PRAC shares food, stories, and myth busting!

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Here’s the update from our PRAC meeting on March 27th. Details below but the highlights and updates include:

  • We already have 2 volunteers to be the new PRAC reps to attend the general Coalition meetings!
  • We’ll be hosting a free Communications Strategy workshop at our next PRAC meeting on April 30th
  • Please stay tuned for details about “community consultations” on our Poverty MythBusters campaign

Next meeting:
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 6:30-8:30 PM
Place: 14th floor, 207 West Hastings St (NW Corner of Hastings and Cambie).

Hope to see you there!


ethiopian-foodAt our last PRAC meeting, things started on a really upbeat note: the sun was shining and we enjoyed Ethiopian “tasty rolls” to get started 🙂 They are not really called “tasty rolls” tho! We had rolls of different kinds of vegetarian “wat”, which include lentils, beans, and veggies. Delicious!

To start we had a brief report from Trish about what the Poverty Reduction Coalition (PRC) has been up to, including news from BC’s 2014 Budget announcement (which, shockingly, did not have anything about a Poverty Reduction Plan!), plans for a Province-wide tour and also a speaker series. We also talked about PRAC’s representatives to the general meetings of the PRC, since both Justin and Priya’s terms ended this month. Thanks to both of them for giving their time!

On that note, we are looking for 2 new reps, so if you’re interested, please let us know. Usually a rep commits to attending 3 meetings before passing on the task to another PRAC member, and the main “job” of a rep is to be a liaison between the PRAC and the PRC by reporting at the PRC general meetings what the PRAC is up to, and then sharing to the PRAC group how the meeting went. It’s also a great opportunity to network! PRC general meetings are held every 2 months, and are usually hosted the first Wednesday of the month from 9:30-11:30 AM, at the BCTF Office in Vancouver. Please let us know if you’re interested, as we’re hoping to nominate reps at our upcoming meeting.

prac-stories-notesAfter the reports, we did a great exercise to get to know each other more, and find out what is it that has drawn us together as part of PRAC. Among the themes that we identified in each other’s stories were the importance of our parents’ teachings; going through a process of first hearing that through hard work we can achieve our goals, but then realizing that it is not that simple (e.g. “the American dream” story doesn’t work out for most of us); finding out about the difference between individual and structural barriers; realizing differences of class; the realization that sometimes we get motivated by going through loss, anger, or difficult times, and channelling that into a passion for fighting back. It felt great to hear each other’s stories and realize that many of the things that drive us are complex and full of hope. Some of the final reflections included having the sense that we can make a difference, and the idea that we need collective action. This is precisely the objective of PRAC!

After the exercise we started working on fleshing out the Poverty MythBusters campaign. We talked about the issue posed to the whole group from our last meeting: “Get a Job” myth: “I can’t” or “I already have a job.” If you weren’t able to attend the meeting, we shared all your thoughts and they were helpful in moving us forward so thanks for taking the time to respond. After some great discussion, we decided that we should tackle both aspects of the “get a job” myth, and find a way to be as respectful and well-prepared as possible. As part of this, we shifted the “I can’t” approach to something more like “I would but there are all these barriers…” so that the message is less about the individual and more about the structural issues. We also talked about branding the whole series before we start so the connections throughout the campaign are clear.

To help us get our ideas across in the most effective way, we decided to look for someone to come to our April meeting and offer a workshop on communications strategy. We have some ideas but, if you know of someone who may be great at offering something like this, please put them in touch with us!

In the meantime, we will be setting up “community consultation” opportunities to discuss our campaign with people and organizations who experience the situations we wish to depict in our materials, so please stay tuned for a callout to attend. If you know of someone or an organization to contact, please let us know.

Finally, everyone is already excited about the Poverty MythBusters campaign! The Public Health Association of BC want to partner with us and get some funding for the social media component. There’s also an opportunity for funding through the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council.

Please mark your calendars for our next meeting and do your best to attend, as we really need your help in order to tackle all of these points! The next meeting details are:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 6:30-8:30 PM
Place: 14th floor, 207 West Hastings St (NW Corner of Hastings and Cambie).

See you then!