stephanie Land

Originally published on ESME.  Reentering college as a nontraditional student takes a lot of courage, especially as an older woman with kids. I received my bachelor’s degree at 35 and […]

Personal Narratives Can Change the World

Stephanie Land

This trip wasn’t just another day of traveling for work. I hadn’t been able to travel much at all in the last few years, and hadn’t flown on a plane […]

The food stamp problem parents don’t talk about

Stephanie Land

Originally published on SheKnows. I only recently stopped buying foods for my 8-year-old daughter that list ingredients I don’t recognize. For half of her life, when I went shopping, I […]

Nation’s Most Vulnerable Are Fighting Back Against the 1% Tide

Center for Community Change

Written by CCC’s Advisory Board Member Lisa Garcia Bedolla. Originally published on Common Dreams. As Americans, we cling to the idea that a rising tide lifting all boats is the […]

I went to the hospital to stay sane. I left with bills I could never pay.

Stephanie Land

Originally published on Vox. My boyfriend Scott and I had just broken up. This boy who’d once brought me flowers had turned possessive and controlling. Sleep-deprived from constant drama and […]

Learning to Walk in a Homeless Shelter

Stephanie Land

Written by Center for Community Change Writing Fellow Stephanie Land. Originally published in the NY Times. My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter. We had one week left […]

The Flint Lesson: When the Poor Talk, We Must Listen

Wendi C. Thomas

Photo courtesy of Steve Neavling/Motor City Muckraker Imagine the harm that could have been avoided in Flint if only government officials believed the residents. As far back as May 2014, […]

There’s a Reason Black Youth Call Chicago ‘Chiraq’ and It’s Not Just Criminals Doing the Shooting

Fred McKissack Jr.

Written by Center for Communtiy Change Writing Fellow Fred McKissack. There’s a reason why young black people call Chicago “Chiraq.” It’s like a war zone in some neighborhoods. And it’s […]

Reinvesting In Poor Communities Must Be A Priority

Joseph Pate

Written by Anthony Newby, executive director for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change in Minneapolis and Dorian Warren, Center for Community Change board chairman. Originally posted on the Al Jazeera America. The […]

What do you do when you can’t afford childcare? You get creative.

Stephanie Land

Written by Center for Community Change Writing Fellow Stephanie Land. Originally posted on the Washington Post. At the start of my 10-minute break during a two-hour writing workshop, I looked […]

How New York’s “Fight for $15” Launched a Nationwide Movement

Fred McKissack Jr.

Co-authored by Center for Community Change Writing Fellow Wendi C. Thomas. Originally published in the American Prospect. Brooklyn car-wash worker Angel Rebolledo and Bronx fast-food employee Flavia Cabral work in […]

All I want for Christmas is for My Vote to Have Teeth

Steve Huerta

This year as struggling families in San Antonio, Texas open their holiday gifts, they should also remember they have a gift far more valuable than any trinket they receive. It […]

OneAmerica and Highline College Stand for Transit Equity

Center for Community Change

Written by OneAmerica organizer Carly Brook. Originally posted on the OneAmerica blog. Reliable access to transportation is the single most important factor in escaping poverty. This issue agitated and resonated […]

Why Poverty Isn’t a Halloween Costume

Stephanie Land

Originally published on Talk Poverty and The Nation.  When a website documenting the attire of Walmart customers surfaced several years ago, its popularity grew quickly. As Walmart is known for […]

The Art of Balancing the Ledger While in Poverty

Stephanie Land

Originally published on Talk Poverty and CommonDreams.  When you live at or under the federal poverty level, you’d better be good at crunching numbers. Every cent coming in or going […]

I Lived On $6 A Day With A 6-year-old And A Baby On The Way. It Was Extreme Poverty.

Stephanie Land

Originally published on The Guardian.  It didn’t take me long to go from financial stability to fearing homelessness. In January 2014 I was 35-years-old, raising a six-year-old nearly full-time and […]

Supporting Community Organizing to Build a More Inclusive Society

Center for Community Change

By Connie Heller Pictured to the left: A portion of a quilt created by Connie Heller in honor of Trayvon Martin. A better world is possible. A world in which […]

Building Coalitions at the 2015 White House AAPI Youth Forum

Angela Zhao

Last Thursday, July 9th, over 150 Asian American and Pacific Islander college students from across the nation convened at the White House for the 2015 White House Initiative on Asian […]

A Worker’s Take On The New Overtime Proposal

Wendi C. Thomas

Originally posted on Talk Poverty and The Nation. As a manager for a national auto supply chain, Lora McCrary puts in between 50 and 70 hours a week remodeling stores […]

Thinking of My Mother and Our Broken Economy

Chris Dasan Ahanu Massenburg

When I was growing up, I was a “latch key” kid, a popular term for a child who has to come home and lock himself in after school because no […]

Putting good jobs at top of US policy agenda

Allie Carter

This post originally appeared here.  Even though she’s worked at the Checkers in Lincoln Park for four years, Mya Hill is still paid only $8.15 an hour – Michigan’s minimum […]

Reflections from Selma

Tamika Middleton

Savannah Williams remembers where she was on March 7, 1965. “When Bloody Sunday happened, “ she explained, “I was at my first job working for the United States Department of Agriculture […]

Detroit’s Walking Man: Beyond Click-Through Generosity

Wendi C. Thomas

It’s fitting that James Robertson’s good luck falls during Black History Month. Robertson, 56, started riding four buses and walking 21 miles round-trip to get from his Detroit home to […]

“I believe that we will win!”

