Why Are People Poor?

"Why are people poor?" This question was posed to the entire McSilver team. The responses given stimulated a discussion that lasted for sixteen hours (and counting).

In September, McSilver staff and affiliates attended the Undoing Racism Workshop, presented by the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. Through facilitators hailing from across the country, staff was presented with a lens from which to view the impact of institutional racism and how it impacts the very communities we continue to serve.
"You can't study poverty without an understanding of its connectedness to race," said Dr. Mary McKay, Director of McSilver.  The intersection of race and poverty is poignant and ever present in our country.  Presenting the group with a framework of a comprehensive history of racism in the United States, the 40+ participants continue to discuss the impact of the workshop several months later.  “Using the tools we received from the workshop, McSilver will further incorporate the deep institutional impact of racism in our policies, procedures and research,” stated Gary Parker, Deputy Director. 

The ground-breaking workshop has trained thousands of social service providers throughout New York City, with workshops taking place throughout the year in different locations.  And this important information is not solely for McSilver’s staff.  Through the Undoing Racism Internship Project, McSilver interns will engage in various workshops and labs offered through this project.  “We are excited to have been able to offer this kind of a workshop to our team,” said Dr. McKay, “and we are committed to continuing the work well beyond the hours in training.”