COMMENTARY: Can we listen well enough to address region's poverty problems?

Poor moms, children are counting on us

If I were to tell you I’m a mom, that probably would mean something to you.

If I called myself a single mom, that would mean something else.

And if I told you I was an unwed welfare mother, chances are that would send an entirely different message.

Your interpretation would depend, in part, on your political perspective. But whether you’re a fiscal conservative or a social liberal, the labels attached to mothers can mean everything when it comes to figuring out how to help the thousands of Greater Cincinnati moms who are struggling to support their families.

That’s why The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is working on ways to help people from across the political spectrum see through the labels and understand the plight of our region’s poor women and children.

“Part of this is our responsibility,” Women’s Fund Executive Director Vanessa Freytag told me. “To listen and understand what people’s concerns are in a way that addresses them. What’s that old saying? Seek to understand if you seek to be understood.”

Freytag decided the first step is getting people to communicate beyond their political perspectives. The Women’s’ Fund began that effort with the help of Beyond Civility, a Cincinnati initiative that aims to bridge partisan divides to solve problems.

The two groups started with a meeting March 20 held at the American Red Cross building. Nearly 30 people – mostly women – gathered around tables in groups of two.

The idea was for each table to have someone who represented the “right lean group” and someone who represented the “left lean group.”

Insiders can read more about the March 20 meeting, what its participants experienced and what The Women's Fund hopes to achieve through such sessions.


Comments

or Subscribe now so you can share your opinion! It’s only a penny for a month trial.

Latest Forecast
More Local News
Mom charged in baby's death to be sentenced
Mom charged in baby's death to be sentenced

A mother charged in the drowning death of her 5-month-old son is scheduled to appear in a Campbell County courtroom Tuesday for sentencing.

Lone wolf terror attack security concern for ASG
Lone wolf terror attack security concern for ASG

A lone-gunman scenario is the top security concern for public safety officials here the MLB All-Star Game comes to Cincinnati next year.

Brewers take 5-2 victory over Reds
Brewers take 5-2 victory over Reds

Milwaukee scored three runs on two misjudged balls in the outfield by Chris Heisey, and Wily Peralta pitched seven strong innings in the…

Police seek Colerain Twp. shooting suspect
Police seek Colerain Twp. shooting suspect

One person was hospitalized Monday night after being shot in Colerain Township.

Rumpke, Colerain Twp. can't agree on trash site
Rumpke, Colerain Twp. can't agree on trash site

A debate between Rumpke and Colerain Township has lasted eight years and the two sides reached no decision Monday, meaning the issue is…

City kicks out woman's 'family' of chickens
City kicks out woman's 'family' of chickens

Jenny Durbin raised her family of 11 chickens in her backyard. Now the city has ordered them out, so she's leaving, too.

VLT Academy may close after appeals court ruling
VLT Academy may close after appeals court ruling

A Cincinnati charter school threatened by a lack of funding may close after all.

4 children hurt in Walnut Hills hit-and-run
4 children hurt in Walnut Hills hit-and-run

Two vehicles collided in Walnut Hills Monday evening, shortly before police arrested a man they say plowed into a minivan carrying two adults…

Pickled plums + waffles? Oh yes!
Pickled plums + waffles? Oh yes!

It's a tough job but someone's got to do it: Go to Findlay Market. Stop and buy Belgian waffles, then arugula, then brie cheese, and…

L. Rosenthal: 'We are who we are because of her'
L. Rosenthal: 'We are who we are because of her'

Cincinnati philanthropist Lois Rosenthal died Sunday. She is remembered as someone who made Cincinnati a better place.