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Reflections on the Cities Reducing Poverty Members' Gathering

Posted on February 14, 2020
By Kristen Immel

Attending the Cities Reducing Poverty Conference in 2019 was an experience to remember! I attended on behalf of the Town of Cochrane, Alberta with a fellow co-worker. There were several impactful takeaways from the event, one being, the importance and value in engaging and recognizing people with lived experienced. 

Tamarack had included people with lived experience at the conference in several ways, whether this was through the speakers themselves, or participants attending the workshops. This provided the opportunity and space to hear these invaluable perspectives. I really appreciate the commitment that Tamarack has made to include these essential voices. 

I was also inspired by the theme of positive communication. It is very easy to talk about what is lacking in our communities and focus on the gaps or issues. Several workshops emphasized the importance of building on the assets and strengths in our communities. It was mentioned that this is done by being in tune to the needs of the population, taking the time to engage with residents in a variety of ways demonstrating active participation and accessible support to the community members we serve.

Lastly, to end with a quote, one that stuck with me was said by Vibrant Communities Hawaii Island: “If you know more than 50% of the voices in the room, you are not doing right”; this is particularly relevant in rural settings and this is a learning I continuously come back to while working in Cochrane.

Looking forward to connecting, learning and growing this year at the annual conference in Calgary, The End of Poverty! 

Coming Soon…The Launch of Cities Reducing Poverty End of Poverty SUMMIT on October 14-16th

Cities Reducing Poverty, Lived Experience

Kristen Immel

By Kristen Immel

Kristen Immel works for the Town of Cochrane within the Family and Community Support Services division. She is a Community Liaison and Programmer focusing on Community Wellness initiatives. She holds a Bachelors of Social Work and a Masters in Environment and Sustainability. Kristen worked for a number of years as an outreach social worker, her passion for prevention has led her to her current role in community development.

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