Why Teaching a Man to Fish Is a Lie

June 5, 2014 3 Comments

Very much looking forward to joining my IISC colleague Andrea Nagel while facilitating at this weekend’s CommonBound Conference, hosted by the New Economy Coalition.  The proceedings will feature Ed Whitfield from the Fund for Democratic Communities. Whitfield is a long time social justice activist, who has been involved in labor, community organizing and peace work since the late 1960‘s . He was the chairman of the Greensboro Redevelopment Commission for 9 years and formerly board chairman of Greensboro’s Triad Minority Development Corporation.  In the short video clip above Whitfield speaks to the fallacy of the “teach a man to fish parable” noting that to know how to fish is one thing, “having access to fishing poles and water holes” is another.  His message is very much in alignment with our commitment at IISC around lifting up issues and dynamics of power, equity and inclusion.

If you are interested in following CommonBound on-line, you can check out this link. Or follow along on Twitter via #CommonBound.


  • Charles Jones says:

    so very true – doesn’t matter if you know how to fish if you have no fishing equipment or place to fish.

  • Cynthia Silva Parker says:

    Love this! In addition to what Charlie pointed out, I love what he has to say about three conceptions of power: that it can crush you and you need to resist; that it can help you and you need to direct it; and that we can be power–that we need to organize and not allow current forms of power to exist; that we need to build new forms of power that will lead to old forms crumbling under the weight of their own contradictions. Yes!

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