We recently partnered with the Red Deer College Sociology department to do a presentation about anti-poverty strategies. We appreciated the opportunity to share knowledge about the issue of poverty. We hoped to inspire the students to know how they might take action to address poverty outside of a classroom setting. Shelbey Merrill, a 4th year Psychology student from Red Deer College, shared some of her findings in a recent study done to address the gap between service providers and service users in our community.
During the presentation we discussed what it would take to make impactful change in the lives of those experiencing poverty. What would that look like? Who’s involved? Well it all starts with you. You must first look at how you can change, and what you can do to improve the lives of people living in poverty. How can you tell the world to change if you yourself can’t change first? What little things can you do to make an impact, and what would that look like? Who else is involved in making change?
Since collective voices are more easily heard it’s safe to assume that change is more easily made with a collaborative effort. So who in the community would you be working with? Who are you working with already? Who is advocating for the same issues as you? You might look at what changes need to be made. Where are the gaps? What are the barriers people are facing? Are the policies in place best serving the needs of the people using the service? All of these questions need to be considered when making change. The students were also given anti-poverty strategy examples which discussed basic income, housing, food insecurity, and increasing the uptake of the Canada Learning Bond. The class was asked if they thought the strategies could be implemented locally and what barriers they might face when trying to implement the strategies.
So what would it take? It will take collective ownership of the issue, the effort to deconstruct its complexity, and the resources to best implement real change.
If you would like to know more about the anti-poverty strategies we discussed click here.