The Richmond Advocacy and Support Committee (RASC) is a network of low-income residents who learn and practice art in a variety of genres with the goal of creating social change. The RASC, a project of the Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition which aims to reduce poverty and the impacts of poverty, calls on the expertise of those with lived experience to tell their stories and encourage decision makers to make positive changes. By participating in the arts, members learn how to share their ideas in powerful and creative ways while developing the self-advocacy and leadership skills needed to speak out on issues that affect them.
Since our formation in 2017, we have held five public forums using visual art, music, poetry, spoken word, and drama to address issues around affordable housing, homelessness, health, food justice, transit and accessibility. Using the arts to convey our thoughts in a fun and engaging way we learn that our voices matter as we continue to encourage systemic change by educating and influencing both decision makers and the general public.