Poverty is more than a lack of resources. It creates barriers that isolate the poor from the rest of the community and from opportunities to break free from its grip. That isolation also extends to having a voice in research and program development for breakding down poverty's barriers.
Dr. Donna M. Beegle, a national expert on poverty, grew up in a migrant labor family. At 15 she dropped out of school, married, and after ten years of abject poverty became a homeless divorced mother with two children. Through a pilot program that helped her gain self-confidence as well as connections to resources and mentors, she returned to school, eventually achieving a doctorate in educational leadership. For the past 17 years she has conducted research on poverty, authored See Poverty...Be the Difference, and founded the non-profit PovertyBridge to work directly with people impacted by poverty. On March 7, she will be holding an "Opportunity Conference" with 200 Portlanders living in poverty. Her own experience with poverty is part of a PBS documentary, Invisible Nation which will air later this year.
Join Jo Ann and Dave this Thursday as they discuss with Dr. Beegle how to reach across the barriers of poverty to build a more equitable Portland. Can't call in during the program? Send us your questions for Dr. Beegle in advance through the comments section of this blog!