photos: Top: Vendor Stephen Scott in action selling the Hope in Shadows calendar and—new this year—a set of notecards. Photo by Jason Sakaki.

Bring on 2022... we've got plans

Megaphone is building on the momentum of our successes this year to create even more opportunities for people with lived experience of poverty

Get on your megaphone

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Inexplicably, we’re in the final stretch of 2021. Almost a full year is behind us, and the new year is just around the corner. 

While we’re not ready to say goodbye to 2021 just yet, we already have big plans for 2022, and we’re calling on you to help us make them a reality. 

November marks the launch of Megaphone’s winter fundraising campaign and there is no better time to give you a refresher on all the work we do every year, and a preview of some special things to come.

Megaphone started with the ambition of giving people experiencing poverty an opportunity to earn money through a publication that inspires, entertains and informs the public about social issues affecting their communities. Over time, we’ve expanded on these aspirations, by offering more platforms for self-determined expression, while building broad-based support to end poverty and homelessness, with projects such as Voices of the Street, Hope in Shadows and the Speakers Bureau. 

In any given year, we can work with up to 175 peers who contribute to our publications and participate in our vendor program, Speakers Bureau, writing workshops and community photo contest. So far in 2021, Megaphone has trained 89 vendors, offered more than 75 publishing opportunities, as well as supported and provided 30 paid speaking opportunities to peer storytellers. 

Across these programs, vendors, writers and speakers are earning extra income with dignity. This year, we have paid more than $45,000 in honoraria for contributions to the calendar, magazine and Speakers Bureau, and vendors have earned approximately $43,000 from selling Megaphone products. 

Beyond the numbers, Megaphone creates programs that can meet people where they are at to give them an opportunity to earn an income doing work that is validating—because it is informed by their experiences. We strive for our programs to be spaces for people to tell their own stories, unmediated by the bias and stigma that so often tinge reporting on marginalized communities.

In 2022, we want to build on this work—not by making our programs bigger and flashier, but by digging deeper and creating even more opportunities for people with lived experiences of poverty to have a say in the stories that are being told about their communities.

This coming year, we want to establish an advisory board comprised of peers with lived experiences of poverty, homelessness, mental and physical disability, survival sex work, drug use and other experiences relevant to our work and community. The board of peers will be compensated for their time and wisdom as they give input on our editorial work, program operations and organizational policies. 

We’re also building on the momentum of the pilot Community Journalism Mentorship Program that we launched this year. In 2021, two Megaphone peers received one-on-one journalism training, mentorship and publication opportunities in Megaphone magazine, and a scholarship to attend Langara College’s Fundamentals of Journalism course. If we reach our fundraising goals, we can remount the program in 2022, and grow the roster of peers with lived experience who regularly report for Megaphone. 

And, after a long COVID-19 hiatus, we are looking to bring back popular events and programs in 2022, such as our Voices of the Street reading event and publication launch, and Community Journalism 101, a five-week course that teaches the basics of journalism and is open to anyone in the community.

This is just a sampling of what we have planned for the coming year, and we can’t do it without your help. Megaphone is a small and plucky organization, and every dollar you contribute will help us realize our goals in 2022.  

Want to be part of change that works? Megaphone needs to raise $35,000 by Dec. 31 so that we can continue to provide low-barrier economicand self-determined creative expression opportunities to vendors, writers, photographers and storytellers experiencing poverty and homelessness. Please consider a tax-deductible gift before our year-end deadline at or use the pre-paid envelope you’ll find between pages 16-17 of the November and December editions of Megaphone magazine to send a cheque to Hope in Shadows Society.

At top: Megaphone vendor Paul Shawdover and furry friend Megalove enjoy some fun in the sun at Megaphone's 2021 summer barbecue. File photo.


Get on your megaphone

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