Community: Student Voices in Poverty

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Student Voices in Poverty
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Academic Literacy and Linguistics, Ethnic and Race Studies, Interdisciplinary, Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice

Everyone knows what it’s like to have problems. But not everyone shares in the soul-splitting experience, articulated by W.E.B. Du Bois, of being a problem. “Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question….How does it feel to be a problem?” As a sociologist trained to study the inequalities produced by white supremacy, Du Bois’s work reveals much about what it’s like to study the social problems that he himself experienced in his personal life.
Poverty is a problem many of us struggle with in our daily lives, even as we study its causes and effects in economics, history, sociology, and public health classrooms. In the spirit of Du Bois’s inquiry we invite you to ask yourself this question, related to your own experiences of poverty and economic inequality: “Where do I feel like a problem?”
Do you feel whole, at ease, empowered, focused, curious, YOU, in some spaces, with some people, while in other situations you feel uncomfortable, invisible or too visible, divided, distracted, ping-ponging between You…and the other you? Does your economic way-of-being ever collide with other parts of your identity? If your whole self could speak to those spaces that leave you feeling split, what would you say?

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