BC is one of the most generous provinces in Canada in terms of how much we give to charity. Yet, we’ve had one of the highest poverty rates for the last 15 years! It is clearly time for a different approach. That’s why we invite you to take part in a “charity intervention” to help shift people’s thinking to include justice. You can use our Share the Weight: An upstream alternative (or supplement) to your Food Bank Drive lesson plan to engage with classmates, students, or co-workers in a letter-writing campaign that is fun and has weight to it.
Join the Poverty Free Action Team. The Action Team offers a chance to hear presentations from members of the Poverty Reduction Coalition, engage in discussions and workshops about how to take action, and access resources so YOU can help make change happen! Check out two of the Action Team’s exciting campaigns: #rethinkgiving and Poverty Myth Busters.
- Do one of the activities in our How to Raise Awareness about Poverty activity guide.
- Share the 5 Things You Should Know About Poverty in BC fact sheet at an information table and put up the poster in your school and community. Contact Trish for free printed copies to be sent directly to you.
- Collect signatures using this petition.
- Share the message through social media: Facebook and Twitter.
- Talk to your friends, family and neighbours about these Facts on Poverty and Inequality in BC.
- Ask your local food bank to give out the Food Bank Thank You Card to people who contribute to it.
- Make and share these Poverty Buttons.
- Write a letter. See examples here.
- Read the Cost of Poverty in BC report.
- Read the article Donating isn’t a long-term solution for poverty and hunger, by Trish Garner of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition.
- Read First Call BC‘s in-depth 2016 BC Child Poverty Report Card
- Watch these videos about poverty in BC:
- This is what inequality looks like in BC. Students at Princess Margaret Secondary in Surrey demonstrate inequality with a rope activity. (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, 2 mins)
- What is poverty costing us in BC?. Think we can’t afford to end poverty? Actually, we can’t afford not to. (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 3 mins)
- Where is BC’s Poverty Reduction Plan?. Get informed and energized about the call for a poverty reduction plan for BC! (BC Povery Reduction Coalition, 95 mins)
- Check out BC’s Hardest Working website: a collection of 100 stories and photographs of British Columbians struggling to make ends meet in low wage jobs and on income assistance.
- Book a presentation for your class! Please contact Trish of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, or Bill from Raise the Rates Coalition. Both will be happy to come to your school and facilitate a workshop about poverty in BC and how students can get involved.
- Host your own presentation based on our “Justice Not Charity” slideshow. Please contact Trish for help in getting prepared and to obtain a copy of the slideshow.
- Download and use our lessons plans and activities:
- External resources:
- The BCTF Antipoverty Social Justice Action Group has compiled many different resources that you can use in your classroom
- The Scramble for Wealth and Power (aka “Penny scramble”) game activity
- Poverty Income Budget activity
- Read the Improving First Nations Children’s Health with Social Justice Education for Children Fact sheet to learn about social justice education, the role of educators and schools in providing a socially conscious education, and examples of social justice initiatives led by children. The fact sheet was produced by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.
- Read The Rights of First Nations Children in Canada Fact sheet, which highlights how Aboriginal children continue to experience unacceptable and disproportionate levels of risk due to a combination of historical trauma, intergeneration poverty, and discriminatory and underfunded child welfare policies. Also produced by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.