In Our Own Voices Writing Project


The Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group is launching the In Our Own Voices writing project in June 2011.  After a six-week period of intensive writing, we are ready to share our stories about hope, struggle, love and resistance in the Downtown Eastside.

During the month of June 2011, you will find twelve exclusive stories from In Our Own Voices on the Vancouver Media Co-op. A new story will be posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday starting on June 6th. Week one will feature the journeys that have brought women to the Downtown Eastside, week two will draw attention to child apprehension and violence against women, week three will explore daily life – from working the street to police brutality – on skid row, and week four will highlight ongoing issues of homelessness and poverty in our neighbourhood.

The stories will be available here:

In Our Own Voices includes writings by B, Charlene, Courtney, Debbie V, Diane, Joan Morelli, Karen Lahey, Madeline A, Pat, Pearly May, Shurli Chan, and Stella August. The project is facilitated by Harsha Walia and edited by Harsha Walia, Nassim Elbardouh, and Dawn Paley.

Support for “In Our Own Voices”

“The stories of the Downtown Eastside must be told and who better to tell them than the women of the DTES – the incredible beauty of the area must be revealed in the writing of these women.” – LEE MARACLE, acclaimed author of Ravensong, I am Woman, Bobbi Lee-Indian Rebel, and Bentbox.

“The publication of these voices is vital, as we enter into yet another phase of capitalist austerity, poor-bashing, and victim-blaming. Speaking, witnessing, and storytelling are perhaps the strongest tools we have to resist a system meant to keep most people weak and passive. These voices from the Power of Women Group are resistance in action. Heed them. The path to freedom starts here.” – WAYDE COMPTON, author of After Canaan, Performance Bond, Bluesprint, and 49th Parallel Psalm.

“Courageous and honest, the Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group shares hard stories of survival. Voicing their experiences, these women keep alive the possibility of justice and love in community. Listen, tremble, and learn.” – RITA WONG, award-winning author of sybil unrest, forage, and monkeypuzzle

Linked here:

About the Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group:

We are a trans-inclusive group of women who live in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories, the poorest off-reserve postal code in Canada. We are or have been homeless; living in shelters and on the streets. Many of us are single mothers or have had our children apprehended due to poverty; most of us have chronic physical or mental health issues; many have drug or alcohol addictions; and a majority have experienced sexual violence and mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional abuse. For Indigenous women, we are affected by the racist legacy of residential schools. We are from all walks of life, surviving in extreme poverty and building a family with each other.

DTES Power of Women Group on Facebook:
Email: or Phone: 604 681 8480 x 234

contributed by Sharon Kravitz