“Geography of Poverty” Powerfully Shows Local Data and Stories

Rachel Irwin, RESULTS Senior Writer
July 07, 2015

A new multimedia project from MSNBC seeks to illuminate the human cost of poverty in 77 American cities, starting in California and weaving all the way across the country.

“The Geography of Poverty” features graphics, facts, personal stories, and arresting black and white photography. While only an introduction to the project is currently posted on the website — with the rest of the cross-country content coming soon — it can still serve as a useful tool for RESULTS grassroots volunteers ahead of the International Conference (July 18-22).

If, for example, you are looking for an easy way to find some local statistics on poverty, just type your city or town into a box on the introduction page, and you will see the poverty rate, how it compares to the national average, and how it has changed since 2010. An interactive map allows users to click on surrounding counties for other poverty-related facts. In addition, the project’s photographer, Matt Black, has an extensive and frequently updated Instagram feed. Volunteers might find photographs or stories from their home states they can use during their meetings on Capitol Hill or at home during the August congressional recess.

We recommend checking the Geography of Poverty website periodically for updated stories on the people living in America’s most impoverished areas. Personal narratives are among the most powerful reminders that government policies don’t exist in a political vacuum. As we prepare for our biggest lobby day of the year on July 21 — where our passionate and committed volunteers will hold hundreds of meetings with their elected officials — let’s make sure our lawmakers understand that their decisions in Washington D.C. hold serious ramifications for people all across the United States.