The Two Dollar Challenge is an educational exercise designed to dismantle our HERO-complex. Below we have outlined a Code of Conduct to act as a guideline for behavior in situations that may arise during your Challenge.
- Avoid using images and language that reinforces stereotypes of the poor as powerless. Ask yourself “Would I give consent for someone to use this image of me or my child?”
- Before sharing another person’s or community’s story of material poverty, get their permission. Please, NO MORE STOLEN STORIES.
- If you build shelters, know that you have created a non-universalistic and inaccurate representation of poverty. Spend time reflecting upon and discussing this aspect of the Challenge. And, always leave a place better than you found it. Clean up after yourself.
- Participants will face physical and emotional hardships. And, if you are a student you are still expected to participate in all class work and other assignments. Do not use the Challenge as a reason for an extension on a class assignment.
- Begging from others is allowed, but you must beg first and explain the Challenge later. By begging first a participant experiences the emotional process involved. And, by explaining the Challenge next, a participant allows for those whom she is begging from to rescind their assistance and reserve it for someone that is truly in need.
- At all times participants must respect those nearby who are truly in need. If at any time those taking the Challenge are using resources which are valuable for indigent residents in the area this action must be re-evaluated.
- You may get pushback from non-participants who say you’re “playing poverty.” You are. Accept the critique and spend time discussing the limitations and drawbacks of the Challenge.
- You may get interviewed by reporters. They may say that you are courageous for taking on this Challenge. You are not. Local leaders solving poverty in their own communities are courageous.
- The Two Dollar Challenge is largely an exposure of contrasts between our daily life within and outside the exercise. You control how dedicated you are and how much you get out of it.
- There are so many moments where each person can choose to break a rule – take a sip from a water fountain, turn on a light after sunset, or use your cell phone. In those moments, you must decide whether to adhere, bend, or break a rule. Whatever your decision, it is all right. We just ask that you recognize that you have a choice. For nearly half the world’s population there is no choice, there is no immediate exit.
The Two Dollar Challenge is not about strict adherence to the rules. It is a personal journey towards becoming a more empathetic and humble member of the global community. We will not end poverty by living on $2 a day. But, we may end our HERO-complex.