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Domestic Poverty

Learn more on the Office of Social Justice website.

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Justice Books to Read in 2015

Do you have plans for how to stay alert to injustice in 2015? Or are you in danger of becoming apathetic?

A few years ago, a Fulani village in Mali was ignored in a proposal for a region-wide irrigation project. The village submitted the appropriate paperwork but when the official plans were introduced, the village was left off the map completely--it was as if they didn’t exist.

Some Days

The Mess is an open arts studio that provides opportunities to create art and relationships with those who struggle with issues of brokenness and poverty. At The Mess in Kingston, Ontario, we walk alongside people in our local community, offering hope and empowering healthy life choices. We are a supportive community of differing socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, physical abilities and genders. We welcome people of all ages to the studio. The foundation of The Mess is built on these core values: equality, empathy, commu

What should I do when someone on the street asks me for money?

This is my second Christmas in ten years not being employed by Jacob’s Well, a small non-profit in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC. In more ways than I can explain, Jacob’s Well shaped who I am today.

Ferguson: A New Low?

Let me begin by stating the obvious, Ferguson is about more than Michael Brown, the unarmed, eighteen year old African American who was slain in the street by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. It is even about more than the disregard shown for his body---which was desecrated and left out in the street for four hours to rot, left on display to serve as a public service announcement to his community. While it is definitely about these things, it is also about much more! At its core, Ferguson is about declaring the inherent worth of black people.

Why Do Poor People 'Waste' Money On Luxury Goods?

Often the poor are criticized for making poor spending decisions. We can easily think that poverty is avoidable with enough financial advice. But there's a reason luxury goods are sometimes worth the trade off, and we're part of that system.

Poverty Simulation

Every day we all make decisions about our purchases. We weigh desire against necessity and financial capacity. However, for a large number of people these everyday decisions are becoming increasingly more difficult. This simulation walks us through the hurdles that people in financial crisis have to overcome and helps us imagine the decisions impoverished people make every day. Will you sign your child up for the town soccer league or buy nutritious groceries for the week? May this simulation help reframe conversations about poor people and challenge our assumptions.

The New Prostitution Bill: What You Should Know

I support Bill C-36. It’s a start, a good one, towards protecting those who are vulnerable. But it’s not black and white.

In December 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down certain prostitution-related laws and gave the government a year to either let the laws remain null (essentially decriminalizing prostitution) or respond with legislation. Choosing to respond with legislation, the government unveiled Bill C-36 “Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act” this past June.

70% of Farm Workers Undocumented

This is why I am frustrated about the U.S. immigration debates. When I work in agriculture it’s noble–farmers feeding the world–but immigrants doing the exact same work are told to “get in line,” and as real farmers know, there is no line.

Faith and Business on the Razor's Edge

I’m driving down a dirt road somewhere in Western Kenya. It has been raining heavily in recent days, so the consistency of the surface of the road is something like semi-melted butter. I’m with my friend and colleague, a pastor at a local church. His church has recently facilitated a business training program designed not only to improve the economic bottom line of the businesses within his congregation, but also the social, spiritual, and environmental impacts of the business.  

First Nations Education: Beyond Pithy Headlines

This morning a radio announcer went with a pithy headline: "Yesterday First Nations Chiefs Left $1.9 Billion on the Table."

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