Chrystal Ocean, coordinator. Duncan, British Columbia: Wellbeing through Inclusion Socially & Economically (WISE Society), 2005; 192 pp; ISBN: 0-9736664-0-4, paper $24.99 CA.
With rare courage and unrelenting honesty, 21 women tell their stories of living below Canada's poverty line. This unique collection paints a picture of poverty and of those living in poverty that is likely to shock and astonish. The stories, written in the women's own words, begin in childhood and provide a time line of how and why poverty happens. As readers bear silent witness to the harsh events in these women's lives, they also are treated to visions of undeniable strength. In addition to the stories, Policies of Exclusion, Poverty & Health includes two reports. The first details the dominant themes found in the stories. The second outlines the storytellers' recommendations for positive change and offers encouragement and advice to other women in poverty to "mobilize, galvanize and politicize." Together, the stories and reports contain surprises that challenge long-held assumptions about Canada's poor.
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