Anti-poverty conference welcomes everyone

Poverty activists, people in poverty, and those interested in changing the system are invited to attend a free three-day conference aimed at building a movement.

Cracks in the Concrete has a mandate to bring people and organizations together to discuss, share skills, and inspire strength, said spokesperson Jody Franklin.

The event is organized by a loosely-knit collection of groups with a similar mandate.

“There are a number of groups that are working as part of an anti-poverty movement here in Victoria and that would include service organizations like Together Against Poverty Society to more activist groups like the Victoria Coalition Against Poverty,” Franklin said.

Alongside groups from Vancouver and Seattle, members will facilitate workshops with topics ranging from using and being the media; the struggle to open a supervised-drug consumption service; legal strategies to challenge human rights abuses; how colonialism and racism intersect with poverty; exploring struggles with police brutality and how to navigate disability applications.

Franklin, an artist, will also be facilitating a workshop about the role of guerrilla art as a form of social protest.

“Everything is free – the entertainment, the workshops, the food servings,” said Franklin. The event is accessible to everyone, he stressed, including those with special needs.

“It isn’t simply focused on extreme poverty issues like homelessness or harm reduction – it has something to offer for everybody, working poor people or middle class people that have concerns about their future,” he said.

It launches Friday (May 13) with a panel discussion, a feast and music at The Church of St. John the Divine from 6 to 9 p.m. Workshops run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 2994 Douglas St.

A full description can be found at cracksintheconcrete.org.

rholmen@vicnews.com