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

Campbell scores in OT as Leafs outlast Nitehawks 7-6

Nelson gave up three leads against rival Beaver Valley

COLUMN: Celebrate the season at Nelson’s Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre presents a program of Halloween delights

Applications sought for annual Nelson heritage award

Deadline for submissions is Oct. 30.

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Trafalgar Thunder take gold in Oliver

The Thunder knocked out the top seed in the semis en route to gold

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Most Read