Profiles of Courage launched at Nelson United

Community gathers at Nelson United Church to hear stories from the locally impoverished

Profiles in Courage calendar project organizer Morgan Gould holds up a microphone for photographer Michael Donaldson

Morgan Gould wasn’t planning to share during the calendar launch for Profiles of Courage on Sunday evening, but after hearing some of the testimonies coming from impoverished local citizens he decided he had to speak up.

“Social standing is a construct, and it’s a false one,” Gould said.

“And I think we need to be working on tearing down that construct. There’s nothing that separates us, and it definitely shouldn’t be money or lack of money that divides us.”

He’s sick of hearing critiques levelled at Nelson’s most vulnerable, and frustrated by the lack of empathy coming from people in higher income brackets.

“I don’t want to hear: ‘if you can’t afford to live here, leave.’ That’s not community.”

That was a sentiment seconded by Andrea Bell, a long-time resident who attended the meeting and shared her own housing woes with the audience. She doesn’t believe the housing crisis can’t be addressed, and called for residents to be proactive.

“You hear people say ‘that’s just the way it is in Nelson’ but I disagree that we don’t have the ability to change that. I think there’s a huge amount of support here but there needs to be more dialogue on how we can work together.”

This year’s calendar features images from Nelson residents in poverty, many who wished to remain anonymous, but organizer Bernadette White said the process was cathartic for them.

“At first nobody wanted to be identified, but by the time it began to come to fruition I heard: ‘I think I’m okay with this’. They showed real courage.”

Indeed many of the photographers stood to be recognized during the launch, and received a standing ovation from the crowd. And according to White it’s the community recognition, not financial aid, that’s most important.

“What matters to me is everyone in this room, regardless of social standing,” she said, encouraging people to offer a smile or a kind word even if there’s nothing else to offer.

Profiles of Courage is now for sale, and the images inside will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at Touchstones Museum.

Organizers are also anticipating the launch of a blog site in November that will give another outlet to participants to share their voice.

“I give a damn and I hope other people can just be kind,” said White.

 

Just Posted

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

KAST receives $15,000 for inclusive programs at Nelson Tech Club

‘These programs will be a perfect introduction to using technology’

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

Police investigating felling of old cedars at Cottonwood Lake

One of the cedars was 300 to 450 years old

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Most Read