Summer of Social Action Program

Every summer PPEHRC holds a volunteer internship program for high school and college students interested in social and economic justice. This is a great opportunity to work in a grassroots setting and learn from seasoned leaders about organizing for economic human rights.

Participants in the summer internship program will live with PPEHRC host families in North Philadelphia if housing is needed. The program runs from June 16 to August 1, but the actual dates of your attendance can be tailored to fit your availability.

For more information, or to apply, contact PPEHRC internship alumna Meaghan Russell at


Alternative Spring Break Program

Every spring we connect with various colleges and universities to invite students interested in social and economic justice to participate in our Alternative Spring Break Program. This is a great opportunity for students to learn from seasoned leaders about organizing for economic human rights and be part of the movement to end poverty.

Students who have participated in past programs have had the opportunity to work on our urban farm, go on a reality tour of the Kensington community, organize fundraising efforts, participate in protests / demonstrations, and be involved with home defense and anti-foreclosure work. During their stay, students live with PPEHRC host families in North Philadelphia. Educationals are provided throughout the week which are led by various PPEHRC leaders. Some educational topics include: housing takeovers, political democracy, and the politics of poverty, hunger, and homelessness.

For those interested in participating in our Alternative Spring Break Program or wanting to learn more, please contact our Coordinator, Meaghan Russell, at


Build Our House Project

The Project: The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is working to acquire vacant single-family rowhomes and twins in Philadelphia, in order to rehabilitate them and then rent them to homeless individuals and families at subsidized, affordable rates.

Community volunteer labor and sweat equity will accomplish a great deal of the construction work, using green building principles and practices. PPEHRC will establish a Community Land Trust (CLT) to ensure the perpetual affordability of the houses.

In addition to providing affordable housing, these Human Rights Houses will provide job-training programs and support services like mental health care and substance abuse treatment. We will offer this support alongside and interwoven with our work of supporting the leadership of poor and homeless people to organize for human rights and economic justice.

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FLESH AND BLOOD FILM — Starring Cheri Honkala




A Film By Mark Webber


Starring Cheri Honkala

Founder, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign

2012 Green Party nominee for Vice President



Join us for screenings this weekend and contribute to the conversation afterward! This is a terrific opportunity to discuss the film’s themes of social and economic justice as it relates to the work of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) with moviegoers who are enthusiastic about working to better their community, but not necessarily knowing where to start. 

Jill Stein will moderate post-show discussions with Cheri and her sons Mark and Guillermo at the Prince Theater in Philly on 11/3 @ 6:40pm and 11/4 @ 1:30pm! Black Thought from The Roots will host the discussions on 11/5 @ 2:30pm. Click here to buy your tickets!


Based on a real family, FLESH AND BLOOD blurs the line between narrative and documentary, with characters played by their real life counterparts. Writer and director Mark Webber (GREEN ROOM, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD) stars as a man who has just been released from prison and returns home to his impoverished neighborhood in Philadelphia. Mark attempts to rebuild his life and reintegrate into the community, but he struggles with staying sober, forging a bond with his half-brother Guillermo, and mending a strained relationship with his mother, who is played by Cheri Honkala, Webber’s real life mother and the Green Party’s nominee for Vice President in the 2012 U.S. election. Hoping to move beyond the mistakes of his past, Mark seeks out his estranged, real-life father, who he meets for the first time in over 30 years. Will Mark’s life remain defined by his own flesh and blood?


About Cheri HonkalaFor almost 30 years, Cheri Honkala has been a committed activist and co-founder of multiple poverty-rights organizations. Her experiences as a homeless single mother caring for her son, writer/director/actor Mark Webber, served as a lightning rod that ignited a 30-year crusade as an anti-poverty activist. In the 2012 U.S. presidential election, Honkala was the Green Party?”s vice presidential candidate alongside Dr. Jill Stein. In November 2016, Honkala ran in a special election to be the Pennsylvania State Representative for the 197th District.  Cheri Honkala resides in Philadelphia, PA and works with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) to end homelessness through justice and compassion. To find out more about PPEHRC, visit

Send Human Rights Observers to Puerto Rico

On Monday, October 2 at 1:00 pm, the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) will be visiting the offices of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. to ask that international human rights observers are sent to Puerto Rico to witness the extent of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and whether the recovery efforts are putting poor people before profits or are further contributing to Puerto Rico’s economic crisis. We, the poor, are calling on the international community to witness the U.S. government’s treatment of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and ensure that our families, friends, and loved ones receive the resources and justice they require.


