“Without new visions, we don’t know what to build, only what to knock down. We not only end up confused, rudderless and cynical, but we forget that making a revolution is not a series of clever maneuvers and tactics, but a process that can and must transform us. ... Protesting, organizing and education are all essential to activism, but they’re not the entire story ... we must also create spaces to cultivate collective freedom dreams. We live in a society where destruction has become the dominant culture. To be truly revolutionary, we need to create space built on love and solidarity.”

— Robin D.G. Kelley


Congratulations on completing the Connecticut United Ways' Abolishing Poverty Equity Challenge! We are so thankful that you joined us on this journey and made time to learn and reflect on poverty, equity and racism. 

What did you think? Please share your experiences on our Equity Challenge Feedback Survey. Your ideas and input will help us design future Equity Challenges. 


Please take a moment to reflect on your experience over the five days of the Challenge. Research shows that if we want to make lasting changes to our actions and behaviors, we must pause to reflect on and be intentional about processing the lessons we learn from our experiences. 

  • What is my family’s experience with poverty (current and generational)? Are there identities of mine that have provided me with privileges or benefits? 

  • What were some of my assumptions about poverty before I started this challenge? In what ways have these assumptions been challenged? In what ways have they been confirmed? 

  • What were some of the ideas this week that challenged me to consider poverty in a new or different way? What were some of the ideas that resonated with me? 

  • Where have I seen evidence of inequities and systemic racism in my community? 

  • What two to three shifts, changes or actions can I take to be a “poverty abolitionist” in my home, workplace and community? 


Write down one goal you have for your continued learning and one action you can take toward your goal. Research confirms that when we write down our goals, we are more likely to commit to and achieve them. 

Have a conversation with a family member, friend, colleague or neighbor about the Equity Challenge and what you learned. Build space and relationships where you can have challenging discussions.

Fill out our Equity Challenge Feedback Survey linked above. We really want to hear about your experience and learn how we can design and improve future Equity Challenges.


The work of author Matthew Desmond was the inspiration for this Abolishing Poverty Equity Challenge, and we are grateful for the powerful virtual conversation he had with Connecticut United Ways and 500 participants. Please feel free to explore the resources below linked to his book, Poverty, by America.

  • Watch this video, where Desmond shares why he wrote the book and highlights its key takeaways, the biggest misconceptions about poverty and how we can eradicate poverty. (3 minutes)

  • Watch the recording of our virtual discussion with Desmond and moderator Janée Woods Weber. Use the password 5BvkL#9e to access, and please note that the recording will only be available until March 28. (58 minutes)

  • Explore a state-by-state table of poverty statistics to see how Connecticut compares with other states on indicators such as child poverty rates, average debt, minimum wage and more. Or use this interactive tool to learn about the poverty resources available in any U.S. state or territory.

  • Read this fact sheet with recommendations about how we can take responsibility for eradicating poverty and, in Desmond's words, “become a poverty abolitionist.”

Want to refer back to an earlier Equity Challenge email in this series? Please visit this link.

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United Way of Connecticut

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