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Poverty is Colorblind

When you hear the word poverty, what's the first image you see or your first thought? Women and children in an impoverished country or women with polished nails holding a sign for help? If you could help a group of women living with poverty, which group would you choose and why?

Poverty is more than having more bills at the end of the month than money. It's extreme, situational, institutional, or generational; making it difficult to create pathways to economic independence, wealth, and stability.

When we seek support or investment in our work to decrease the trend of poverty amongst women throughout the Washington region, we often receive a plethora of reasons of why we shouldn't help them because their level of poverty isn't as severe as women experiencing poverty in other countries. A local pastor stated, You haven't seen poverty until you've been to a country where people have to drink and bathe in dirty water. Now, that's poverty. What we have here (i.e., in the U.S.), isn't poverty. Does this mean we should negate our efforts to help women and children experiencing poverty in the U.S. if they have access to clean water?

When our lives are threatened by a disease, we collaborate our energy and resources to find a cure, or a way to stop it from spreading. We don't assess if one disease deserves more attention than the other because of the impact the disease may have on all humanity.

Ignoring the plight of poverty will not eradicate it, but heighten it because poverty affects all ethnicities and nationalities.