Our mid-year all employee meeting this week welcomed the expertise of Dr. Bethanie Tucker, author and consultant, for three presentations on better understanding people living in poverty. Her engaging address before all faculty and staff in the morning included a blend of humor and shared life experiences to the delight of over 800 people. Dr. Tucker later spoke to two smaller groups of staff and faculty, allowing them to take a deeper dive into various aspects of this topic.
What struck me during Dr. Tucker’s keynote address was the degree to which perceptions differ between those who grew up in middle class or wealthy families and those from poor families. Dr. Tucker grew up in a family that worked tirelessly in humid, sun-drenched tobacco fields. Her background brought to life what is most important to people who live in poverty and how perceptions of this issue taint our ability to best address it. The morning session also provided a great reminder of how important any single interaction can be as we work to support and guide individuals each day.
It’s not always easy to know if someone is living in poverty. But if you do, can you make a difference by connecting them with resources that have the capacity for changing lives?
You can find out more about Dr. Tucker’s important work HERE.