When you are designing a pilot music program, at some point you may find it useful to have at least a rudimentary grasp of issues around inequality and poverty, a complex and somewhat overwhelming area of study.
A good place to start is ‘ Key Issues in Poverty and Inequality: http://inequality.stanford.edu/key-issues.
Depending on where you want to initiate a program, you may want to read more at one of the following subheadings:
- Children: Effects of family origins, family structure and family processes on opportunity.
- Conflict, War and Instability. The relationship between poverty, inequality and violence. Sexual violence. Trafficking.
- Crime and the legal system. Law as a source of inequality and as an instrument for reducing inequality. Prisons.
- Disability as a cause and consequence of inequality.
- Education: access to schooling and return to schooling.
- Environment: unequal exposure to social and environmental threats, drugs and violence. Physical insecurity.
- Gender: gender differences in education, occupation and income.
- Health and mental health. Disparities in health and health care.
- Discrimination against immigrants, assimilation of immigrants, immigrant policy.
- Ethnic tension.
- Land, housing and homelessness. Differential access to home ownership, causes and effects of homelessness.
Another way of understanding poverty is to identify what our basic needs are:
- Food and adequate nutrition Healthy foods and eating habits.
- Safe water No lead or other contaminants.
- Safe, stable housing No lead in paint or pipes. No mold. Adequate heat and cooling. Safe neighborhood. Strong sense of community. Minimal air and soil pollution.
- Adequate clothing and shoes that fit. Glasses as needed.
- Access to information including speedy internet access.
- Access to health care Preventive care: vaccines and regular exams, diagnostic, prenatal, family planning, dental, vision care.
- Adequate pay Stable work and regular income, enough to cover housing, food, clothing and health care.
- Good schools Good educational support services. Buildings are in good condition, with adequate facilities and supplies, and with a functional class size. If needed, there is educational support for parents. ESL classes if needed.
- Strong community organizations and voice.
- Opportunities A way out. Hope.
- Strong support services and safety net Support for the disabled, the aging, the mentally challenged, special needs and single parent households. Services to address domestic violence. Mental health treatment.
- Transportation Good, affordable public transportation.