Women's conference for hope
By Maija Ambrogio
On Oct. 3, Brescia College will play host to the first ever Sketching Social Hope for Women a conference for hard times designed to bring together low-income women, academics and members of the community.
Helene Cummins, assistant professor of sociology at Brescia and organizer of the event, said this conference will allow for discussion on the surmounting challenges and barriers faced by women who are experiencing poverty.
Cummins said the conference, starting Friday and continuing to Saturday, has been in the developmental stages for over a year and is based on research of unemployment and poverty by Patrick Burman, head of sociology at Brescia.
Through Burman's research and experience in the community, he found evidence that social hope that is derived from the success of people coming together is present in society and is needed to address the feeling of despair felt by women struggling with poverty and its limitations.
"Women living in poverty, especially single mothers, have more disadvantages within the community than men and therefore need different solutions and different strategies," Burman said.
The conference is geared towards finding these solutions and developing strategies for low-income women by inviting all participants to attend realistic, practical and useful workshops on using anger positively, the use of community kitchens, self-employment and decent housing, Cummins said.
Along with the workshops, Marion Boyd, Member of Provincial Parliament for London, has been invited as a keynote speaker to address participants at the beginning of the conference and before concluding.
To attend the Sketching Social Hope conference, costs range from $38 to $50. Organizers stress funding is available for those interested in attending but unable to afford the registration cost. In addition, transportation and child-care is free of charge for those in need.