There’s no good way to say a lot of things about poverty. You don’t want to make generalizations about groups of people. Even if it’s mostly accurate, a generalization can too easily germinate into a stereotype, an ugly presupposition.

And that’s the thing, isn’t it? We nonprofit people love to talk about systemic change and removing barriers and how to fix government programs and schools blahdeeblah; but in the end, everyone’s story is their own story.

I’ve been invited/instructed to go to something called a “poverty simulation” in a few weeks. From what I know of it, the idea is that one starts off the evening/”month” with a certain family size and amount of money, and then goes to different stations (the pretend department of social services, the pretend grocery store) to try to make the family budget last. It may very well turn out to be an edifying experience, but initially…

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