Book Club: Confessions of an unintentional dream hoarder

Elyse Hammett Book Club, Philanthropic Resources 0 Comments

By Elyse Hammett, vice president, marketing and commmunications

This is a picture of me at age six at Disney World. I was cute, right? I was also a dream hoarder without even knowing it.

Are you too? Let me give you a peek into what I mean…

  • Yes – I went to public school in Houston County.
  • Yes – I graduated from Emory University with substantial financial help from scholarships.
  • Yes – I worked multiple jobs throughout my college experience.
  • Yes – my college roomie, Michelle, and I rejoiced over the “choice” of ramen noodles or macaroni and cheese for dinner.

But, as I read Richard Reeves’ moving book, Dream Hoarders, I was brought to tears by the realization that I am one of the people that Reeves discusses.

I unknowingly and unintentionally hoarded dreams. As I painfully reflect, I know I have leveraged the social capital of birth more than brilliance in my life – whether it was the call from my well-respected Methodist minister grandfather to get me an internship for the Georgia State Senate, or the glowing recommendation a supervisor wrote for me to migrate from marketing intern to communications employee.

Reeves’ book challenges assumptions (with both rigor and wit – because without the wit you would cry throughout this diagnosis of disparity). Then, via data and illustrative history, he shares how this hoarding evolved – from the Declaration of Independence all the way through tax breaks like the 529 plan that largely benefits the wealthy. He shares what we must do about it, inspiring us with steps our communities can take to right the wrongs and change the paradigm.

We are bringing Richard Reeves to Atlanta for an exclusive event for our donors on Thursday, October 11 at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Donors – your invitation will be hitting your mailbox any moment. Learn more here. Will you join me to hear him speak? I’ll be in the front row – ready to learn.