It is now nearly two weeks ago since our closing event. Here’s a reflection about that evening from one of the Challenge’s facilitators.
Since moving to Leeds nine years ago I’ve wondered what would happen if the wisdom of people with direct experience of poverty was heard by people of influence. More than that, what would happen if they built friendships with one another over a longer period of time. Would new possibilities be generated, opportunities emerge, things start to change? Tonight at the closing event we glimpsed something of this. The confidence displayed by everyone both in themselves and in one another meant that it was difficult to tell the difference between testifier and civic/ business leader. They talked of times where real listening had taken place, where empathy was experienced and had overspilled into generative action. We recognised that the challenge continues for us, maybe not in poverty truth meetings but in highlighting the truth of poverty and living differently as a result. What a privilege to have walked so closely with others through this over the last 18 months.