The Two Feet of Social Action
The various ways we can respond to the poverty we face in our society have been summarized by CCHD as “The Two Feet of Social Action.” The left foot is charitable works, helping people survive their present crisis. When we lead with this foot we are providing food, clothing, shelter, and transportation for the elderly; sponsoring an immigrant family; helping to pay rent or other necessities; or helping people get access to public resources.
The right foot is social justice/systemic change, working to remove the causes of the problems. When we lead with this foot we are working with people who are poor to secure decent jobs, organizing with them to be effective in the political arena or in getting businesses to treat them fairly, helping with voter registration drives, and getting government agencies to change policies that impede people who are poor from achieving their fair participation in government protections and assistance.