Radio — Women organizing against poverty in Toronto

On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, organizer Liisa Schofield talks about her work with the ad hoc Downtown East Women group, which is based in a poor neighbourhood in urban Toronto. Schofield is also an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

The experience of poverty in our society is intensely gendered and racialized — that is, it disproportionately impacts people who are oppressed in ways related to gender (meaning women and trans people of all racial backgrounds) and people who are oppressed in ways related to racialization (meaning women, men, and gender non-conforming people who are people of colour or who are indigenous). Women have less access to good jobs. They tend to be responsible for significantly more unpaid labour in the home and in the community. They make less money. They have higher poverty rates. And the gendered violence that women and other gender-oppressed people experience is tightly bound up with this gendered experience of poverty. Schofield talks about the way that women and trans people in one poor neighbourhood in Toronto have periodically come together to speak out against the poverty and the interpersonal and systemic violence they face, to claim space, to make their voices heard, and to empower themselves.


Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

You can also learn more about ways to listen or go to the show’s page on To learn more about suggesting grassroots groups and organizations for future shows, click here. For details on the show’s theme music, click here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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