Fellows Stories: Diana Skelton

Diana Skelton in England at the 2008 International Summer School on Religion and Public Life.

Diana Skelton (ISSRPL 2008) is deputy director of the International Movement All Together in Dignity (ATD) Fourth World, working to find solutions to eradicate extreme poverty. ATD Fourth World uses the intelligence and creativity of people living in extreme poverty, whose minds are the world’s most underused natural resources, to start projects such as a family Story Garden in Gallup, New Mexico; a “Babies Welcome” pre-school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; or a People’s University in La Paz, Bolivia. Its goal is to create the conditions necessary for poor people to create and think together with others, enriching the whole human community. Its projects vary from place to place because they are thought out on the ground along with local inhabitants. ATD’s entire staff is a long-term volunteer corps in which 420 people of 34 nationalities agree to live on a minimal stipend, regardless of their seniority or responsibilities, and to move from one place to another as necessary. ATD’s planning is therefore not donor-driven, but carried out in consultation with about 2000 members of low-income communities around the world. The majority of ATD’s funding comes from individual donors, many of whom make monthly or annual pledges.

The above banner photo shows Skelton (left) in Guatemala at a fair trade workshop ran by ATD Fourth World.