Media gallery

Spent: Looking for Change

Thursday, October 30, 7 – 8:15 p.m.
Burgiss Theater, Trone Student Center
Furman University

Offered as a follow-up to the Riley Institute and OLLI’s well-received summer series on the working poor, Spent: Looking for Change is a critically acclaimed short documentary film about the social movement giving hope to everyday Americans who don’t have the financial options that most of us take for granted.

The 40-minute film goes into the lives of American families to show how the poor and working poor’s lack of access to mainstream banking services and lending costs Americans $89 billion a year in fees and interest and makes it harder for many to save, start businesses, and build wealth.


After the screening, a conversation with community partners revealed how the Upstate is becoming a national leader in addressing these issues and how audience members who want to help can become part of the solution. The conversation was facilitated by David Gandolfo, professor of philosophy and chair of the poverty studies program at Furman University, which brings Furman students face-to-face with the realities of local, national and global poverty and invites informed, critical discussion about what it means to live in poverty, its causes, and how it might be addressed by individuals and institutions.

Taking part in the conversation were:

Deborah McKetty, executive director of CommunityWorks Carolina, which empowers low wealth families and communities through direct services and partnering with other agencies to support affordable housing, financial wellness, and community economic development. CommunityWorks has recently chartered a community development credit union to provide alternative financial solutions for low income families.

Melanie Gearheart, manager of 22 Job Connection locations and two Financial Stability Centers for Goodwill Industries, which helps community members stabilize their finances by helping them find employment and connecting them with services from a variety of nonprofit organizations.

Ray Lattimore, founder, president, and CEO of Marketplace Staffing Services and chair of United Way of Greenville’s Community Impact Cabinet, who speaks from an employer’s perspective about the effects of family financial instability in the workplace and about how services offered through CommunityWorks Carolina has helped one of his own employees dig out from a financial abyss.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim executive producer; narrated by Tyler Perry and directed by Derek Doneen.

For information about the film and the national initiative:

For information about the nationally significant work being done in the Upstate: