OPIRG is gearing up for anti-poverty week from January 23rd-29th, 2016. It will highlight a series of events to open up space and dialogue around issues of poverty such as poor-bashing, workers’ rights, housing rights, food insecurity and intersections of race, gender, sexual orientation, mental health and class in an anti-oppressive manner. Through research, education and action, we hope to bring networks together to continue action against poverty in our communities. We hope you will join us!

Update: Here’s a handy PDF version of the schedule! Please note that the Mental Health Panel has changed to Monday!

Download (PDF, 2.65MB)

Food or coffee and tea will be provided at every event. All events are free. Bus fare will be provided upon request.

The event schedule for the week includes:

Free Soup at the Farmers’ Market
Food Not Bombs
Saturday, January 23, 8am-1pm
FNB invites you to join us at the January 23rd Farmers’ Market for Free Soup and Conversation! Would you like to find out more about the global Food Not Bombs movement? Hear how a local chapter gets started, and what exactly we do each week to keep things going? How many people does it take? And how do we make that food taste soooo good? If you like what you hear (and taste!), then join us for our second event on Monday (January 25th).

Poor-bashing Community Dialogue
Frankie and Rachelle (Community members)
Monday, January 25, 1pm-3pm, Black Honey, 217 Hunter St. W
As with all Anti-Poverty Week events, people from all life experiences and backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to attend and be a part of this community dialogue. People living in poverty are dehumanized and devalued in our society and local community as a function of capitalism, which results in damaging stereotypes and violence towards poor folks on both structural and interpersonal levels. Community organizer and anti-poverty activist Rachelle Sauve will speak on these themes, followed by a discussion about poor-bashing in our community and how we can work to challenge it. Food and tea/coffee will be provided.

Mental Health and Poverty
Panel: OPIRG, Active Minds, Canadian Mental Health Association, Student Accessibility Services
Monday, January 25, 3pm-5pm, Gathering Space at Gzowski College, Trent University
An overview on how mental health problems leads to financial instability as well as how financial instability leads to problems regarding mental health. The panel welcomes Jack Veitch from CMHA ­Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Branch, Jennifer Lund from the Student Accessibility Services at Trent, Kelly McCarthy from Trent Active Minds, and Sabrina Calogeracos from OPIRG Peterborough. They will share their experiences from working in the community and on campus as they hope to de­stigmatize this intersection between mental health and poverty.

Monday Night Meal at Confederation Park
Food Not Bombs
Monday, January 25, 3:30pm-9pm
Join us on Monday (January 25th) and help make the magic happen! See for yourself what goes on in the kitchen: learn new recipes, make new friends, maybe discover talents you didn’t even know you had! Help set up at the park, then kick back and enjoy the delicious community feast. And for all those hardcore anti-poverty warriors out there – remember we’re always looking for peeps who’ll stay to help wash dishes at the end!!

Why Food Banks Aren’t the Solution
Jesse Whattam
Monday, January 25, 7pm-9pm, Sadleir House Lecture Hall
Come out to join discussions on the role of food banks in Peterborough and new ways to address hunger and poverty in our community. A popular education component will take you through questions of why food banks exist, why they should not and what alternatives there are.

Cooking on a Dime, Sharing Stories – 15 PERSON LIMIT!
OPIRG/Community Members
Tuesday, January 26, 11:30am-2pm, Seeds of Change, 534 George St. N
This is an open discussion for people who identify with poverty and want to learn ways to eat healthy on a limited budget and share experiences with one another while helping cook a meal… and then eat it! At this event we are going to bring together cooking, eating, and sharing experiences about poverty. As a group we will make a communal meal and collaborate about smart shopping, cooking and eating techniques that encourage health and save money. the food element will explore health and frugality through considering non-meat options, buying in bulk, and looking deeper into processed food practices and how to understand their labels. Discussion will begin by splitting up tasks and sharing in smaller groups to encourage safety and to give everyone a voice, followed by coming together as a group.

A Solution that Sticks: The Case for a Basic Income Guarantee
Nourish/Basic Income Peterborough Network
Tuesday, January 26, 2pm-4pm, Lecture Hall at Sadleir House, 751 George St N.
Why are so many people in our community struggling to pay for food and rent? When it comes to poverty and hunger, limited incomes and inadequate social assistance rates are making it impossible for people to make ends meet. Join Nourish and the Basic Income Peterborough Network for a hands-on workshop on how we can stop poverty in its tracks. This session will introduce the idea of a basic income, an exciting way to ensure that everyone—regardless of work status—has enough money to meet their needs and live with dignity and health.

