Dreaming of a Nation Without Poverty

August 31, 2016

Further expanding our Poverty team, we welcomed Will Coley to our team in July. Will is developing a Communications Hub to amplify the voices of organizational partners and the larger social justice field, a new project that’s launching as part of the organization’s economic opportunity initiative. This hub will help us increase the quantity, quality, and coherence of the field’s communication efforts. Learn about our poverty partners’ work and what our Creative Changers are up to in this month’s Partner News.

Anti-Poverty work:

A new Center for American Progress (CAP) report looks into the low wages of early childhood workers and finds that female African American full-time teachers make only 84 cents for every $1 earned by their white female counterparts. Sixteen cents less an hour comes out to $366 less per month and $4,395 less per year. This is a big deal in a 95% female workforce where the average annual income is less than $30,000.

In a major victory for the economic justice movement, a judge in Minnesota has ordered the city of Minneapolis to put a ballot measure raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour before the voters in November. National Employment Law Project (NELP) is proud to have helped lead the legal fight to ensure that voters in Minneapolis have the opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of working families when they go to the polls in November. Help them keep the momentum going!

Chasing the Dream

Earlier this month WNET channel 13’s Chasing the Dream collaborated on a fascinating PBS NewsHour Weekend story of how soaring home and property values are forcing lower income and even middle class people into living in the street in RV’s in the Silicon Valley’s boom town and Google headquarters, Mountain View, CA.

Creative Change:

Cheryl Contee’s (CC ’10, ‘09) startup Attentive.ly, a software provider that allows organizations to conduct social listening, identify key influencers and drive engagement, announced that it had been acquired by Blackbaud (BLKB), the leading provider of software and services for the global philanthropic community. It's a rare acquisition of a female-founded tech startup and the first time a NASDAQ-traded company has acquired a tech startup with a black female founder. The acquisition will put Attentive.ly's software into the workflows of over 35,000 nonprofits worldwide. Attentive.ly has already been used by several Creative Change alumni. Read more.

Based in Richmond, VA, Performing Statistics, led by Mark Strandquist (CC ’16), works with incarcerated teens to help them become creative civic leaders. This summer the teens created their own police training manuals and a multitude of art/advocacy projects. Their work is currently being used to train Richmond Police officers and recruits and culminated with “A community forum with The Richmond Police Department.”  The public conversation on police and youth interactions lifted up the work that incarcerated youth, artists, families and advocates are doing to help train Richmond’s police department on the school-to-prison pipeline in hopes of crafting community-based solutions. Learn more.

Lina Srivastava (CC ’16) will see two of her projects come to life at Convergence, a forum “for storytellers of all stripes to actively explore the shifting media landscape via interactive experiences,” which is part of the 53rd New York Film Festival. Her project, Traveling While Black, will get a sneak preview. And the second volume of Priya's Shakti (an augmented reality comic book chronicling the adventures of a rape survivor and the Goddess Parvati as they fight against gender-based sexual violence),"Priya's Mirror,” has its world premiere with an augmented reality exhibit.

Stand with Priya

Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY), directed by Creative Changer Caron Atlas (CC ’13, ’10, ’09), has been selected as part of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs’ Hester Street Collaborative team. The Hester Street Collaborative will lead development of New York City's first-ever comprehensive cultural plan. Through intensive public input and an in-depth evaluation of the city's cultural assets, the plan will become a roadmap for supporting the entire creative community and expanding opportunities for residents to access and participate in the city's rich cultural life. Get involved today!

Creative Change alum and best-selling author Bakari Kitwana (CC ’16) has a new essay, “Arresting Development,” published in Colorlines and will be featured in a dialogue with Joan Morgan on Art and Resistance in Contemporary Pop Culture and Activist Movements at California State University in L.A.. But that’s not all! His Rap Sessions tour on the 2016 Presidential Election, “To Vote for the People: Reform or Revolution” will continue with a public dialogue at the College of Wooster. Learn more.

Writer, artist, organizer, and printer Dan S. Wang (CC ’12) is showing his accumulated print media work at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. The display is part of the roll-out of A Ragbox of Overstood Grammars: Twenty Years of the Propositions Press. A reprint of his work, "Power Learned from Paul," a memoir-essay about Paul Wellstone, will be released at the same time.