We had a great time at our Mother Earth Day event on April 22nd in collaboration with Global Climate Convergence! We spent the day working on an urban farm with Norris Square Neighborhood Project and watching the Hunger Games while eating organic food provided by Organic Consumers Association and discussing issues of hunger.
The anti-poverty movement lost one of its great warriors last week when Dottie Stevens of Mattapan passed away after a tough fight with cancer. Dottie Stevens was dear to our heart here at Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and we are all grieving her loss.
On March 18th 2014, the Lott family suddenly lost their home due to a house fire. After only receiving shelter from The American Red Cross for three days when they were supposed to receive 30 days, they now have no where to stay. Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) heard about their situation and is advocating for their right to housing. After spending over 3 hours at Appletree Family Center on Monday, March 24th, the family was told there was no shelter available and they were sent away. We even had to take three of the children out of school during an important PSSA standardized testing week because the office would not allow them to be processed without the children present. This is detrimental to their educational success and is interrupting crucial preparation time.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to join PPERHC for their Alternative Spring Break. In both the social justice and environmental movements today, I am constantly troubled by the disconnect between those affected by inequality and injustice and those who attempt to respond to it. PPERHC is a powerful example where this gap is closed. Poor people around the country are effected on a daily basis, directly or indirectly by the lack of responsibility that the government and large corporations take for the communities whose space they exploit. Not everyone feels able to stand up to these injustices. Many are able to put class war, drug war, resource war on the back burner-as if there are other more important issues, as if these issues will only effect us in the future.
Every Spring, PPEHRC hosts an Alternative Spring Break to engage students in economic justice and human rights issues. As an alternative spring break participant, students have the opportunity to learn about and participate in foreclosure defense, urban farming, food distributions, anti-homelessness activism, community organizing, and preparation for the third US Social Forum, to be hosted in Philadelphia.