Housing Security and Housing Justice
Peterborough Student Housing Co-op
Tuesday, January 26, 7pm-9pm, Sadleir House
This panel discussion brings together people with lived experience of housing insecurity and representatives from a variety of local community organizations engaged in work around housing insecurity and housing justice in Peterborough. Panel members will speak from their varying perspectives about their lived experiences, the work they are doing in the community, challenges to housing justice in Peterborough, and areas of possibility for moving forward with housing justice work. Discussion will be facilitated by a representative from the Peterborough Student Co-op.

Campus Food Security Report Launch
OPIRG Food Security Coordinator
Wednesday, January 27, 10am – 12pm, OC 207, Trent University
Join OPIRG as we present independent research into campus food insecurity across Canada and the responses to it on campuses in every province. The report being presented looks at small and medium sized campuses in Canada and their infrastructure and program responses to food insecurity the limits they set around access and how they support their work. A presentation of the report with a question and answer period and a visioning session to follow with the goal of bringing together a group of people who can help to agitate and build a food security solution.

A Glimpse of Life On the Streets
Community Member Dan
Wednesday, January 27, 1pm – 3pm, meet at intersection of George St and Murray St. (old YMCA building) – 15 PERSON LIMIT!
This two hour tour will give a glimpse of life on the stree in order to form relationships and build community.
More details to come.

Poverty in Schools
Fiona White, Faculty of Education
Wednesday, January 27, 4-6pm, Hobbs Library, Sadleir House, 751 George St N.
Poverty in Education: a Peterborough Case Study. What impact does poverty have on students in schools? How can teachers, schools, and communities work directly to minimize this impact? What can they do to change the situation in their community? This session will provide an opportunity for participants to develop their own responses to those questions, and to come up with recommendations for individual and collective actions. Fiona White, Coordinator of the Queen’s-Trent Concurrent Education program will draw on educational research to provide an introductory overview of the issue, and then will moderate a panel discussion with representatives from local schools and agencies who provide support for students. The session will conclude with an opportunity for participants to engage in small-group discussion to generate recommendations for their own activities, as well as for the Peterborough community.

How to Do Anti-Poverty Activism
Anti-Poverty Activism and Diane Therrien (City Councillor, member of Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network)
Wednesday, January 27, 7pm – 9pm, Gzowski 345, Trent University
A two hour workshop facilitated by Diane Therrien on how to get involved in anti-poverty activism in the Peterborough community. Current poverty issues in Peterborough will be discussed in addition to discussing practical ways that students can participate in anti-poverty activism in the community. Refreshments will be provided.

Class Struggle in the University
RSM Peterborough Section
Thursday, January 28, 12pm-2pm, LEC 212, Trent University
Join Revolutionary Student Movement Peterborough as we present and discuss the University as a place of class confrontation. Many groups continue to propose that students are a single group, but all of us know in some way this is a lie. Some students will go on to run businesses and exploit others and some will go on to be exploited. Discuss with us as we cut through the BS and take a hard look at what it means to be a student and who really is gaining from education as it stands. The RSM stands with all oppressed students who want to end oppression not form false alliances with their own oppressors.

Fighting Poverty in Free Market Fashion
OPIRG Peterborough (with Theresa Chomko)
Thursday, January 28, 5pm-6pm, Lecture Hall at Sadleir House
A brief history of the Free Market, and a discussion of the principles of anti-capitalism, environmental sustainability, and local community building. Participants will be invited to reflect on what role clothing plays in their identity and how they perceive others. The fashion industry will be used as an example to critique non- sustainable and environmentally damaging corporate practices.

Art/Popular Education event
Community members: Jesse Whattam and Frankie McGee
Thursday, January 28. 6pm-8pm, Lecture Hall at Sadleir House
Description to come

Letter Writing to Politicians – Using Your Voice to Influence Change
OPIRG Peterborough (with Meghan Johnny)
Friday, January 29, 2016, 11am-1pm, back room at Black Honey café
Dear MPP, I am tired of working for pennies! Learn about the ins-and-outs of writing letters to politicians in this informative workshop: how to write an impactful letter, who to send it to, and why letter writing helps. This workshop will focus on letter writing for living wage campaigns but will have additional information on how to write letters on your campaign of choice!

A Glimpse of Life On the Street
Community Member Dan
Friday, January 29, 3pm – 5pm, meet at intersection of George St and Murray St. (old YMCA building) – 15 PERSON LIMIT!
This two hour tour will give a glimpse of life on the street in order to form relationships and build community.
More details to come.