Dr. Donna Beegle is honored to be named a 2014 Woodrow Wilson Princeton Fellow and to receive the 2014 Maine Community Caring Collaborative HERO award.

Welcome to Communication Across Barriers

"My education, my work, and my passion are to help people from all races who are trapped in poverty. I want them to have genuine options for lifelong success. This can only happen if the voices of those struggling with poverty can be heard and their perspectives understood.
Dr. Donna Beegle

Poverty is resolvable, however, making a difference for people who live in the crisis of poverty requires a paradigm shift.

A shift that moves us beyond stereotypes and judgement to a deeper understanding of the causes of poverty and its impact on human beings. With this awareness, we can work together to provide genuine opportunities for people to move out of poverty." -- Donna Beegle


Poverty Institute

The Poverty Institute is hands on two-day poverty institute for educators, health, justice, social service professionals, and community members who want to better understand poverty and to gain tools for making a difference.

Coaching Institute

Poverty Coaching Institutes prepare participants to serve as poverty coaches for their organizations. A Communication Across Barriers poverty coach is trained to conduct workshops for breaking poverty barriers and improving communication and relationships for in-house staff. Coaches serve as on-site experts for educating colleagues, providing leadership for breaking poverty barriers, and developing system wide approaches for improving outcomes for families who live in the war zone of poverty. Poverty coaches will also be trained to conduct Poverty Competency Assessments and assist their organization in developing and implementing customized action plans with measurable results.

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Dr. Donna Beegle will captivate the audience with an informative, inspirational and motivational keynote presentation that is
customized for your group. The Keynote will include working more effectively with students and families who live in the crisis of poverty,
improving communication across poverty barriers, One woman's journey from abject poverty to a Doctorate, or targeting your conference theme.


Dr. Donna M. Beegle provides inspirational, motivational, informative speeches customized for your Organization. Donna weaves personal experiences with research to provide insights for communicating and working more effectively across race, poverty, gender, and generational barriers.

All sessions are offered in a workshop or keynote format. Donna' s two most requested workshop sessions are “Poverty 101” and “Concrete tools for communicating more effectively.” Participants can receive continuing education credits. All sessions are customized to meet your organizational goals.

Online Courses

3 Credits

This online series provides a foundation for understanding poverty and what to do about it. Currently, the number one source for education on poverty in America is the media. These courses examine poverty as a complex phenomenon experienced by individuals and created through the interaction of individuals within social systems. Insights are provided from the point of view of individuals experiencing poverty, and an introductory understanding of how social systems often support and perpetuate poverty. This series is grounded in theories of the discipline of Communication and Education.

We will be offering this course in the Spring of 2014. Please let us know if you're interested by signing up for our very low volume newsletter. You can cancel the newsletter anytime. When we know more details about the sign up process, we'll put that information out on our newsletter.


Poverty Competency Assessments

Is your organization really serving people in the crisis of poverty well? Do you have the tools and resources you need to be competent in helping people move out of poverty? Are you systemically setting people who live in poverty up for success?

You've heard of “Cultural Competency.” Donna provides a template for organizational development that examines “Poverty Competency.” Many organizations serve people living in poverty. This assessment examines the organizational policies, leadership, individual attitudes, beliefs, and values, and partnerships through the eyes of people living in poverty to ensure more successful outcomes. The assessment results in the development of a year-long action plan for improving services to people living in the crisis of poverty.

Opportunity Communities Model

The Opportunity Communities model provides guidance with implementing a community wide approach called the "Opportunity Community." This process bridges the gap between social service operations and the people who need them by creating a system where everyone is working together, and people in poverty are given opportunities to realize their strengths and reach their potential for moving forward. When communities come together to harness the value of everyone, lives are changed forever.


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