Community Matters: March 2023
Note: This is excerpted from the March 2023 edition of our Community Matters publication.
Welcome to the Spring Edition of our quarterly publication, Community Matters.
Community Matters aims to inform the community about social issues that impact citizens and connect the dots between social issues, evidence, and policy. We aim to use this space to give a voice to local agencies, ESPC volunteer writers, and staff members alike.
Each edition spotlights a specific social issue and demonstrates the intersectional nature and impacts on equality. Our goal is to use evidence and the voices of the people as we continue to inform on the issues affecting individuals, families and our community.
For the current edition, we are focusing on literacy in all its forms. When it comes to the work around poverty reduction and elimination, just as food security, housing security, income security, and others are integral strategies, so too is literacy and the positive impact it has on alleviating poverty. There is great work happening in our community around literacy, but part of affecting change is continuing to keep the conversation going.
Literacy in its many forms, impacts nearly all facets of our lives and this issue of Community Matters strives to touch upon some of the varying intersections that literacy takes. This includes articles on digital literacy, cultural literacy, health literacy, physical literacy, legal literacy, as well as policy literacy and impacts on the wider educational system. All of these provide illumination on the various ways in which literacy is so crucial to navigating our complex society and how it helps people thrive.
Improving literacy rates for marginalized populations means you are more likely to find and keep a job, attain education (particularly higher education), and participate meaningfully in communities and, more broadly, in democracy. With improved literacy rates comes a more empowered, educated, and healthier society.
In Canada, nearly half (49%) of the adult population struggles to some extent with literacy, and we must work towards closing this gap.
We hope these articles bring about more attention to the ways in which attaining these different types of literacy helps to build a community in which all people are full and valued participants.
-Susan Morrissey, Executive Director