For Immediate Release
September 29, 2017

Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign

Cheri Honkala,, 215-869-4753
Edgardo Gonzalez,


Even before Hurricane Maria, due to centuries of colonial dispossession, Puerto Rico was facing an economic crisis with high unemployment rates and the highest migration to the mainland in the history of the island. Our Puerto Rican friends and family are now facing the fiscal devastation and physical destruction of Hurricane Maria. They do not have drinking water and their homes, shelters, and hospitals are still without power. There is intense flooding in neighborhoods that do not normally experience floods.

Our loved ones are not receiving the necessary food, water, clothing, medicine, and fuel that they desperately need to survive. Those of us on the mainland of the United States are increasingly worried and frustrated because the resources we are collecting are not getting to those that need them most on the island. The bureaucracy created by the U.S. government is preventing the transport of assistance to Puerto Rico. Eliminating the Jones Act for ten days is not good enough.

The U.S. government needs to bail out Puerto Rico the way they bailed out U.S. banks. We call on the U.S. Congress to sufficiently fund emergency relief efforts, allow for the transport of resources, and stop putting profits over our people and abolish Puerto Rico’s debt immediately. Recovery efforts should also be placed directly in the hands of the Puerto Rican people and Puerto Rican-owned businesses, so that they can rebuild their communities themselves. Failing to provide necessary resources or issuing the contracts to rebuild to companies outside Puerto Rico is setting up our Puerto Rican people for continued economic crisis and displacement from their homes.


Campaña Económica de Los Pobres Sobre los Derechos Humanos
29 Septiembre 2017

Cheri Honkala,, 215-869-4753
Edgardo Gonzalez,

En Lunes, 2 de Octubre a la 1 pm miembros de la Campaña Económica de Los Pobres Sobre los Derechos Humanos (Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign) visitarán las oficinas de la Organización de los Estados Americanos en Washington, D.C. para pedirles que envíen los observadores internationals de derechos humanos a Puerto Rico para que mirar la devastación y los esfuerzos de ayuda. Nosotros, los pobres, estamos llamando a la comunidad internacional para que mirar el tratamiento del pueblo puertoriqueño por parte del gobierno de los Estados Unidos despues del huracán Maria, y asegurar que nuestros familias y amigos reciben los recursos y la justicia que requieren.

Antes del huracán Maria, debido a siglos de desposesión colonial, Puerto Rico ya estaba enfrentando una crisis económica, con altas tasas de desempleo y la mayor migración hacia el continente en la historia de la isla. Ahora, nuestros amigos y familias puertoriqueños están enfrentando la devastación economico y la destrucción física del huracán Maria. Ellos no tienen agua potable y sus hogares, refugios y hospitales están sin energía. Hay intence inundaciones en vesindarios que normalmente no undavan.

Ayuda no esta llegando a nuestros seres queridos y aquellos de nosotros, aquí en el continente de los Estados Unidos, se están haciendo más fustrados y preocupados porque no podemos obtener ayuda para mandar los recursos y el dinero que nos reunimos aquí para nuestros seres queridos en la isla. El gobierno de los Estados Unidos ha creado una burocracia tal que no podemos usar aviones o barcos dentro o fuera de puertorico para aser llegar a ellos. Eliminar la ley de jones act por diez días no es suficiente.

El gobierno de EE.UU. necesita ser presionado para rescatar a puerto rico de la misma manera que rescató a los bancos estadounidenses con recursos financieros inmediatos. Nosotros estamos llamando al congreso de EE.UU para que financiar los esfuerzos de ayuda, permitar el transporte de recursos, priorizar el pueblo, y eliminar la deuda de Puerto Rico. Recursos deben ser entregados directamente a los puertorriqueños y a los propietarios puertorriqueños para que ellos mismos sean capaces de reconstruir nuestra isla. Dar recursos a contratistas externos o no dar en absoluto, estableceria a nuestra gente para crisis económica continua y desplazamiento.


Please send us names, address/or towns of loved ones you are looking for at or comment below.

