Building a Movement to End Poverty

Date: February 27, 2013 Time: 7:00 p.m. Location: Maxey Auditorium

Cheri Honkala poster

Anti-poverty activist and Green Party 2012 Vice Presidential Nominee Cheri Honkala offers an insider's look at leading a poor people's social movement and discusses practical, impactful ways to create social change and battle poverty.

A nationally-renowned advocate for the poor and homeless, Honkala was herself born into poverty in Minneapolis. As a teenage mother, Honkala and her son were homeless while she finished high school. After graduating, she began working to help other poverty-stricken families and ultimately became a pioneer in the modern housing takeover movement.

Honkala co-founded the Kensington Welfare Rights Union in the neighborhood of Kensington, Philadelphia; and the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign. She has organized tens of thousands of anti-poverty activists in marches and demonstrations.

In 2011, Honkala became the first woman ever to run for sheriff of Philadelphia, and the only sheriff candidate in the nation to run on a "zero foreclosure" platform, pledging that as sheriff she would refuse to evict citizens from their homes if they were foreclosed on by big banks. Honkala was named Woman of the Year by Philadelphia magazine in 1997, and in 2001 Ms. Magazine honored her with the same title. Other awards and recognitions include the Public Citizen of the Year Award by the Pennsylvania Association of Social Workers, the Letelier-Moffitt Award from the Washington Institute for Policy Studies, and the title "Hellraiser of the Month" by Mother Jones magazine in April 2005.

Sponsored by the Whitman Events Board, the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, the Sociology Department, the Politics Department, and the Office of the President.