Frequent Classism Exposed contributor L.A. Kurth invited students in her class at a California community college to share their thoughts on affordable housing. Here is one student’s response. All my life I have lived in a rental home or an apartment, except for the brief period of time when my family and I had a home of our own. But due to late payments, we lost the house to foreclosure. However that never changed the fact that my brother, sister and I always had clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads, and food to eat. If this seems too... Read More

Safe, Affordable Housing Is a Human Right

On the morning of December 3rd, 2016, the deadly effects of the affordable housing crisis became clear. If housing were treated as a human right, if artists were supported by the cities and developers that profit off their creativity, the loss of 36 lives in Oakland, California in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire could have been prevented. This was the horrifying result of prioritizing profit over people. After decades of deregulating public housing, refusing to invest in affordable homes for all and refusing to regulate rents in the private market, after the recent past of gambling on housing with mortgage-backed... Read More

Affordable vs. Attainable Housing

When you think affordable housing, you think $600,000 for a condo, right? With a $12,000 down payment, that would be $3,557 per month for 30 years. Maybe that’s why a new term has arisen in the real estate market, attainable housing. Under the new rules, old safety precautions are ignored. Once, homebuyers were advised to spend no more than 25% of their income on housing – a joke in many areas today. So now, some FHA loans let people pay 41% of their income for housing. And if they lose their jobs and their home, their biggest asset, the only thing they have to pass on... Read More

At the Center of Giving

Philanthropy has an inherent obligation to place marginalized communities at the center of giving. It’s no secret that in the world of charitable giving strings often come attached. Any nonprofit executive, grant writer or development director can share stories about jumping through hoops to secure funding for an initiative or general operating costs. Filling out extensive applications, sitting in on long phone calls, checking (and rechecking) financial statements, and evaluating programmatic efforts, among many other things, are par for the course when seeking grants that will help sustain an organization. The due diligence philanthropic institutions conduct is a product of... Read More

Charity vs. Solidarity Work

Settling in after a short but intense trip to Standing Rock, I took to Facebook, curious about what had transpired at the camp during my 10-hour drive home. Expecting to see updates regarding activities of the thousands of water protectors and their allies, I was instead startled by a Facebook post advertising tee shirts. The Standing Rock tee shirt actually had no clear connection to the tremendous effort at the camps. There were thousands of “likes” to the post, and hundreds of comments about the $25 trendy shirts. One such comment pointed out that the shirts were probably made in... Read More

The Growing Problem of Top Heavy Philanthropy

And What to Do About It New research from the Institute for Policy Studies and, finds that the philanthropic sector is increasingly dominated by the 1%, their own private foundations and donor advised funds. In the resulting report Gilded Giving: Top Heavy Philanthropy in an Age of Extreme Inequality, Class Action Board member Chuck Collins, Helen Flannery and Josh Hoxie reveal that this concentration of philanthropic giving “poses risks to both our independent sector and democracy.”   Nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations are heavily reliant on charitable donations to fund the arts, education, community based, social justice and/or advocacy work that they lead. The good... Read More

Politics of Work, Socioeconomics, and Classism in Classrooms:

Education to Work to Live or Live to Work? I am a first-generation American whose parents immigrated from Dhaka, Bangladesh, so I could make it big – so I would never have worry for my survival as they had and still have to, and to be able to take my life for granted as most to none of my ancestors ever got to. Thus, I feel conflicted about the mythology of the American dream as a function of capitalism and classism. First-generation and/or low-income college students tend to experience this perpetual dilemma and identity crisis, particularly at such elite institutions and spaces like Ivy... Read More

Building Bridges, Not Walls

Class Action was founded by visionaries who realized that they had grown up at different ends of the class spectrum, but who had arrived in the same place when it came to their passion for advancing social equity and justice. Their commitment to building bridges across differences – instead of building walls – continues to inform all that we do today. So, like many of you we have been deeply concerned about the election of a presidential candidate that denigrated and threatened women; religious, ethnic and racial populations; members of the LGBTQ community; and anyone not in the alt-right power elite.... Read More
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