Invisible Populations

By: Angela Cupo

What does it mean to be invisible? How can you raise awareness about invisible populations?

What does it mean to be invisible?

Invisibility means to be treated as if you weren't there, or to be ignored. Anyone can feel invisible. When a large group of people are invisible, they are called an invisible population. Many people aren't aware of these populations, however, they should be.

Personal invisibility

Personal invisibility is when one person feels that they are invisible. Being ignored or neglected makes these people feel this way.

I am an invisible man by ralph ellison (poem)

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"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. [...] they see everything and anything except me." (Invisible Man, Ellison)

This part of the poem (prologue) is a great example of personal invisibility, and invisibility in general. It shows how people do see the narrator, but they don’t want to. They neglect him and treat him as if he’s not there. People see everything in the world, but they don’t see him. Whether they don't see him as a person, or a person to listen to, they chose not to think of him. They rather pretend he’s not there. This makes him think he is invisible.


Invisibility goes farther than just personal emotions. Once you have one invisible person, more will become invisible. This will cause groups, and eventually populations.

Examples in real life

There are many types of invisible populations. From homeless people, to transgender people in places like India. People don't notice, sometimes they even choose not to notice these people. This makes them invisible populations.

Migrant Farmers

"The garage was worn out by the years. It had no windows. The walls, eaten by termites, strained to support the roof full of holes. The dirt floor, populated by earthworms, looked like a gray roadmap.” (Jiménez 68)

Thousands of migrant farmers live in horrible conditions like the one described above. After a season is over, they pack up to find new work. Their wants are neglected, and they aren't getting what they need. They end up living in horrible places with no windows and dirt floors. No one cares about or for them. The people they work for only give them the minimal amount of things they need to survive. While they live in luxury, migrant farmers live on almost nothing. This lack of caring causes them to be an invisible population. (Jiménez, 68)

How can you help raise awareness

In order to help these people, you need to raise awareness. You can do as little as tell your friends about them and what’s happening to them. Hopefully, with enough positive awareness, migrant farmers won’t be an invisible population anymore.

Homeless Children

“Child homelessness in the United States is at an all-time high, according to a new report. One in 30 children is homeless — a total of 2.5 million around the country. But these kids are often invisible, crashing with their families on friends’ couches, sleeping in all-night diners or hopping from motel to motel from week to week.” (NewsELA)

Homeless children is a major invisible population. These kids don’t have the necessities they need, like shelter and food. Many people don’t acknowledge them at all, so they don't even get donations in order to buy what they need to survive. Most of these homeless children don’t get breakfast, water, or the new shoes people today take advantage of. About 2.5 million children are sleeping on couches, in cars, and even at diners, everyday. Because not many people “care” about homeless children, it makes society consider them an invisible population. (NewsELA)

How you can help raise awareness

In order to solve this problem, regular people are donating money towards shelters, and directly to a homeless child. If you want to help, you can inform other people that just a dollar, goes a long way.


Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: Vintage International, 1995. Print.

Jiménez, Francisco. The Circuit. New York: Scholastic, 1997. Print.

"Child Homelessness at Record High, Report Says, "call to Action" for States." Newsela. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2015.
Invisibility to Me

This is not to be graded. I understand if you don't read it at all seeing you have about 100 students to grade. Also, I'm not sure if this will work. There's a chance I might have to share it with you in a different way.