Unaffordable housing and homelessness have plagued this country long before COVID-19. In 2017, on a single night, over 553,000 individuals were experiencing homelessness, while 7.4 million additional people are currently on the brink of homelessness–it’s even estimated that an average of 700 people freeze to death in a given year. But since the rise of COVID-19, people across the nation have banded together to address homelessness amid the pandemic, but these short-term solutions implemented by state and federal officials fail to fully address the needs of those who are most impacted.
And Wisconsin is no exception. Over 4,000 people were homeless in Wisconsin in 2018, and even before the pandemic, some neighborhoods in Milwaukee had an estimated 10 to 15% households evicted in a given year. Amidst this pandemic, eviction cases are expected to rise to almost 6,000 to 12,000 cases per year in places like Dane County, as a result of the short-term eviction bans implemented by Governor Evers being lifted amidst this economic crisis.
Accessible and affordable housing is a right. So how do we shift our view on homelessness and eviction to begin working within our communities to implement sustainable long-term solutions to this crisis? How do we shift our goals to organizing with and among the poor? Join the discussion with:
Willie Baptist, formerly homeless father of three who came out of the Watts Uprisings and Black Student Movement, author of books such as Pedagogy of the Poor, educator, Poverty Initiative Scholar-in-Residence and Co-Coordinator of Poverty Scholarship and Leadership Development for the Kairos Center
Kristin Colangelo, formerly homeless mother of three, coordinator of the University of the Poor’s Homeless Union History Project and Co-Chair of Political Education for the New Jersey Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada,
And members of the Wisconsin Poor People’s Campaign, including Rev. Colin Douglas and Natalia Fajardo
Our title is a reference of one of the many slogans from the National Union of the Homelessness, and with it, we refuse to accept a country and society that worships a homeless man on Sunday and ignores him on Monday–we’re changing the moral narrative, and taking a deep look at organizing and mobilizing.
Zoom link will be sent out following registration.
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ABOUT THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN: A NATIONAL CALL FOR MORAL REVIVAL
In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America. They sought to build a broad, fusion movement that could unite poor and impacted communities across the country. Their name was a direct cry from the underside of history: The Poor People’s Campaign.
Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this unfinished work. From Alaska to Arkansas, the Bronx to the border, people are coming together to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. We understand that as a nation we are at a critical juncture — that we need a movement that will shift the moral narrative, impact policies and elections at every level of government, and build lasting power for poor and impacted people.