I worked with PovNet's founder, Penny Goldsmith, to create a book of graphic stories that explores the stories of advocates and activists in BC and the building of an online anti-poverty community.
Penny and I worked together to interview advocates and activists, and to edit and write their stories. I drew portraits, illustrations, and four comics for the book. Nicole Marie Burton helped design a timeline and drew additional illustrations.
The book includes a story told to us by Jean Swanson about what it was like to organize before the internet, a story of farmworkers and community workers in the Fraser Valley, and an interview I did with Bev Collinson, an advocate in my own community on Haida Gwaii who has done legal advocacy and restorative justice work for almost 30 years.
I also wrote and drew a story about an advocate in Bella Coola who started the first advocacy program in her community to help people apply for welfare, disability and pensions. She had lots to say about her work as an advocate and the connections to a broader movement for social justice. She says:
The law shrouds everything. And yet most people walk through these circumstances in their lives without knowing about it. It's part of my political imperative to inform and educate people about the law because it impacts their lives whether it is claiming Employment Insurance, dealing with a police officer, or protecting their kids from family violence.
I have legal training, good legal training and I've got good advocate skills so I'm able to walk through this stuff with people.
It's about mutual aid I guess, self help, this is how we can support each other. This is what I do.