Minnesotan Julia Dinsmore has known poverty all of her life and is no stranger to homelessness. Her childhood was marked by frequent moves, chaos and episodes of violence — her mother struggled with mental illness, her father with alcoholism. As an adult, she has struggled to support herself and her three sons through insurmountable medical needs and expenses. “My dream is to earn enough money so I can get myself situated and help my kids and grandkids,” she says.
Julia uses her gifts in creative storytelling, music and poetry to educate others on the effects of poverty. Below is a video presentation of her poem, “My Name is Not ‘Those People’”, which speaks to the importance of remembering the human stories and realities behind issues that are often looked at solely through a policy lens.
She has written and published a book, My Name is Child of God . . . Not “Those People”: A First Person Look at Poverty. “Julia Dinsmore puts a face on poverty and challenges readers to answer God’s call to respond to poverty and its effects.” (Amazon)
As Christians, we must continually ask ourselves what was asked of Christ: “Who is my neighbor?” We must also ask ourselves, do I think of my neighbor as “the other”? Does my voice, and my vote, build a wall between myself and “those people”?
Source: ELCA blog post, “My Name is Not ‘Those People’”