In celebration of National Community Action Month, the Community Action Partnership hosted a Poverty Rally for Truth on Monday, May 24, at the agency’s new parking lot just north of its office at 719 S. Main St. in Dayton. More than 100 people attended.
The rally was in conjunction with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and the “March to Fulfill the Dream.” The march—highlighting neglected issues of poverty in the U.S.—began in New Orleans on April 4 and stopped in Dayton for three days on the way to its final destination in Detroit in June.
“We were very fortunate to have the people who are marching on behalf of economic opportunity help us celebrate Community Action Month,” said Tim Donnellan, President & CEO of the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area. “They’re taking this message about poverty elimination and walking with it. They have the courage of their convictions to create this awareness and not let people forget that there’s poverty in our midst.”
“We’re tired of the system walking all over us,” said Tara Colon, one of the marchers and a founder of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights campaign. “We have a right to economic human rights. We are all human beings. We need to tell our stories over and over again. If you are going to abuse me, then the world is going to know about it.”
“I feel for so many families out there who have lost their homes, who have lost everything,” said Seannete Gross, a Community Action Partnership customer who was also homeless. “Poverty is real. It’s happening. We need to be educated. We need to come together and figure out ways to get it together.
“Poverty is Real” was the title of a poem written and read to the crowd by Ivy Williams, Director of Marketing for Community Action Partnership. Part of the poem states:
“It has no rhyme or reason, no time or season. It’s year-round and it’s worldwide. It’s in your face. It crowds your space. But when will the selfishness subside, so you can understand that poverty is real.”
The event also included a free lunch, agency information tables, and a photographic display from Community Action Partnership’s Youth Empowerment Center.

EDITORS: Here are cutlines for the photographs:
Crowd listens: Visitors to Community Action Partnership’s Poverty Rally for Truth May 24 hold signs as they listen to speakers.
Marchers rallying crowd: Marchers from the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign were part of a Poverty Rally for Truth sponsored by the Community Action Partnership as part of the agency’s Community Action Month activities.
Marchers: The “March to Fulfill the Dream” came through Dayton on its trek from New Orleans to Detroit. Marchers paused to participate in Community Action Partnership’s Poverty Rally for Truth.