Raised-Poor People at the Center

Most people in the world are raised poor, in growing numbers apparently. So if we are going to transform the world, we have to get really smart about raised-poor people.

One of the first things we all have to keep in mind is that poverty is completely unnecessary, and does not result from people being lazy or stupid. It comes from bad policies—polices created to get the wealth to the top and keep it there.

There are tons of confusions about poor people that get communicated not just to middle-class people but also to poor people. One of these is that poor people are not intelligent and are lazy and not capable of being leaders. We have to keep battling that confusion, because it will get acted out in our Communities if we’re not careful.

Our society passes out the notion that intelligence is being able to speak clearly and have a great vocabulary and do math and all of that. In fact, there are all kinds of ways that great minds can act great, and one of them is generosity.

One of the great strengths of people raised poor is generosity. Generosity is higher in poor neighborhoods and goes down as people get wealthier. Generosity is a kind of intelligence—a way of being smart about others and ourselves, a way of thinking clearly that the world badly needs right now. Another strength of raised-poor people is that they tend to be able to connect and be alive in a particular way. Things will go better for our Communities if we learn to think well about raised-poor people and move them to the center of our Communities. 

Gwen Brown
International Liberation Reference 
Person for People Raised Poor
Wilmington, Delaware, USA

From a gather-in in San Jose, California, USA, 
in September 2011, at which the International 
Liberation Reference Persons talked about their work

Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07