What does the Speakers’ Bureau do?
- Speak to religious and civic groups, youth, and service clubs about
issues surrounding poverty
- Dispel myths/stereotypes
- Educate people
- Personalize, individualize and put a “face” on poverty, homelessness and the underhoused.
We are currently in the process of recruiting and training speakers for the Speakers’ Bureau. If you have faced or are currently facing homelessness, being underhoused, or extreme poverty and are interested in being a part of the Speakers’ Bureau, please email email@example.com or call our office at (775) 453-6137.
The mission of the Speakers’ Bureau is to provide a forum for people who have lived in a weekly motel, experienced homelessness, or faced extreme poverty to share their personal stories with others; to show who becomes homeless and why; to foster a greater awareness of the reality of being poor in America; and to spark interest in becoming involved in the struggle to end poverty on both a local and a national level.
Public perceptions and attitudes toward low-income folks need to change in order for a positive, long-term solution to be realized. Members of the Speakers’ Bureau play an important part in educating people today by breaking down those stereotypes and that many people have about those experiencing homelessness.
The Speakers’ Bureau gives audience members an opportunity to:
- Put a human face on poverty. Most people have never had a conversation with a homeless or marginally-housed person and so they have not heard why that particular individual faces poverty.
- Hear a personal story, ask questions, and learn about the various issues surrounding poverty and hopefully in the process educate themselves.
- Build bridges with people experiencing poverty.
- Challenge the myths of extreme poverty so that they may understand its realities.
- Educate their community about poverty by CARE-ing (Contribute, Advocate, Reach Out, and Educate).
- Challenge themselves to end poverty in America.
The Speakers’ Bureau gives speakers an opportunity to:
- Let their voices truly be heard
- Play a key role in breaking down myths/stereotypes, as well as educating the public about the realities of poverty.
- To share their stories, provide insight, thoughts, and ideas related to poverty and what individuals can do to make a difference.
- Speak to youth from different ethnic, religious, economic and cultural backgrounds.
- To empower others to action.
The standard presentation format includes a discussion of statistics and stereotypes by the moderator, showing a video, speakers sharing their personal stories and a Q&A session. Each panel will last approximately 1-2 hours depending on the needs of the intended audience.
- Introduction: statistics and stereotypes
- Short video
- Panelists share their stories
- Discuss reports, legislation, and ways to get involved
Each speaker will receive a $50 honorarium for local speaking engagements, which includes travel costs. We ask that congregations and organizations cover as much of these honorariums as possible.
The Speakers’ Bureau resources and concept was provided by the National Coalition for the Homeless.