Welcome to our monthly update about First Call’s advocacy work and key developments in child and youth policy in BC.
Highlights this month include:
- Last Chance! Feb 28 First Call Fundraising Gala
- Join First Call Visioning Session at Upcoming Coalition Meeting
- What’s New With Fostering Change
- Representative of Children and Youth Attends Coalition Meeting
- Updates From Living Wage For Families Campaign
Read on to learn more!
Yours for children and youth,
Adrienne, Helesia, Dylan, Halena, Leila, and Emily
LAST CHANCE! FEB 28 FIRST CALL FUNDRAISING GALA
You are invited to join First Call on the evening of February 28, 2019, and enjoy words from Michael Redhead Champagne, accomplished speaker and an award-winning community organizer, public speaker, and a proud member of Shamattawa First Nation.
Our annual fundraising galas are an occasion to celebrate our child and youth advocacy as well as to raise much-needed funds to ensure we can continue to put BC’s children and youth first.
JOIN FIRST CALL VISIONING SESSION AT UPCOMING COALITION MEETING
First Call is starting a strategic planning process in the coming months and we invite you to attend our next Coalition Meeting on Wednesday February 13 from 9:15-11am at the BCTF to participate. We look forward to discussing the issues impacting children, youth and families emerging in your work and organizations, the strengths of First Call’s work in the past 1-3 years, and the opportunities to build the coalition in the next few years. All are encouraged to attend and share your individual and organizational perspectives.
If you are unable to attend, there will be other opportunities for you to participate in our visioning process. Click here for more information about our meeting and to access the agenda.
WHAT’S NEW WITH FOSTERING CHANGE
Fostering Change has had a quiet but fun few weeks. At our last meeting, we collaborated with Organize BC and other trainers to engage strategic relationships and set our campaign timeline for the year. Through this, we are excited to announce a new hire! Our second Campaign Organizer will start next week to support with direction and administration of the Fostering Change campaign, working alongside Dylan to fight injustices and push for improvements within the child welfare system. We’re convening the Fostering Change Community Organizers to set actions for the year. Stay tuned on how to get involved!
REPRESENTATIVE OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH ATTENDS COALITION MEETING
At our January 9 Coalition Meeting, we kicked off 2019 with a presentation from Jennifer Charlesworth, British Columbia’s Representative for Children and Youth. We heard from Jennifer about the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY)’s office, including priorities, recent and upcoming reports, ongoing projects, and shifts in their strategies. Jennifer answered questions from those in attendance and we are grateful she took time to attend our meeting. Click here for meeting minutes or click here for her presentation slides.
UPDATES FROM LIVING WAGE FOR FAMILIES CAMPAIGN
In January, the Living Wage for Families Campaign’s Employers Committee certified 16 new Living Wage Employers. We’ve now reached an exciting total of 146 Living Wage Employers in BC! We’re looking forward to reaching the 150 mark, and beyond, once we release our 2019 living wage rates at the end of April. Read more about the newest Living Wage Employers on our blog.
The Campaign also reconvened our Municipal Committee, which meets to strategize on living wage campaigns with local governments across the province. We are now identifying key targets for 2019 and beginning to build local campaigns. To learn more and get involved, email Halena at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Living Wage for Families’ Participatory Action Research project about the impacts of low wage work on individuals and families is underway and Leila, the new research coordinator is settling into her role. The research committee met in January to discuss next steps, which include bringing on project advisory committee members with experiences of working poverty.
FIRST CALL OUT AND ABOUT
Helesia, Communications and Development Coordinator, and Halena, Living Wage for Families Campaign Organizer, co-hosted a table at the Canadian Labour Congress Pacific Region Winter School at Harrison Hot Springs. They met 200 engaged labour leaders interested in growing our advocacy and campaigns. Halena did two presentations on the Living Wage for Families Campaign.
Adrienne, Provincial Coordinator, spoke to youth from Check Your Head about how to use research data for policy advocacy. She also presented to 90 BCIT Nursing students about First Call and our 2018 Child Poverty Report Card data and recommendations.
Dylan, Fostering Change Community Organizer, joined Adrienne in presenting to the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition about their work.
FIRST CALL IN THE NEWS
StarMetro Vancouver: B.C. expands access to prescription drugs for low income families
The Education Leader: New Westminster School District Launches Ground-Breaking Lunch Program