New Business: Virginia Poverty Law Center

I'm not sure we can call our work with the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) new, although this is a brand new engagement between Floricane and the VPLC team.

We have spent time this year with both the staff and the board of the organization, and are excited to be starting a strategic planning process to help the VPLC explore the ways in which it build awareness of and provides support around the legal needs of low-income Virginians.

One of the most important tactical pieces of work the VPLC staff does is to provide support for the Legal Aid community across Virginia. VPLC's staff are primarily lawyers, and they represent areas of law that disproportionately impact lower-income indviduals – health, housing, domestic violence, among others.

But VPLC also plays an important role in keeping the legal issues affecting lower-income Virginians visible to the rest of the public. Their "Through Different Eyes: The Faces of Poverty in Virginia" exhibit is a strong and emotional example of the power of images to tell the stories of our communities. For five years, "Through Different Eyes" has traveled the state, telling the stories of people struggling through poverty, and building awareness of the issue.

We're excited to begin exploring powerful new ways for the VPLC team to continue its training, research and legal support of Legal Aid organizations, even as it explores evocative new ways to tell the stories of Virginians in crisis.