A speaker with a powerful message about ending poverty
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"We the poor of the world have the will to end poverty."
-- Cheri Honkala, Director, Kensington Welfare Rights Union
Cheri Honkala is the National Coordinator for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. She speaks worldwide about the struggle against poverty in the U.S., and the denial of basic economic human rights. She says, “And who better to change this than those that live within my country?"
Accomplishments of Cheri Honkala:
- National Coordinator, Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign
- Named among the region's 100 most powerful men and women by
The Philadelphia Weekly
- Named "Woman of the Year" by the Philadelphia Weekly
- Featured in the award-winning documentary, "Poverty
- Described in the book, "Myth of the Welfare Queen," by
Pulitzer Prize winning author David Zuchino
- A leader of a march of over 10,000 people during the
Republican National Convention, 2000
- Spoke to
148 governments at the United Nations about ending poverty in America
- A leader of the March of the Americas, the World Summit of
the Poor, and a 125-mile march of homeless and poor from the Liberty
Bell in Philadelphia to the United Nations to protest welfare reform
and poverty as a violation of economic human rights.
- The only welfare recipient allowed to testify to the U.S.
Congress on welfare cuts.
- Served on the boards of many national organizations
including the Urban-Rural Mission, the Reproductive Health Technologies
Project, Pennsylvanians for Choice, the Alliance of Native Americans,
and the Annie Smart Leadership Development Project.
- Refused to sign the Pennsylvania Agreement of Mutual
responsibility (AMR on behalf of all welfare recipients on the grounds
that without adequate guarantees of childcare, healthcare, and jobs at
a living wage, the AMR is an unfair contract.) She was sanctioned from
- Single mom, formerly homeless, recipient of numerous awards
for her leadership in the struggle to end poverty. Mother and son (the
Webber,) lived on the streets homeless, using their experience to
organize the poor. Playwright of "Taking it Back," a one-person play
about her life pregnant and homeless.
- Cheri Honkala was a Vice Presidential candidate for the Green Party in 2014.