Please provide the following additional information as well:

  • Elderly
  • Low income
  • Disabled
  • Health concerns
  • Family relation


Host a Speaking Engagement

Once specific way that we continue to build the movement for economic human rights is through educational speaking engagements. Throughout the year, PPEHRC leaders are invited to speak at various universities, churches, and community organizations across the country about our organization’s vision and work as a way to raise awareness on various issues surrounding poverty and injustice. These speaking engagements also serve as financial support for PPEHRC’s movement to abolish poverty.

Our main speaker is our National Coordinator and Co-Founder, Cheri Honkala. Cheri is a nationally and internationally recognized anti-poverty and human rights advocate. For the past 25 years she has dedicated her life to creating a movement led by the poor, not their advocates. Honkala has organized numerous protests, holding marches, demonstrations and setting up tent cities, in the course of which activities she has been arrested for civil disobedience violations more than 200 times.

If you are interested in booking a speaking engagement, please fill out this form and we will get back to you about your request and our availability.


Intern with PPEHRC

Intern with PPEHRC – Our organization is dedicated to cultivating future leaders of activism to facilitate widespread change in their own communities and abroad.  As such, it offers several opportunities for internships, in multiple organizational categories:

  • #1 – Media Manager
    • Responsibilities: Media managers will utilize several of PPEHRC’s contact and media resources to keep potential donors, volunteers, members and the general population up to date on what PPEHRC is accomplishing in the world, in addition to what further assistance the campaign needs and what events will be taking place in the future.  Furthermore, managers will create flyers and advertisements for events and distribute them in mass.
    • Skills: Interns will learn how to operate important tools such as WordPress and MailChimp newsletters.  The duties also require proficient use of multiple social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other blogs.  Graphic design abilities will prove useful for developing flyers and ads that are visually appealing and effective.
  • #2 – Event Secretary
    • Responsibilities: Event Secretaries will help plan speaking engagements and events while managing calendars and planners.  Speaking engagement planning involves contacting multiple institutions of higher education, social justice organizations, churches (and other places of worship), and more.  These engagements are a large source of funding for the campaign and are thus vital to its continuing operation, while also promoting the campaigns interest in educating the public about the prevalence of poverty in America.  The Event Secretary will also work with the director of PPEHRC to develop fundraising and community-building events, which will then be handed over to the media managers for advertisement.  They also organize, regularly update, and promote event calendars to prevent the conflict of event times and keep the organization running smoothly.
    • Skills: Interns will need and refine strong organizational and communication skills to work efficiently in the face of multiple tasks.  Proficient use of online calendars and frequent email usage are crucial to the position.
  • #3 – Fundraising Director
    • Responsibilities: Fundraising Directors apply to multiple sources for grants from nonprofits and charitable foundations.  In addition, they request donations from several locations to acquire food, heating units, clothing, toys for children, and more.  Moreover, when emergency funds are needed, fundraising directors work with media managers to contact as many previous donors and members as possible to secure needed funds.  They also will constantly research and develop new events and fundraising ideas to best fund the campaign.
    • Skills: Fundraising directors will learn how to write formal donation requests, process federal and state tax forms, efficiently research under pressure, and how to professionally communicate with corporate and personal donors.

Housing Cuts


Posted by Cheri Honkala on Saturday, July 29, 2017


Statement of National Council on Independent Living and National ADAPT on the Senate’s Motion to Proceed Vote


As we celebrate the 27th Anniversary of the ADA, we fight alongside our many ADAPT & NCIL friends to preserve our healthcare and Medicaid services and supports.  Today, many of our friends continue the fight in DC where they have protested through the heat and rain since Sunday evening.  Please read the statement below by the National Council of Independent Living and National ADPT on the Senate’s Motion to Proceed Vote. PPEHRC sends power, prayers and support as we stand solidarity with our friends in Washington, D.C. and across the nation.

Statement of National Council on Independent Living and National ADAPT on the Senate’s Motion to Proceed Vote

Yesterday, at the exact same time that the Senate voted to proceed on a bill that will strip disabled people of lives and liberty, approximately 250 advocates from ADAPT and the National Council on Independent Living were protesting the vote in the atrium of the Hart Senate office building. Capitol Police arrested 64 of our people.

We are disgusted that this bill has not yet died. Despite massive outpourings of opposition from the disability community and from the American people, Senate Republicans continue to want to debate a settled question: that the lives, liberty, and equality of disabled Americans are promised in the Constitution and secured in law.

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