Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia is a writer, organizer, activist, poet, and self-proclaimed poverty scholar. She is the only interviewee in The Conversation who has spent a good portion of her life houseless (a term she prefers over homeless), and a lot of her work has addressed issues of poverty. In addition to being a prolific writer of articles she is the author of Criminal of Poverty, the founder of Poor Magazine, the driving force behind the Homefulness Project.
When I recorded this interview in the summer of 2013, I did not expect it to be the final interview I would record for The Conversation, yet it makes a better conclusion that I could have anticipated. Lisa’s voice at the end of the project casts the earlier episodes in a different light. This interview reminds us that grand speculation about the distant future—and even mundane speculation about the near future—is often the privilege of affluence, just as it is beset by the blind spots of the affluent. That doesn’t cheapen any of the fascinating interviewees in The Conversation, but it does remind us that The Conversation is, almost by definition, not as inclusive as we want it to be. A lot of people are too busy surviving to join in The Conversation.
Though this is the final interview, it is not the final episode. Expect that soon.