Saturday, September 08, 2007

Race and poverty

A recent Toronto Star article gave details about the launching of a new project called 'Colour of Poverty'. The group chose Thorncliffe Park to kick off it's awareness campaign and a quote from a separate article, found in the East York Mirror, caught my attention:
The federally funded network, a coalition of grassroots agencies representing African, Chinese, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Spanish-speaking communities, deliberately selected the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office to launch its Colour of Poverty Campaign.

"We have chosen this neighbourhood because it is one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto," Go said. "The needs in this neighbourhood are great."
Later on in the article the group showed statistics on immigrant poverty
At the same time, the traditional pattern of new immigrants initially struggling before finding success is collapsing. Poverty among people of colour now extends for generations after they settle in Canada, Shakir said...
- Thirty-seven per cent of Toronto families come from non-European backgrounds, but make up 59 per cent of the city's poor families;
- In Toronto, the number of immigrants who are poor grew by 125 per cent between 1981 and 2001;
- Thirty-two per cent of children in "racialized" families and 47 per cent of children of recent immigrants live in poverty
I wondered as I read this what churches are doing to help those who are new to our country. How about your church? Are there visible minorities represented? Is your church making an effort to reach out, help with English, settlement and simple friendship. Does your church have programs to help new immigrants? Or has your church ignored these people? Are people in your church moving farther and farther away from areas where new immigrants live? I pray that more and more people would move down into areas like Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park, Scarborough, etc. As the article states "The needs in this neighbourhood are great."

No comments: