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In May 2022, I was invited to participate in a small community-based panel about wealth inequality that was hosted by ThriveYouth (then known as DAREart), a community youth group based in Tkaronto that provides a platform for children and young adults to pursue creative expression, learn and think critically,1 and “develop the skills and confidence needed” to promote transformative action (ThriveYouth, n.d., para 1). Bringing together community leaders and social justice-minded high school students, the panel was organized around the question “what is wealth inequality and why does it exist?” The question immediately struck me as the type of question students might ask during a lecture or tutorial, or which a keen peer might pose after a conference presentation. However, I had been invited into the panel not as an academic but as a community organizer, and so I answered as such. I felt a great pedagogical and creative liberty in that space, and in response I was inspired to write down my thoughts, as a poem, one which wove together my multidimensional experiences with wealth inequality as both person and organizer. The result was a very full, very alive description of wealth inequality (or, as I prefer, wealth inequity) that I would have never expressed if I had been constrained to academic jargon and rhetoric. Whereas academia often requires us to “prove” and “validate” all our thoughts and feelings, typically by using three-dollar words, poetry allows us to embody and express them as is, free of citations and structured analyses. I performed the poem, found below, to the youth who then attended the 2022 panel in Toronto (followed by an equivalent event in Vancouver).

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