Ruby K. Payne seminar provided insights into how economics often impacts communications, education, systems

United Way was a partial sponsor for the Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc. training seminar featuring Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D. earlier this week. Payne is founder of aha! Process, an organization dedicated to building high-achieving schools and prosperous communities.

Payne, an international speaker and author, lectured at the University of Memphis’ University Center Ballroom on Wednesday, March 23. Even with the large size of the venue, tables were packed and the room was filled with representatives from local nonprofit groups, schools, faith-based organizations, juvenile court, the public defenders office, banks, libraries, and the military.

Among other subjects, Payne’s lecture featured insights and data about how differences in the way people from various economic backgrounds speak and listen to one another often impacts our ability to educate and work with one another to create positive change.

Dr. Payne’s work is based on the premise that people in poverty face challenges, from both obvious and hidden sources, that are virtually unknown to most people who do not have first-hand experience with living in poverty. However, “programs and policies – in education, social services, community development, law enforcement, healthcare – are typically created and run by people from the middle class or wealth. It makes sense that a greater understanding of economic classes will help better align programs and policies with the people they’re designed to benefit,” Payne explains.

Payne’s book A Framework for Understanding Poverty was available for purchase at the seminar. If you wish to purchase the book online or wish to read more about Ruby K. Payne, Ph. D. visit the aha! Process website.

We thank our friends at the Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc. for making this seminar available to our local nonprofit community. United Way of the Mid-South has partnered with the Assisi Foundation’s Framework for Understanding Poverty workshops since the seminars started in 2008.

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