Bringing all voices to the table

Submitted by Kristine Culp on February 6, 2017 - 7:39am

It is important that those of us with lived experience get to participate in the efforts to reduce poverty and homelessness.” – Marnie, Calgary Marnie, 2016 Participant at Cities Reducing Poverty: When Mayors Lead

Last spring, Marnie was unemployed, living in Calgary, and volunteering for a local poverty reduction organization. She heard about a Tamarack conference – Cities Reducing Poverty: When Mayors Lead – that was going to take place in Edmonton, and wanted to attend.

“I was interested in attending because I am interested in poverty reduction, am poor myself, and know many who are poor,” she told us in a recent email.

“I wanted to find out more about what is going on in the field of poverty reduction, and wanted to meet more people who are working and volunteering in this field. I wanted to obtain some hope in this too dark, too dismal world that we live in.”

Being financially challenged, Marnie couldn’t have gone on her own. However, Tamarack provided her with a scholarship so she could attend and contribute to the conversation around poverty reduction in Canada.

“It is important that those of us with lived experience get to participate in the efforts to reduce poverty and homelessness,” Marnie says. 

“We need to be a part of it.”

At Tamarack, we want our events to be as accessible to as many people as possible.

We know the voice of people who live on low or limited incomes is so powerful. When they bring their voices to the table, we can develop a better understanding of the problems and issues they face, in real time. This, in turn, helps create more sustainable solutions. 

We created the Be A Light Scholarship Fund to benefit people like Marnie. If you’d like to help build this fund, we would be deeply appreciative. 

Your gift right now will be especially helpful as we seek to include at least 50 people with lived experience of poverty in our upcoming Cities Reducing Poverty: When Business is Engaged summit in Hamilton, Ontario, from April 4-6. 

As Marnie points out, it’s important for people who work or volunteer in poverty reduction to have a chance to connect personally with those who live on a low income. “Meeting and interacting one-on-one and in groups also shows that, in many ways, we are not really so different.”

To contribute to the Be A Light Scholarship Fund, please click here. Every gift, big or small, makes a difference. Thank you.