A speaker with a powerful message about ending poverty
email@example.com or call 800-691-68888 about bringing Cheri Honkala to your city.
"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?"
Watch video of police Brutality in New Orleans after a peaceful rally at St. Bernard Housing Development on Saturday, December 15, 2007. Two Housing Activists, JR and Cheri Honkala, and an independent filmmaker, were arrested without provocation. Footage from Mavis Yorks
Watch "Homeless Hero": The Story of One of the 12 Most Endangered Activists in America. "Homeless Hero" tells the story of Cheri Honkala's rise from homelessness to the leadership of a growing movement in America.
The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign is preparing to lead a
people's march in Minneapolis City during the Republican
to the United Nations about ending poverty in America
set up "Bushville,"
a national Tent City, to fight for their economic human rights in the year 2000
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
- 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.
- 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.
In June of
Honkala and other members of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union,
the March for Our Lives from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia
United Nations in New York to protest human rights violations in the
caused by welfare reform. She and other members and supporters
off a year long Economic Human Rights Campaign in honor of the 50th
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Activities during this
for freedom from unemployment, hunger and homelessness, centered on
documentation of economic human rights abuses committed within the U.S.
as a result of welfare reform. The campaign had a kick off with the
of the Americas from Washington D.C. to the United Nations.
included people from Canada and Latin America.