As the Government Shutdown and Sequestration Cuts Impact the Most Vulnerable in America

Testimonies of People Living in Poverty will Challenge Dominant Narratives

October 1820th, 2013 the international World Courts of Women (WCW)[1] will be held in Kensington, Philadelphia. Hosting the Courts will be the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC), a coalition of grassroots organizations, community groups, and non-profit organizations committed to uniting the poor across color lines as the basis for a broad movement to abolish poverty[2].

The WCW in Philadelphia will feature public hearings documenting the personal testimonies of struggle and survival from Americans living in poverty. Traveling from several states, they are scheduled to testify in front of a panel of prominent local and national jurors in order to break the silence on poverty as a violation of both women’s rights and of human rights.

“Just as the Slave Narratives were critical for abolitionists in ending legal slavery it is necessary for us modern poverty abolitionists to share the stories of those affected by the violent conditions produced by poverty.”, says Cheri Honkala, Director of PPEHRC.

The WCW coming to Philadelphia is timely. The government shutdown and the ongoing sequestration cuts to vital programs for the poor such as Food Stamps (SNAP)[3], WIC[4], and Head Start[5] harm those at the furthest margins of society as poverty continues to rise[6] even higher than official government measurements according some experts[7].

The WCW began in 1992 and there have been 37 courts held worldwide. The World Courts of Women on Poverty will be held at West Kensington Ministries at Norris Square (2140 N. Hancock St.) October 18-20th. More details and a schedule of events can be found at