Economic human rights activist to campaign in Portland
PORTLAND — An international advocate for economic human rights will be in Portland on Monday, April 6.
Cheri Honkala is a former homeless single mother who is now an antipoverty organizer and housing rights activist. Honkala has been arrested several times for leading demonstrations and nonviolent acts of civil disobedience against policies she believes perpetuate poverty.
Honkala advocates for economic human rights, as they are outlined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was ratified by the United States in 1948. Economic human rights include quality health care, a job paying livable wage or equivalent income, ability to join a labor union, affordable housing, adequate and nutritional food, free education and a decent standard of living.
Honkala helped establish the Kensington Welfare Rights Union in Philadelphia and is now the national coordinator of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign.
After an in-studio interview Sunday on WMPG 90.9 FM at noon, Honkala on Monday will participate in a rally in Monument Square from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. After a 1 p.m. presentation to The Amistad Arts Collective, Honkala will host a discussion on homelessness from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m at the Preble Street Resource Center.
Then at 5 p.m., Honkala will lead a "March for Human Rights" from Congress Square to the Emmanuel Baptist Church, 156 High St., where she will participate in a common ground supper and discussion from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
According to the Maine Housing Authority, there were 871 homeless people throughout the state on Jan. 28. A "point in time" survey conducted Jan. 30 in Portland identified 305 homeless people.
Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.