Conference will focus on helping the poor
Posted: February 11, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Kali Klubertanz knows what it’s like for poverty-stricken children and families to be prejudiced against by society — she grew up poor in her Wisconsin hometown.
But the 37-year-old Frederick County resident — who is on tap for a master’s degree in professional counseling from Liberty University — now works to help those in poverty succeed.
On Friday, she spoke to members of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Alliance for Children, Youth and Families — an organization that helps low-income and at-risk youth and families in the City of Winchester and Frederick and Clarke counties.
Klubertanz said there are “unwritten class rules” — such as the way those in the poverty, middle and wealthy classes view and use education and money — that professionals who work with the impoverished sometimes apply to their clients, pigeonholing them into poverty and preventing them from succeeding.
“I came from the culture of poverty and I had a lot of discrimination and a lot of adversity throughout because of people in the middle class going, ‘No, no, no, you’re not transcending into my class, just stay right there,’” Klubertanz said. “But then I also had other people that were like, ‘Come on, I’ll show you how it’s done.’
She said she sees this in Winchester, too.
“They do throw up a lot of barriers because they do have that instant judgment, and in my community specifically, the barrier that was thrown up for me in a small community was that I was automatically deemed to be dumb ... because I was poor.”
Klubertanz’s remarks highlighted a conference the alliance is hosting in March, according to Beth Mason, who works for the Virginia Department of Social Services and serves as the chairwoman for the alliance’s training and best practices committee.
The 5th Annual Community Commitment for Change Conference will feature Jodi Pfarr, who will speak on the Bridges Out of Poverty method of helping low-income community members.
Part of the way to help the impoverished is for them to realize that poverty can be a mindset and culture that’s difficult to break out of, Mason said, adding that it’s not just an economic position.
“Very often there’s this chasm between the people that are helping and the people that need help, a huge chasm, and it keeps us from helping them out of poverty,” she said. “Instead, sometimes our efforts keep them in.”
The conference is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 5, with registration starting at 8 a.m. and a $20 registration fee. The conference will be at the Best Western Lee-Jackson Inn and Conference Center at 711 Millwood Ave.
Additional information on the conference is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Contact Matt Armstrong email@example.com