A black silhouette of a woman with her hair in a bun is facing right. Her silhouette overlays 3 silhouettes of increasing size, which are visible to the right and left of her silhouette, overlapping each other. Starting from the black silhouette of the women, the next is a blue silhouette of a man facing left, the next is an orange silhouette of an individual with short, curly hair  facing right, and the third is a pink silhouette of a woman wearing a hijab facing left. The images all sit on a dark background. Overlaying these silhouettes at the bottom of the image are the words “Storied Lives” in white uppercase text.
Illustrations by Katie Carey

“Storied Lives: Shifting Perspectives on Poverty” is a research project by the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination and the University of Guelph’s Community Engaged Scholarship Institute and Live Work Well Research Centre. By amplifying the experiences of people living with poverty, this project encourage members of the public to examine assumptions about the causes of poverty.

Storied Lives Podcast

This podcast series shines a spotlight on intersectional experiences of poverty and factors that shape poverty in Ontario and beyond. Each episode includes a composite story that highlights lived expertise and commentary from a notable guest who works in a field related to poverty elimination.

To help us better advocate for poverty elimination, we are asking people who engage with the podcast to please complete two brief surveys for a chance to win 1 of 4 $40 gift cards:

  1. Before you listen to a podcast episode, complete the pre-survey: https://uoguelph.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0CDdkbUDqBNXZ2e
  2. After you listen to one or more podcast episodes, complete the post-survey: https://uoguelph.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eerLWdjtHRAiqGO

Things to know about the surveys:

  • You can only complete each survey once.
  • You do not have to listen to all of the episodes to complete the post-survey.
  • You can listen to one or more episodes before completing the post-survey. It is your choice.
  • You will only be entered into the prize draw if you complete both of the surveys.


Listen Now

Listen to this podcast below or on your favourite platform: Amazon | Apple Podcasts | CastBox | Google Podcasts | Overcast | PocketCasts | Spotify

A black silhouette of a woman with her hair in a bun is facing right. Her silhouette overlays 3 silhouettes of increasing size, which are visible to the right and left of her silhouette, overlapping each other. Starting from the black silhouette of a woman, the next is a blue silhouette of a bearded man facing left, the next is an orange silhouette of a man with short, curly hair facing right, and the third is a pink silhouette of a woman wearing a hijab facing left. The race of each silhouette is ambiguous. The images all sit on a dark background. Overlaying these silhouettes at the bottom of the image are the words “Storied Lives” in white uppercase text.

Trailer: Storied Lives

Listen to the trailer for Storied Lives, a podcast that looks at the lived realities of poverty through an intersectional lens. Read the transcript for the trailer for Storied Lives.

A blue silhouette of a bearded man facing left is displayed, with images of three circular saw blades appearing within the silhouette. The race of the man is ambiguous. Behind him, a pink silhouette of a house with a chimney overlays a dark orange background. Black bed bugs are scattered around the edge of the image and appear to be taking bites out of the house's silhouette.

Episode 1: Saving Grace

This episode explores themes of poverty, mental health, rural living, and physical disability. We hear from Elsa Mann, Team Lead, Mount Forest Family Health Team, who leads a team of outreach workers to support people living with poverty in rural communities. Read the transcript for Episode 1: Saving Grace.

A pink silhouette of a woman wearing a blue hijab and facing left overlays a dark background. The race of the woman is ambiguous. Graphics of old multi-level buildings emitting two large plumes of light blue smoke are displayed within the hijab and the plumes extend into the dark background. The darker blue of her hijab makes up the sky above the buildings.

Episode 2: Quota

This episode explores themes of poverty, racism, and xenophobia. We hear from Jasmine Ramze Resaee, Director of Advocacy & Communications at YWCA Toronto, advocating for poverty reduction, gender equity, and racial justice. Read the transcript for this Episode 2: Quota.

A black silhouette of a woman with her hair in a bun and facing right overlays a blue background that appears to be shattered into pieces. The race of the woman is ambiguous. Inside the woman's silhouette, you can see two other figures: one is a female standing and the other is a young girl with a ponytail sitting on the ground with her knees pulled to her chest. Their race is ambiguous.

Episode 3: Old Enough to Hit

This episode explores themes of poverty, family and sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and harassment. We hear from Lieran Docherty, Director of Programs at Women Abuse Council of Toronto, a policy and planning body working to eradicate violence against women through system change. Read the transcript for Episode 3: Old Enough to Hit.

An orange silhouette of a man with short, curly hair facing right overlays a pink background. The race of the man is ambiguous. Inside the man’s silhouette, barbed wire is twisted into the shape of a brain. Overlaying this silhouette are two other side profile silhouettes, which are transparent and facing each other, coloured a lighter pink than the background.

Episode 4: Paying Customers Only

This episode explores themes of poverty, addiction, drug use, mental health, racism, policing, and physical violence. We hear from Dr. Akwatu Khenti, Assistant Professor at University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, who focuses on mental health, addictions, and anti-black racism. Read the transcript for Episode Four: Paying Customers Only.


The Research Behind the Podcast

To create the story that begins each episode, we invited people living with poverty to share their stories with us. During a series of focus groups, participants shared their unique experiences, and how these are impacted by multiple, overlapping, and compounding oppressions.

Using what was shared, we wrote four composite stories. These are fictional stories based on real experiences. Every scenario in these stories happened or was informed by themes shared in the focus groups.

Each podcast episode pairs one of the stories with commentary from 1 of 4 notable guests that we interviewed based on their work in fields related to poverty elimination.

This 4-part podcast series is a collaboration of the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, and the University of Guelph’s Live Work Well Research Centre and Community Engaged Scholarship Institute. This research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and received ethics approval from the University of Guelph Research Ethics Board (#18-12-027).

We’re deeply appreciative of the advocates and the people experiencing poverty who shared their stories, knowledge, and time with us.

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