Megaphone envisions a thriving, equitable society that values all voices.
Megaphone changes the story on poverty by promoting social equity, amplifying marginalized voices, and creating meaningful work.
Equity: Megaphone works towards undoing social and economic barriers by creating programs that prioritize peer leadership, inclusivity, safety, and agency.
Meaningful Work: Megaphone provides low-barrier and accessible opportunities for skills building, growth and fair compensation to change the narrative around poverty and intersecting marginalizations.
Compassionate Connection: Megaphone fosters empathetic and open dialogue that connects people across social experiences, creating a deeper understanding of poverty while ensuring the safety of the most vulnerable in our community.
Storytelling: Megaphone believes storytelling leads to meaningful change. We promote journalism and creative self-expression that challenge stereotypes, humanize complex social issues, and empower marginalized voices.
Reciprocity: Megaphone collaborates with peers and community partners to keep us accountable and ensure we are operating in a non-extractive way.
Resilience: Megaphone works toward the long-term viability and stability of our programs, so we can be a thriving space for community engagement and empowerment.
How it works
Vendors buy each magazine for 75 cents and sell it to customers for $2. They buy each calendar for $10 and sell it for $20. They buy each Voices of the Street poetry book for $5 and sell it for $10. Vendors keep the profit from every sale.
By selling Megaphone magazine, Megaphone’s Hope in Shadows calendar, and the VOTS poetry book, vendors build skills, gain a sense of pride, make community connections, and earn money to meet their basic needs.
Each year, more than 175 people experiencing poverty earn income working as Megaphone vendors. Many vendors live with barriers to traditional employment—homelessness, addiction, mental and physical health challenges, and more. Selling the paper offers vendors a voice in their community, a sense of pride and a much-needed flexible source of income.
Megaphone produces high-quality media focused on community, social justice, and independent culture in Vancouver and Victoria. Our vendors sell the monthly Megaphone magazine, annual Hope in Shadows calendar, and special Voices of the Street literary edition. All products are published by professional journalists and designers, and explore stories that connect us. Our publications amplify the stories and perspectives of people marginalized by poverty, and regularly feature writing and photography from our vendors, writing workshop participants, and low-income community members.
Amplifying Marginalized Voices
Megaphone amplifies marginalized voices through writing, photography and public dialogue. Sharing our stories has the power to make change: it connects us to each other. Participants have the opportunity to express themselves and audiences hear powerful insights into lived experiences of poverty and marginalization. We run a series of writing workshops for marginalized writers in Vancouver, and publish marginalized writers. The annual Hope in Shadows photography contest hosts workshops for vendors, whose photo entries make up Megaphone’s annual calendar. Megaphone hosts a Speakers Bureau on mental health, addiction, and poverty, and convenes public conversations that amplify the voices of people in poverty. By sharing stories, we build understanding that bridges the divides of economic class and life experience.
Building Power to Make Change
The Megaphone community works together to advocate for communities where we all have a home, we all can contribute, and we all can earn a decent living. Megaphone’s homeless and low-income vendors, staff, readers, and donors support opportunity, journalism and community action to build inclusive communities.