Poverty Talks! Presents "Blaze Your Own Trail!"

Blaze Your Own Trail

Every year Poverty Talks! hosts an event to commemorate the International Day to Eradicate Poverty, featuring speakers and performers from across the spectrum of having lived with the experience of poverty, and this year is no different. We warmly invite you to join us for this year's presentation titled "Blaze Your Own Trail."

This year we celebrate trailblazers in Calgary's communities, people who are experiencing poverty in its many forms who are working hard to make their communities better places. Come join us at Marlborough Community Association (636 Marlborough Way NE) at 6pm. All are welcome to join us. To RSVP for this free event, please click on the link below.


Additionally, members of Poverty Talks! will be participating in a day of action, distributing lunches bagged lunches in support of Chew on This! at the Marlborough LRT Station starting at noon. Please join us for a lunch and an opportunity to chat with our team.

Meet our participants!

Here is a list of our presenters (in alphabetical order):

Adrian is an individual who was born in Calgary. Since then they were lucky to travel the world. Adrian has also come out as gay as well as genderqueer. This has led Adrian to work on helping individuals and organizations become more inclusive. Adrian would love to hear from you if you need a hand or someone to chat about what you are going to do to change the world, one day at a time!  

Amber was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She is the youngest child of three and comes from a middle class family. She is the proud mother of a 22-year-old boy.

Benton doesn't like chocolate chips in anything and if you put raisins in any baked good he think you're a monster. He's a sucker for animals and he loves the cold.

Bev is a Lax Kw'Alaams first nations woman from Port Simpson, BC. She 3 sons, 11 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter. She has lived in Calgary for 11 years.

Erik is a doctoral candidate from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands studying socio-spatial inequality. His research zooms in the social experience of poverty in various geographical contexts. Currently, Erik is visiting Calgary (from August 2019 to February 2020) to study lived experiences of poverty in the Greater Forest Lawn area. Erik takes a participatory approach to his research, which entails he aims to take part of the daily lives in the communities he studies in order to grasp an insider view. During his research Erik has witnessed many examples of people who, despite having to struggle with poverty every day, have made inspiring and meaningful contributions to their communities.

Erin Dingle tells it like it is. Whether it's sad, silly, science or NSFW, they "take that confused feeling or idea you've never had words for and paint it into poetry you'll understand." 

Dingle talked her way onto the Finals stage at the Canadian Independent Poetry Slam competition five years in a row. She placed 2nd in 2015. In 2016, she received the first Zaccheus Jackson Nyce Memorial Award for Poetry and Community Spirit. 

Dingle has rocked the mic for Ted-x, the YWCA, the Peter Gzowski Invitational, Poverty Talks, and numerous other poetry and spoken word festivals across Canada. She teaches classes and workshops on exploring emotional resilience through writing and performance in Calgary schools, camps like fYrefly and Wordsworth and at multiple other youth and adult events.

Grace grew up in Creston BC and has now lived in Calgary for the past 30 plus years. She has been volunteering for the last 4 1/2 years. She is currently the team lead for Resident PLEX little free food pantries.

Hannah is 18 years old and who graduated from high school this year and is working on her future. She loves pets, especially her cat Joey and bunny Batsy. She also loves kids and Batman. Her future goal is to be a foster parent to boys aged 12 to 17.

Maria was born in Peristeri, Athens Greece from a Greek mother and a Russian father, where she lived the first 12 years of her life until early 1970’s when her parents decided to come to Canada so they could have a better life. 
They packed whatever they could (mostly their clothes) and moved away from their relatives and family, friends and everything they had ever known. While that was more than a little frightening, it was also very exciting!

They settled in a beautiful city called “Calgary” very much different like where they had come from. It was a cozy city, (huge now) and it fit their lifestyle perfectly. 

Although Canada is her home and they’ve been here for 47 years and she really enjoys it here (other than the winters, she never got used to them) she has never forgotten where her roots are and where she have come from.

Mary is on  AISH (Assured Income For The Severely Handicap). Despite being disabled and on AISH, she's a part time student in the new Bachelor of Arts in Social Justice and Catholic Studies (SJCS) program at St. Mary University.  She advocates for people to have their human rights met. She thinks art can be used to challenge people’s ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and values. Some of the things she has done include participating in Premier Notley’s Art From The Unknown Annual art show, present a PowerPoint presentation using her wildlife photos and story at the Spark Disability Art Festival in Calgary, poems and power point presentations at the International Day of Disabled People event in Calgary and Canmore, co- create an art show in partnership with the Alex Community Food Center/ Antx and Disability Action Hall on the importance of addressing the issues of lack of food dignity and food insecurity.

Nigel is a Calgary-based human rights activist, primarily focusing on issues of homelessness policies and discrimination. His accomplishments include co-founding Calgary's Longest Night of the Year memorial service, joining hundreds of cities across the globe to honour lives lost to homelessness; hosting "Yes In My Backyard" barbecues, and being a researcher on the Homeless Charter of Rights with the members of the Client Action Committee. He also does community work in his apartment building trying to help his neighbors build meaningful relationships with one another. His biggest influences are Fred Hampton and Paulo Freire.

Susan is a mother of 3, with her partner in crime and life James. A woman of action and a golden heart with a creative mind to pair. Raised in Ontario, with those that supported her to the amazing woman she is today.

Yvonne was raised in a small community south of Edmonton. She traveled between Greater Vancouver and Alberta for the last 20 years. I have lived in Calgary for the last 13 years. I have been volunteering with KMITT for the last two years. Now I am the coordinator at KMITT for the last three months.