For my final blog in our Poverty Awareness Month series, I’d like to focus on a question: How do you want to change the world? Just because we are heading out of a month dedicated to increasing awareness of poverty in our country doesn’t mean that our actual awareness needs to end.
Thanks for reading,
RAP Executive Director
There are so many things – big and small – that we can all do to fight inequality, and to try to make the world a more just place. I’d like to highlight just a few:
1. Stay Informed
Lack of affordable housing, food deserts, a broken public education system, racial injustice, relationship abuse, and government’s ineffectiveness at engaging low-income and other vulnerable people in decisions about the laws impacting their lives… all of these contribute to an endless cycle of poverty that pervades every corner of our city and every state in this country. By staying informed about the issues that matter most to you, you can strengthen your understanding of anti-poverty and social justice efforts and be in a better position to get involved. Two of my favorite sources of information are City Limits Magazine and Talk Poverty.
2. Help Change Policies
This is not as hard or amorphous as it may sound. Taking legislative action can be as simple as starting or signing a petition (sites like change.org make it easy!). A simple letter to your local representative about an issues you care about – from early education or food security, to youth employment or living wages – can go a long way. RAP pushes for policies that increase access to education and employment for low-income teen fathers, improve health access for victims of trafficking, and that ensure access to quality education for homeless youth.For more idea, check out active campaigns at DoSomething.org.
3. Make A Donation
There are so many people in our city without access to basic necessities that all human beings should have. Donations throughout the year of things like food, clothing and furniture can help a struggling family regain its footing. Things like toys, books, and toiletries may seem like they’re too small to be meaningful, but those are often the things that have the deepest emotional impact and make people feel most human. To make food donations, try searching for locations through the Food Bank of NYC. For other items, search for locations to donate through NYC Service.
4. Raise Awareness and Money For A Cause You Care About
A race or similar event is a great way to heighten awareness, get your friends involved in something constructive, and raise money to donate towards a cause that you’re passion about. If you are planning to participate in an event like a 5K race, think about using it as an opportunity to raise funds for an organization you care about. For example, this Spring, an incredible group of women will be running the Women’s NY Half-Marathon and raising money for RAP! Find out how you can get involved here!
5. Share Your Story: Write an OpEd or Letter to the Editor
Share your personal perspective to an issue impacting your community, and educate people in the process. An piece in a local newspaper is a great way to spread the word, and to highlight the people behind the statistics and facts. For tips and outlets, check out the Op Ed Project!
This list is just the beginning! As we head into the rest of the year, I encourage you to think about how you can add to the list! Share your ideas with us at @endyouthpoverty, and on our Resilience Advocacy Project Facebook page!