Social change work is hard and frustrating and wonderful and terrible; it is also, at times, funny, quirky and just plain fascinating. With this blog we hope to capture all that goes into what we do at Capital Good Fund, and we invite you to join the conversation!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Ode to Martin Luther King, Jr.

‘The Ruins Proclaim the Building Was Beautiful’—Arab saying

The ashes of your life
Span the decades like the wake
Of passing birds or clouds,
Visible only to he who can hold
In abeyance the lust for reality.

I walk as you walked, on ground
Trodden by truncheons, by branches,
By the rise and fall of hopes and dreams
Swept clean by time, by men and women,
By a society made sick with cleanliness.

You waged a war of peace; your bombs
Were marches, sit-ins, speeches:
Where others won by shooting, your victory
Came from being shot, a wound
That rent asunder an edifice of hate.

You pulled and tugged with all your might
To bend the arc of history, to reshape
The world in the image of love and justice;
Yet to me you bequeathed both your joy
And your sorrow at an imperfect world.

Will I live and die as you did?
Will the silent suffering of the masses
Become a thunderclap in the loudspeaker
Of my heart?  What am I to make
Of a triumph tinged with tragedy?

Invisible injustice is blind to redemption;
A prison of sadness cages your spirit.
Dr. King, I shall remain shackled  to your vision 

Until both the jailer and the jailed
Walk free into the sunlight as brothers and sisters!

By Andy Posner

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Invisible Suffering

Last week I spoke at a support group for unemployed persons organized by the Catholic Diocese of Rhode Island and hosted at a church in Cumberland, RI.  Originally intended as an opportunity for me to speak about the products and services offered by Capital Good Fund and the process for accessing them--which I did--the meeting ended up opening my eyes to the extent to which low to moderate-income Americans are suffering, and how invisible that suffering is.  The attendees, numbering around 25, were all unemployed; some had not had work for years; others had recently been laid off.  They shared painful stories of mistreatment by employers, the bleakness of the job market, and the feeling that no one is advocating for them or doing anything to improve their lot.

As I discussed strategies for increasing income, including entrepreneurship, budgeting, resume building and taking online or other courses so as to build skills, I came to a painful realization: whatever the attendees might do to get a job would be at the expense of another person seeking that job.  Given the state of our economy, a job search is truly a zero-sum game, and without broader, macro-economic changes in the American system, that paradigm won't change.