In 2014, Calgary's Ambrose University embarked on a bold vision: to develop a national academic institute dedicated to the eradication of poverty in Canada. This was the genesis of the Canadian Poverty Institute (CPI) whose mission is “to contribute to the healing of poverty through teaching, research and public education that informs policy and enhances practice.”
With a core staff team and a network of faculty associates, the Canadian Poverty Institute advances a three-fold agenda:
- Research: leading and supporting various research initiatives to advance our collective understanding about the meaning, root causes and impacts of poverty in Canada. A key aspect of the CPI’s research agenda is knowledge mobilization and it looks forward to launching a national Poverty Hub in 2016.
- Teaching: providing opportunities for students and professionals to study and learn about poverty. Ambrose University offers a minor in Poverty Studies and is excited about launching its Summer Institute in 2017. The CPI also offers study opportunities at the graduate level, including an upcoming intensive course in Human Rights and Poverty to be instructed by leading human rights expert Leilani Farha.
- Public Education: engaging the public in a dialogue about poverty. The CPI organizes workshops, public lectures and roundtables that advance our collective understanding of poverty in our communities. In September, the CPI is pleased to welcome Peter Block, John McKnight and Walter Brueggemann in a live video conversation discussing their most recent book An Other Kingdom.
Supported by a pan-Canadian advisory committee, the Canadian Poverty Institute strives to be an active supporter and resource to the many individuals and organizations across the country working diligently to end poverty in Canada. The CPI’s Director, Derek Cook, says “Poverty is not a problem to be fixed, but a wound to be healed. Working together we can heal this wound that scars us all.” The Canadian Poverty Institute is a member of Vibrant Communities.