Cheering for those who are trying to make a difference

Turn on the TV, flip through the pages of your favorite newspaper, go to any major news website and it’ll be surprising, after seeing again and again how pervasive is the problem of poverty and inequality, if you’re not discouraged. Isn’t there anything, you must wonder, that we can do to end this eternal problem?

Well, here at Fineman PR, we’ve been working for the last few months with an incredible group of people who are determined to do what the rest of us might think impossible, and in the process turn our discouragement into optimism.


Meet Agnieszka Winkler, David Grusky and the more than 20 other academics, practitioners and foundation heads from the U.S. and Mexico who will come together for the Mazatlán Forum 2015. For two days they will discuss radical yet practical ways to eradicate poverty once and for all.

Yes, that’s right. These people want to eliminate poverty. Period.

In developing Mazatlán Forum press releases and pitches for the U.S., Hispanic and Mexican markets, I encountered some push-back. After all, the goal seems utopian. Yet, while the objective is undeniably enormous, if you abandon for a moment any jaded assumptions about poverty, you’ll be able to see the issue from their perspective.

First, poverty is a human phenomenon, not an immutable force of nature, so if society has created it, it is within the power of human ingenuity to transform it.

Second, for the most part, we still address poverty from a 1960s “War on Poverty” perspective. However, much has been understood about poverty in the half century since then, so it is time to step back and re-examine the assumptions that led to the War on Poverty’s failure to bring about poverty’s demise.

Third, most anti-poverty efforts are designed only to alleviate local situations or to target just one aspect of a poor population’s life. The shortcoming of such approaches should be evident.

The alternative is to design plans that, while responding to local needs, are linked to regional and global strategies that will ultimately eradicate poverty once and for all, worldwide.

Finally, poverty doesn’t affect only the poor; it is a moral, social and economic problem that affects every one of us. Simply put, poverty is unacceptable and very bad business. We must stop tolerating it and treating it as inevitable. It will do us all good.

From the airplane that is taking me to Mazatlán at this very moment, I invite you to cheer for this amazing group of people – warriors, not utopians – and follow the Forum on Twitter using #MazatlanForum2015.

For my part, I’ve left my former discouragement on the ground behind me and have my hopes high – right up here with me at 35,000 feet!

Learn more about Mazatlán Forum here.

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