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Washington D.C. - October 2014

On October 5th, 2014 Ebony, Joyce Dixon & Judy Butzine went to Washington, D.C.

Ebony Gonzales-Dixon completed 7 weeks of internship facilitated by the Cultural Arts Coalition (CAC) staff during the summer of 2014. Ebony requested this internship, the result of her past two years as a very active participant within the Balsz Promise Neighborhood Youth Advisory Council (BPN YAC) at Gateway Early College High School after school programming. (Funding for this youth advisory council is provided by Valley of the Sun United Way.)

During this summer programming Ebony was engaged with a nationwide competition through a Washington, D.C., based nonprofit The Campaign to Cut Poverty in Half in Ten Years

The theme of Half in Ten’s first national art competition was Our American Dream: What will it take to get there? Our goal was to engage children and young people—ages 4 through 24—across the country through art in a national conversation with their families, teachers, and community members about poverty and what we need to do as a nation to tackle it.

This competition is just one of the projects to reveal Our American Story is a community of low-income families, service providers, and other community leaders working to expand economic opportunity for all through the power of their personal stories.

Ebony won this nationwide contest to visually and through a Public Service Announcement (PSA) present her symbolic story....

Eliminating poverty starts with YOU!! You and I have the power to reduce poverty by standing up and uniting with our community while providing services and resources for the less fortunate. According to the Arizona census, 31.30% of youth under the age of 18 live in poverty today.

Through community service, research and knowledge, you and I have the capacity to end this cycle. Let us unite in our neighborhoods, build solid relationships to provide services and secure resources for the less fortunate. PAY IT FORWARD! GIVE BACK... Ebony

Ebony’s adventure on the airplane was her first with wide eyed anticipation and some nervousness...

Arrival at Reagan International Airport

Sunday night and onto the streets for dinner. Very fun late night hangout for international youth...

Monday at 0900 Ebony and Joyce met with Sarah Baron at the Center for American Progress (CAP) office for the honoring of Ebony and the interviews with many of the compassionate CAP staff to hear Ebony’s story...

Tours were provided at the Capitol, to legislators’ offices, and finally the Newseum to enrich this D.C. story for Ebony and Joyce...

  • 8:55am - Arrive at CAP, 1333 H St NW, Washington DC 20005
  • 9:00am - Meet with Greg Kaufmann, the editor of our TalkPoverty blog, who would love to speak with Ebony about her experience with the art competition and her personal story
  • 9:35am - Talk about Half in Ten's Our American Story project, and record Ebony's story if she's comfortable
  • 9:50am - Meet with Tracey Ross, a senior policy analyst on our team, to talk about solutions to poverty
  • 10:15am - Meet with Chelsea Kiene, who does communications, to talk about tip/tricks to best get your message across to the media, people on the Hill, etc
  • 11:15am - Arrive at Rep. Pastor's office
  • 11:30am - Capitol tour
  • Lunch (depends when tour is over)
  • 2:30 - Meet with Rep. Pastor's staff
  • 3:00 - go to the Newseum
  • 5:30 - get back to CAP, chat about more ways to get/stay involved with Half in Ten!
  • Tuesday (we'll talk about this tomorrow, Monday)
  • 9:15am - Meet Sarah McBride at White House, map attached.

The result of this big adventure was a well-deserved nap with many memories of a first day of getting acquainted with D.C.

The next day of adventures and rich experiences continued with a tour of the White House and then to the Kennedy Center for a play...Shear Madness (Very Funny and audience interactive.) It was a perfect night!

"Washington was amazing!" - Ebony

No trip to Washington is complete without a visit to the Lincoln Memorial on the day of departure for us!

For me, I was able to visit Roosevelt Memorial where the story of poverty awareness and human rights echoes even louder today than 70 years ago following WWII.

Eleanor Roosevelt, The Commission on Human Rights was made up of 18 members from various political, cultural and religious backgrounds. Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, chaired the drafting committee.

It was an honor and gift to walk the pathways at this site understanding the post war issues of poverty and civil rights. 70 years later there is this continuing civic dialogue occurring in many communities throughout the world. This is the democratic way to protect OUR FREEDOMS!

Photo Narrative by judy butzine, MSW, October 12, 2014