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March 19: Who are the poor and how best to help them?

How can we really help the poor and needy? Why is this question more important than the answer?

Thursday, March 19, 7:30 pm  |  Dialogue Leader: Lynn Curtis

Mark & Elizabeth England's home at 1194 South 500 East in Salt Lake City.
Late-comers, please use the back door. 

While the issue of how to help people in need has profound implications for each of us
individually, and for helping organizations worldwide—the actual "agenda" for our Think Again session is to encounter this topic through a powerful dialogue methodology based on questions—sometimes referred to as "Literacy for Social Change" or the acronym "FAMA." For the group, the specific discussion theme is arguably less significant than the unique process by which we'll be discussing it.   

This particular dialogue approach—which has been employed to solve problems in crisis settings (places where there is extreme need) in more than 65 countries worldwide—will be as provocative and useful as the theme we're discussing.  

About Curtis:
As former Vice President of ProLiteracy and current co-founder/CEO of Interweave Solutions, Lynn has advanced literacy and self-reliance programs that move people from poverty to prosperity in 65 countries of Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and the US since 1976. In this capacity he directed the global "Women in Literacy Initiative" which has reached 1.3 million women around the world, and he has trained, advised and worked overseas with numerous global organizations including Peace Corps, PACT, Save the Children, LDS Church Humanitarian, FINCA, and World Vision. 

He’s the author of the book "Literacy for Social Change" and numerous practitioner manuals related to a variety of social action themes including Health, AIDS, Human Rights, Micro-Enterprise, Grassroots Environmental Action, Literacy, Parenting, Community Schools and Conflict Resolution.

ProLiteracy and Interweave Solutions 

In ProLiteracy—a global educational service organization—Dr. Curtis directed ProLiteracy’s expansion from seven countries in 1986 to 65 countries in 2009. He has initiated several multi-nation learning and community development programs including the Learning-based Micro-Finance/Enterprise Initiative, Africa AIDS Initiative, and Women and Human Rights Initiative. He continues as Senior Advisor to ProLiteracy’s worldwide learning and development network. Since 2007 Lynn has served as co-founder, consultant and executive for Interweave, a global non-profit that moves people from poverty to prosperity through neighborhood self reliance groups.  In this capacity he has lead efforts to create and advance Interweave’s unique system of hands-on materials, participatory training and practical know-how to help organizations around the world organize and sustain self-reliance groups among their members. Through this approach he has enabled human service organizations, government agencies, microfinance institutions, businesses and churches to create local groups that help tens of thousands of participants find success in business, education, home and community. 

Lynn’s doctorate from Syracuse University is in International Adult Education and is based on the dialogue methodology he’ll be introducing at the Think Again meeting. In 1982 he was imprisoned in Panama for teaching this dialogue technique to impoverished banana pickers. He and his wife Sandy have six children and 25 grandchildren.