Willie Baptist, author, Pedagogy of the Poor book tour

Families for Justice welcomes Willie Baptist and John Wessel-McCoy of Union Theological Seminary’s Poverty Initiative! Do not miss the opportunity to hear these nationally recognized leaders in the fight against poverty, speaking right here in Clark County. (They agreed to stop in Portland too. ;-))

Willie Baptist is the Poverty Initiative’s Scholar-In-Residence, a formerly homeless father with over 40 years of experience organizing among the poor. John Wessel-McCoy is a former labor organizer and current project organizer with the Poverty Initiative, which is dedicated to raising up generations of religious and community leaders committed to building a movement to end poverty, led by the poor:

VANCOUVER, WA: Thursday, March 22, at 6:30pm, two Poverty Scholars will visit Church of the Good Shepherd from the Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. This lecture and question and answer event will be open to the public, in the sanctuary, and is offered as part of the Thursday Light class, “Poverty and the Bible.” This is a unique opportunity to hear two nationally recognized leaders offer stories, insights, and hopes for faithful people – don’t miss it! Admission is free, donations warmly appreciated. Copies of Poverty Initiative publications, including their latest book “Pedagogy of the Poor,” will be available for purchase.

PORTLAND, OR: Saturday, March 24th, at Sisters of the Road Cafe

Afternoon workshop: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. A workshop with a focus on history of poor people’s movements in the U.S.and community organizing. Limited space is available – please call Monica at 503-222-5694, ext. 19 or e-mail monica@sistersoftheroad.org to sign up!

Evening event: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Book talk on “Pedagogy of the Poor” open to the public. $0-$10 suggested donation to help the travelers, no one turned away for lack of funds.

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Families for Justice: What we’re up to…

Families for Justice (Clark County) is working on opening our cafe, an assets-building project that draws inspiration from the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign that Martin Luther King helped to organize along with low-income community leaders just like us.
We expect to open in Fall of 2012. Right now we are busy fundraising for this project, and we will soon have ways you can help on this website. Stay tuned…
In the mean time, we are already building leadership to end poverty in Clark County, Washington.
Who are we? We are a network of families, faith communities, and individuals, of different races, religions, and income levels working together.
Since Spring of 2011 we have been getting together to strategize about how best approach anti-poverty work in the unique community of Clark County. We’ve been sharing stories about our families struggles and dreams, learning about our community’s history, sharing knowledge about public benefits, and singing songs together. (Really, we do…I have proof.)
What our work has been like:
*We marched with thousands of people in Olympia in 2011 for Martin Luther King Day, speaking out about economic and racial disparities.
*Teach-ins and preach-ins: We’ve put on community “teach-ins” about the Poor People’s Campaign and what we can learn from it for today. Working with faith communities, we’ve come as guests to share about poverty issues, our life experiences, and the solutions we hope and fight for.
*Two of our leaders attended the Poverty Initiative’s Poverty Scholars Leadership Institute this summer in Wilkes-Barre, PA. We toured leadership-development based poverty organizations on the East Coast, and went on “reality tours” of Wall Street, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, a community that reminded us of home.
*We participated in the making of a video documentary about public benefits, and recorded audio tributes to single mothers for Mother’s Day at the Columbia River CSO with POWERDOWN new media project.
*We learned local history, visiting the Veteran’s farming project at the site of the old “poor farm” and other cool places…
*We participated in the community homeless count in East Clark County, where volunteers were lacking.
What next? Stay tuned for…
*Activist Willie Baptist will be visiting us to speak about his new book Pedagogy of the Poor.
*Award-winning poet Susan Deborah (Sam) King will lead us in a writing workshop  for her upcoming anthology of poetry about poverty and social change.
*Results from the survey we are conducting about our mission and membership structure will be published.
*Learn more about the people of Families for Justice.
*More cafe development!

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