United for a Fair Economy: Philanthropy Demands More

When financial systems continue to oppress and policymakers walk hand in hand with corporations, we must ask ourselves if we are truly making as big a difference as we would like to believeYes, it can be uncomfortable to admit that pinning on a ribbon does nothing, but assessing the situation is so necessary.

It’s not enough to just peruse through info-graphics and sign the occasional petition; society demands so much more from us now.

As the 2016 election proved, a majority of us genuinely desire an inclusive community, but we can’t keep opting for slick solutions — our politicians are already following that route!

And this is precisely why I decided to intern at United for a Fair Economy this summer. I was tired of feeling like just another statistic, helpless and unheard. So, for these three months, I will be focusing my energies on the systemic causes of our political reality and work at the forefront of change.

For 20 years, UFE has been one of our nation’s primary coalition builders, mobilizing activists across the country. The staff and its partners tackle economic inequality and advocate for a world without institutionalized racism, exorbitant CEO compensation and tax breaks for millionaires.

“Okay, that’s great and all, but what’s happening behind the scenes? We get the mission statement, so what is UFE actually doing to accomplish these goals?”

So far, my experience with the group has only been positive, since it seems as though the UFE office is one of the few hopeful corners of Boston (that is still intact). Everyday, I have the privilege to brainstorm alongside individuals from all walks of life, and get a preview of a world we are aiming to create. One in which each worker is treated with dignity, regardless of skin tone, education level, or citizenship status.

UFE offers training and support for individuals that do care but simply cannot comprehend the economic jargon that makes public policy so inaccessible. We use popular education methods, break language barriers, and connect leaders with the resources they need.

Plus, you can find us featured in some major publications, too! UFE’s annual report “State of the Dream” is famous for its shocking reflections and its unwavering commitment to demand a more level playing field.

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As for me, I just finished one of my first weeks in the Boston office, but I am already getting a feel for the people around me and the mission that ties them together. As of now, I am drafting a thank you letter to send to foundation heads, working on distributional material, and updating UFE’s database.

Occasionally, I am assigned more secretarial tasks (like running to the bank or punching in numbers), but I ultimately acknowledge that this clears up some of the responsibilities of those around me. By taking on the copying machine every now and then, I’m allowing for others to make real change, and that in itself means so much to me.

In the coming weeks, I will be developing an e-mail series designed to increase all-around activism, as well as a monthly donation system.

UFE stands for values that many of us can get behind, and I finally feel like I’m taking a stand against the leaders that are trying to tear us down.

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