Publications, opinions, and speeches
New focus, new look, new direction
Published on 27/04/2016
Maytree’s logo and tagline have changed. Our communications pieces, such as the website, newsletter and letterhead, have a new look. This visual change is another milestone on the journey that we started a year and a half ago when I joined the organization as president.
Our logo combines a strong “M”, representing Maytree’s determined presence in anti-poverty work; a red maple leaf, locating us proudly as Canadians working on the universal issue of poverty; and the tagline, Poverty • Rights • Change, signalling the approach we are taking to our work.
Many who have worked with Maytree in the past will know that our focus on poverty is not new. From our beginning almost 35 years ago, we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating solutions to poverty.
So what has changed?
In this next phase of our evolution, we are bringing a human rights approach to our poverty reduction work. For us here at Maytree, poverty is not a choice for those who experience it, rather it is one that we make as a society. By allowing our economic and social systems to perpetuate poverty, we are denying people’s human rights. For us, there’s a clear connection between eliminating poverty and protecting human rights.
Protecting the rights of all people living in Canada will therefore be one of the most enduring ways to fix the systems that create poverty.
Some of our priorities over the next few years include building a human rights culture in Canada and deepening it by establishing the case for the inclusion of economic and social rights in the poverty reduction work of governments and civil society. As well, we will focus on developing and promoting policy ideas that address the systemic causes of poverty and provide solutions to protect economic and social rights.
One example of our work in this field so far is our participation in Canada’s review by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In our submission to the committee we made recommendations on how cities in Canada could become key stakeholders and participants in delivering on Canada’s obligations as a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We’re also engaged in several initiatives that focus on better access to affordable housing. This work includes the development of policy options and direct investment in projects that will improve housing affordability for people and strengthen communities.
Another commitment is to ensure that people with lived experience are engaged in the process of finding solutions to poverty – an important aspect to any rights-based approach to poverty reduction. This will help strengthen the connections between civic communities, people with lived experience, and institutions to address poverty and build a culture of rights.
Maytree has always valued working with others, listening to the voices of communities to understand their most pressing needs and priorities. As a small charitable organization, we realized a long time ago that to have impact, we can’t do it alone. We’ve worked with governments of all levels because they are central in creating solutions to poverty. At the same time, we’ve emphasized the importance of collaboration and working with partners including civil society organizations, policy advisors, major institutions, and people with lived experience of poverty. It is only by working together that we can build strong and vital communities.
While a new logo and tagline will never bring about change, they are one more step on our journey. Our focus on poverty, rights and change will be a long road, and we hope that you will continue on this path with us.