What you told us at the last Vital Conversation.
Making poverty history in Manitoba was the topic of discussion at a recent Vital Conversation. The event included a presentation about the groundbreaking poverty-reduction work in Edmonton.
Andrea Burkhart, Executive Director of End Poverty Edmonton, shared her insights about the deliberate call to end poverty in Edmonton and the strategies being used to tackle one of the world’s oldest social challenges. End Poverty Edmonton identified six ‘game-changers’ that would lead to the most realizable impact:
- Eliminate racism
- Livable incomes
- Affordable housing
- Accessible and affordable transit
- Affordable and quality child care
- Access to mental health services
Kirsten Bernas and Al Wiebe, both members of the Make Poverty History Manitoba Steering Committee, joined the conversation. Ms. Bernas shared her knowledge of the local community’s collaborative efforts. Mr. Wiebe discussed his lived experience of being homeless and living in poverty. Rounding out the panel was Jackie Anderson, Family Group Conferencing Coordinator with Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata. Ms. Anderson’s stories of her own lived experiences and her work
experiences highlighted a social system that is colonial and oppressive in nature to the Indigenous people of Winnipeg.
Held Nov. 29, at the University of Winnipeg’s Power Corporation Atrium, attendees talked at their tables about the similarities between Winnipeg and Edmonton and discussed which of the Edmonton efforts could be applied locally.
What you said
We asked people to share their parting thoughts with us. Here is a sample of what the Vital Conversation participants said:
“’Systems perpetuate poverty.’ Thank you for that important reminder!”
“I was pleased to hear from panelists who have experienced poverty and happy to hear Edmonton is so proactive.”
“There is a need for a collaborative approach. A champion who can get buy in from many sectors and grassroots groups.”
According to attendees, the top three priorities when it comes to anti-poverty efforts should include:
- Affordable Housing
- Income and Employment
According to participants, the top three take-aways from the event were:
- Poverty is systemic
- Poverty is complex and interconnected
- Efforts to combat poverty must be collaborative
This story is featured in the Spring 2019 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.