Tamika Middleton

At 7:30 am, about 100 airport people marched into the atrium of the world’s busiest airport chanting, “We can’t survive on $7.25.” The crowd got bigger as they rallied, with […]

President Obama, Think Big in 2015

Robin Curran

It’s a new year, which means new resolutions, new inaugurations and the beginning of holding politicians accountable for their campaign promises. Last week I attended the Washington Interfaith Network’s (WIN) […]

Working Families’ Lives Matter

Tamika Middleton

For the past several weeks, cities across the country have seen a multitude of protests and acts of civil disobedience following announcements that police officers would not be indicted in […]

The Census Report: Good News and More Bad News

Loryn Wilson

New data from the Census shows that poverty rates are down, particularly among children. 14.5 percent of Americans are now living in poverty, down from 15 percent in 2012. Many […]

When Enough Gets to Be Enough

Tamika Middleton

This blog was originally posted on the Voices for Human Needs blog.  On Monday night, thousands of people marched through downtown Atlanta in the pouring rain.  Most of them I […]

Can We Really Do Something about Poverty in America?

Deepak Bhargava

Executive Director Deepak Bhargava delivered the following speech on July 1, 2014 at the Aspen Ideas Fest. For the full video of Deepak delivering this speech, click here. In the richest […]

Redefining the Way We Talk About Poverty

Donna DeLaCruz

The Center for Community Change (CCC) has launched a major initiative to dismantle the barriers that create and sustain poverty. CCC aims to galvanize a social movement to generate the […]

Minimum Wage Momentum!

Donna DeLaCruz

Pictured here: People cheer the moment the minimum wage bill passes in the Seattle City Council. There have been a lot of minimum wage victories in the news lately. Yesterday, the […]

‘Ain’t Got No Wiggle Room’

Deepak Bhargava

Originally published on the new blog Poverty is everywhere. More than one in three Americans—106 million people—live below or perilously close to the federal poverty line. If you pick […]

Invest in Residents Who Want to Work

Center for Community Change

This piece was orginally published on the new blog Image via Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development.  By: Gary Crum My name is Gary Crum and I am a proud resident […]

Only the Beginning: Seattle Wins the Fight for 15

Loryn Wilson

Today, Seattle lawmakers reached a compromise deal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The city’s minimum wage hike reflects a growing grassroots movement across the country to […]

Politicians must stop dancing to the mantra of ‘It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World’

Deirdra Reed

Originally posted on The Hill’s Congress Blog. In 1966, the “King of Soul,” James Brown, proclaimed, “It’s a man’s, man’s, man’s world!” And ever since, there hasn’t been a Brown […]

Roots of the War on Poverty

Lynn Kanter

I just finished reading The Passage of Power, the fourth book of Robert Caro’s multi-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson. The book recreates in vivid detail the years 1958 through 1964, […]

The Luxury of Being Grateful

Amanda Sands

I spent the better part of one morning last week telling dozens of low-income people of color that they had to CHOOSE ONE: cranberry sauce, stuffing in a box, or […]

Overcoming the Frustration of Injustice

Jordann Lee

While reading a recent Salon article, “The real story of the shutdown: 50 years of GOP race-baiting,” I cannot honestly say that I was too shocked. The institution of racism is […]

What’s the Matter with Food Stamp Recipients?

Amanda Sands

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably already aware that the House of Representatives voted to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $39 billion. The bill didn’t decrease […]

Children in Poverty

Robin Curran

Following the release of the 2012 Census data, perhaps the most disturbing statistics are those that relate to children. The results show that about one in five children in the […]

The Cruel Act: House Republicans Want to Reduce Food Stamps Program

Jordann Lee

“The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” -Representative Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) This quote from Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher wowed me for many reasons; it’s catchy, snarky, cunning […]

50th Anniversary March on Washington

Center for Community Change

When I arrived at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington this Saturday morning, the first thing that struck me was the array of messages. People marched past me holding signs […]

The New Suburban Poverty

Adam Isaacson

When it comes to American poverty, the landscape is changing. According to a new study by the Brookings Institution, poverty is increasing at its fastest rate in “major metropolitan suburbs,” […]

The Working Poor

Erin Brock

15% of the U.S. population lives below the national poverty line. That’s 46.2 million people. And though many are quick to name a lack of motivation, laziness and irresponsibility as […]

CCC and USAction Announce Exciting New Partnership

Center for Community Change

By: Jeff Blum, Executive Director of USAction Today CCC and USAction are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership. A partnership to meet the challenge of our times. For more […]

Honoring Deepak Bhargava’s Commitment to Social Justice

Alesia Lucas

On Sunday, April 21, 2013, The Committee for Effective Leadership will honor four individuals for their exemplary leadership and service. Among the honorees is Deepak Bhargava the Executive Director of […]

A Student’s Voice in The Cost of Education

Center for Community Change

Guest Post By Leighton Watson, Sophomore at Howard University The quest for higher education can be a huge investment made by young adults and their families. Due to the recession, […]

Building the Economic Strength of Women

Alesia Lucas

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and although it’s 2013, American women still lag behind men in paycheck fairness. Women still make a mere 64 cents for every dollar their […]

Making Minimum Wage a Living Wage

Alesia Lucas

Overall, 77% of those who watched The State of the Union Address were pleased with what the President had to say.  It was a passionate plea and directive to the […]

The High Cost of Low Wages

Alesia Lucas

As Congress debates the fiscal cliff, hopefully avoiding balancing the budget on the backs of workers, they should look at retail industry workers. The retail industry has bounced back from […]

Why is Poverty Taboo in the Presidential Campaigns?

Kathleen Tresslar

A lot of important issues were discussed during the first presidential debate. President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney were eager to discuss the middle and upper class, but […]

What’s the Matter with the Middle Class?

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld

Last week, “class” was in the news. But – as usual for most all of our political discourse – the focus was on the struggles of the amorphous “middle” class, […]

Join Us