Hosted by the Social Development Centre of Waterloo Region and the Waterloo Region District School Board.

Number of Participants: 15 including school personnel, vice-principals, principals, community members and agency representatives. It was noted that representation from rural community members would be an asset for future meetings.

  • The need to eliminate fundraising and schools fees was a major topic of discussion. From this conversation issues around the stigma associated with not having access to resources was raised.
  • Community members expressed concern that teachers and administrators do not have an understanding of how poverty impacts people. This led to a discussion on white privilege and the privilege of higher education.
  • It was recognized that although schools have active equity and inclusion committees they have yet to really address poverty.
  • Need to look for ways that parents and students are already connected in the community and engage them in relevant ways.
  • An interesting observation from the meeting was that there is underlying tension that people feel when discussing topics such as poverty that make it difficult to speak openly about the subject especially when people are not at any risk of being in poverty.