ACTION AND ADVOCACY
( 30 minutes)
Includes participating in campaigns
and events, signing petitions, or
meeting with federal or provincial
Share with the group the actions
and advocacy of CPJ and the Dignity
for All campaign, such as:
• ChewOn This! annual public engage-
ment events involving communities
across Canada in education and
advocacy on poverty ( dignityforall.ca/
• CPJ’s Advocacy Toolkit, which
provides templates for letters, meetings, briefs, petitions, social media,
and educational activities ( cpj.ca/
Brainstorm with the group on the
• What work is being done to end
poverty in your communities, prov-
ince, and country?
• How do these actions challenge
social and economic structures and
Write these actions on flip chart
paper as people share with the group.
How Do I Act for Justice?
Ask participants to work on this exer-
cise in their small groups. Discuss the
• How are you called to act for justice
to end poverty in Canada?
• What actions are you taking, or will
you take, to help eradicate poverty?
• Are there actions your group can
work on together?
Write these actions on sticky notes.
Place the notes on a piece of flip chart
paper taped to the wall with the heading “Action for Justice” beside the
“Stories of Poverty” sheet.
Read out the actions posted. Thank
everyone for participating and committing to action to end poverty in
Poverty undermines the right of every
person to live with dignity, and as an
image bearer of God, to participate in
society, and to meet basic needs.
Poverty is complex and does not
have a single cause. While poverty can
arise from personal circumstances, like
illness or job loss, it is connected with
structural problems. These include
lack of affordable housing, inadequate
income supports, lack of access to
healthcare, education, and training,
and lack of a living wage.
(adapted from Living Justice, pages
Write these statistics out on a slide
or flip chart paper and read them to
• 4. 9 million people in Canada live in
poverty, that’s 14. 6 percent or 1 in 7.
• The most impacted groups include
• Indigenous communities— 25. 3
• Newcomers make up 34. 2 percent
• Single-parent families— 34. 5 percent
• Children— 19 percent
• 40 percent of all Indigenous chil-
dren (over 60-70 percent in some
(Source: CPJ’s report, On the Margins:
A glimpse of poverty in Canada, cpj.ca/
Have participants break into groups
of four to five, or people can partner.
Provide each group with flip chart
paper and markers.
Each group assigns one person to
write responses to the questions on
the flip chart paper. Assign someone
to report back to the large group.
Discuss in small groups:
• What restructuring of values, social
systems, and policies is needed to
address poverty in Canada?
• How does this connect with what
loving God and loving your neighbour requires of us?
• In this process, how can we better
listen to, and be led by, those who
have experienced poverty?
Invite small groups to share their
discussion highlights with the larger
group. (The flip chart paper can be
taped on a wall while the group is
is a familiar story that participants
can connect with readily. Go deeper
into the parable by sharing the following reflection.
The parable highlights the great commandment to love God and love your
neighbour. Following this, the expert in
law challenges Jesus first on how it is
that we achieve eternal life, a question
that is meant to test Jesus’ knowledge
of the law. Jesus’ response demonstrates this knowledge.
However, the next question pushes
further: “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus
cleverly pushes back with a parable that
would have challenged his audience.
On the one hand, the story demonstrates the love of neighbour through
an act of mercy to one who was beaten
and robbed. On the other hand, Jesus
forces the legal expert to identify his
neighbour as a Samaritan, someone
who would have been considered an
Ask participants to consider the
parable and reflect on the following
• What does the parable teach us
about who our neighbour is and
what loving our neighbour requires
• What justice issues emerge from
• How does this parable teach us
about charity and justice responses?
Provide notepaper for those who
wish to write down their responses.
Invite participants to share their
thoughts with the large group.
DISCUSSION ( 45 minutes)
With the video/scenarios and parable
in mind, read the following reflection
Poverty is much more than low
income; it is a lack of access to a
sustainable livelihood. It means being
forced to make hard choices between
basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing, and heat. Poverty is also about
well-being, including access to health
care, pharmacare, dental care, education, safe and rewarding work, and the
opportunity to engage in community
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