WTEP strives to be a safe and accountable space in which relationships are based on trust, consideration, humanity, inclusive behavior, and compassion.
We recognize the importance of diversity, lived experiences of poverty, intersectionality and anti-racism.
We value education and learning, shared responsibilities and participation, social occasions, fun and laughter.
We Believe That
- Charity does not solve the root causes of poverty
- To understand the root causes of poverty we need to examine our society from many different perspectives including but not limited to: gender, race, class, ability, age and sexual orientation
- Diverse voices of lived experiences need to be center to making change
- The concentration of wealth in a few hands, locally and globally, and the continued existence of patriarchal and classist attitudes and practices are fundamental causes of poverty
- Working for permanent systemic changes in our political, economic and social systems to improve the lives of those living in poverty benefits everyone
‘To have and have not – that’s the system’ – Graffitti in London, England
Our Understanding of Poverty
People can live in poverty or become poor and be without the means to sustain oneself and one’s family at acceptable levels of health, security, dignity, social status, and opportunities to participate positively in society.
The lack of money, lack of income, lack of work and lack of prospects to obtain an income are the primary causes of poverty in societies and countries under our 21st Century economic system. These are the impact of government policies and systemic barriers, that further impair a person’s ability to improve their economic condition, making it hard to get out of poverty once a person has a low income.
The social effects of a person experiencing such lack of income include stigmatization and perception of their being less worthy as a person, and further exclusion from participation in society. A person internalizing these attitudes may give up on themselves, not believing they are worthy of improving their condition.
Poverty is not a lack of abilities, and not the fault of the person who has become poor. Circumstances, physical or mental illnesses, natural disasters and economic forces beyond an individual’s control may occur, that may put anyone into a temporary or permanent state of poverty regardless of education or professional status prior to those events.
We urge Calgarians and all Canadians to end poverty. When poverty is eliminated, there will be:
- Dignity for all
- Fair social systems and a fair economy
- Basic human needs met with access to housing, food, clothing, transportation, communication (internet, smart phones etc.) and other basic needs
- Individuals and countries with higher income will no longer be able to oppress others
- Ability to say ‘no’ to unsafe relationships and employment and/or low wages
- Decreased health costs
- Decreased policing and justice costs
- Increased productivity from more community inclusion.
- Affordable Housing, social housing, mixed tenancy and co-op housing programs
- Stronger protection for tenants and rent control
- Universal accessible childcare
We all have the right to the dignity and autonomy afforded by a healthy and safe home. WTEP
- Living wages for all, including those living on social assistance
- Quality support for the most vulnerable in our society so they can live fulfilling lives
- Redistribution of wealth through tax reform so that corporations and the very wealthy pay their fair share
- Electoral reform in Alberta – proportional representation
‘We kill when we close our eyes to poverty, affliction, or infamy. We kill when, because it is easier, we countenance, or pretend to approve of atrophied social, political, educational, and religious institutions, instead of resolutely combating them.’
Our History and Activities
- WTEP was formed in early 2008 by women who met during the Poverty Talks Project (originally met as Women Together Ending Poverty (WTEP)
- In 2018, we worked to become more inclusive of people with diverse gender identities. Hence our membership welcomes all who identify as women and non-binary. To reflect this change our name is now We’re Together Ending Poverty (WTEP)
- We develop our mission, beliefs and demands around focusing our work on a range of issues and activities
- WTEP has organized a number of workshops: affordable housing, tenant’s rights, the capitalist economy and economic equity, artificial austerity in Alberta, Guaranteed Annual Income (GAT); racism, classism and other forms of oppression; the former flat tax system in Alberta
- WTEP organized two anti-poverty petition campaigns and launched these with an IWD rally
- WTEP has spoken to the media, to government, in classrooms and at an number of rallies; and have written statements on a range of issues, eg. the criminalization of poverty
- WTEP has collaborated with other organizations in a variety of initiatives: The Women Rising Conference, Fairer Taxes Alberta Network and the fight for $15/hr wage campaign
- WTEP has participated in art-making projects
- WTEP assisted with The Women Rising Conference
- WTEP produced a video called Stories from the Shelter which was viewed at the All Our Sisters conference in Ontario
- WTEP recently participated in a stakeholder discussion on issues impacting low income women hosted by the Alberta Status of Women in 2018
- WTEP members are active participants in the Renters’ Action Movement (RAM) and the Calgary Anti-Oppression Network
Join us the second Thursday of each month from 6 – 8 pm
Meeting locations are announced via email and are currently on Zoom
We welcome all who self-identify as women, trans and non-binary
We promote communication through our facebook page and this website