Jim Silver

University of Winnipeg

Jim Silver is a professor and chair of the Department of Urban and Inner-City Studies at the University of Winnipeg. His research interests are in inner-city, poverty-related, and community development issues. His most recent book is Moving Forward, Giving Back: Transformative Aboriginal Adult Education

(Fernwood 2013). Jim is a member of the Manitoba Research Alliance and the leader of the Housing and Neighbourhood Revitalization stream of its SSHRC Partnership project, “Partnering for Change: Community-Based Solutions for Aboriginal and Inner-City Poverty.”

  • Solving Poverty

    Innovative Strategies from Winnipeg’s Inner City

    By Jim Silver     April 2016

    In Solving Poverty, Jim Silver, a veteran scholar actively engaged in anti-poverty efforts in Winnipeg’s inner city for decades, offers an on-the-ground analysis of this form of poverty. Silver focuses particularly on the urban Aboriginal experience, and describes a variety of creative and effective urban Aboriginal community development initiatives, as well as other anti-poverty initiatives that have been successful in Winnipeg’s inner city. In the concluding chapter Silver offers a comprehensive, pan-Canadian strategy to dramatically reduce the incidence of urban poverty in Canada.

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  • Poor Housing

    A Silent Crisis

    Edited by Josh Brandon and Jim Silver     October 2015

    Across Canada, there is a severe shortage of decent quality housing that is affordable to those with low incomes, and much of the housing that is available is inadequate, even appalling. The poor condition of housing for those below the poverty line adds to the weight of the complex poverty they already endure, which includes worsening health, adversely affected education and neighbourhoods that are more prone to crime and violence.

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  • Building a Better World, 3rd Edition

    An Introduction to the Labour Movement in Canada, 3rd Edition

    By Stephanie Ross, Larry Savage, Errol Black and Jim Silver     August 2015

    “Since it was first published, Building a Better World has been the best available book to introduce readers to unions in Canada. … With workers and unions facing increasingly severe attacks from employers and governments, this new version is most welcome.” — David Camfield, University of Manitoba, author of Canadian Labour in Crisis

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  • About Canada: Poverty

    By Jim Silver     October 2014

    For a country as wealthy as Canada, poverty is utterly unnecessary. In About Canada: Poverty, Jim Silver illustrates that poverty is about more than a shortage of money: it is complex and multifaceted and can profoundly damage the human spirit. At the centre of this analysis are Canada’s neoliberal economic policies, which have created conditions that make a growing number of people vulnerable to low income, vanishing public services and poor physical health.

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  • Indians Wear Red

    Colonialism, Resistance, and Aboriginal Street Gangs

    By Elizabeth Comack, Lawrence Deane, Larry Morrissette and Jim Silver     August 2013

    “Indians Wear Red” locates Aboriginal street gangs in the context of the racialized poverty that has become entrenched in the colonized space of Winnipeg’s North End. Drawing upon extensive interviews with Aboriginal street gang members as well as with Aboriginal women and elders, the authors develop an understanding from “inside” the inner city and through the voices of Aboriginal people – especially street gang members themselves.

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  • Moving Forward, Giving Back

    Transformative Aboriginal Adult Education

    Edited by Jim Silver     February 2013

    Aboriginal people who choose to improve their education as adults often face many challenges, most of which arise from the ongoing impact of colonialism and of racialized poverty. Yet in Winnipeg’s low-income inner city, a variety of innovative and effective Aboriginal adult education initiatives have emerged. Drawing upon the voices and experiences of Aboriginal adult learners themselves, this book describes the initiatives and strategies that have proven successful and transformative for adult Aboriginal students.

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  • Good Places to Live

    Poverty and Public Housing in Canada

    By Jim Silver     February 2011

    Public housing projects are stigmatized and stereotyped as bad places to live, as havens of poverty, illegal activity and violence. In many cities they are being bulldozed, ostensibly for these reasons but also because the land on which they are located has become so valuable. In Good Places to Live, Jim Silver argues that the problems with which it is so often associated are not inherent to public housing but are the result of structural inequalities and neoliberal government policies. This book urges readers to reconsider the fate of public housing, arguing that urban poverty – what Silver calls spatially concentrated racialized poverty – is not solved by razing public housing. On the contrary, public housing projects rebuilt from within, based on communities’ strengths and supported by meaningful public investment could create vibrant and healthy neighbourhoods while maintaining much-needed low-income housing. Considering four public housing projects, in Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax and Winnipeg, Silver contends that public housing projects can be good places to live – if the political will exists.

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  • Doing Community Economic Development

    Edited by John Loxley, Kathleen Sexsmith and Jim Silver     January 2007

    Challenging traditional notions of development, these essays critically examine bottom-up, community economic development strategies in a wide variety of contexts: as a means of improving lives in northern, rural and inner-city settings; shaped and driven by women and by Aboriginal people; aimed at employment creation for the most marginalized. most authors have employed a participatory research methodology. The essays are the product of a broader, three-year community-university research collaboration with a focus on the strengths and difficulties of participatory, capacity-building strategies for those marginalized by the competitive, profit-seeking forces of capitalism. no easy answers are offered, but many exciting initiatives with great potential are described and critically evaluated.

  • In Their Own Voices

    Building Urban Aboriginal Communities

    By Parvin Ghorayshi, Peter Gorzen, Joan Hay, Cyril Keeper, Darlene Klyne, Michael MacKenzie, Jim Silver and Freeman Simard     January 2006

    In Their Own Voices is an examination of the urban Aboriginal experience, based on the voices of Aboriginal people. It is set in Winnipeg’s inner city, but has implications for urban Aboriginal people across Canada. While not glossing over the problems that confront urban Aboriginal people, the book focuses primarily on innovative community-based solutions being created and run by and for urban Aboriginal people. Separate chapters examine Aboriginal involvement in community development, adult education and the mainstream political process. The concluding chapter, based on in-depth interviews with 26 experienced, Aboriginal community development workers, describes a well-defined and very sophisticated form of Aboriginal community development that is holistic and is rooted in traditional Aboriginal values of community and sharing. Out of their often harsh urban experience, Aboriginal people are defining and creating their own, innovative community-building strategies. In cities with significant Aboriginal populations, these strategies are the basis of a better future, for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike.

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  • Solutions That Work

    Fighting Poverty in Winnipeg

    Edited by Jim Silver     December 1999

    The explosive and dramatic growth of poverty in Winnipeg, and strategies for combating poverty, are the subject of this collection. Some of the chapters discuss the severity and the consequences of poverty; others describe policy solutions, with a particular emphasis on community-based solutions. Included are chapters on: the growth and incidence of poverty in Winnipeg; the impact of poverty on, and community economic development strategies being developed by, Winnipeg’s Aboriginal community; community-based schooling as a response to inner city poverty; the experience with workfare in Manitoba; the importance of the minimum wage in combating poverty; and a wide range of small but innovative and exciting community development alternatives which are proving their worth in Winnipeg’s inner city. While the focus is on Winnipeg, and particularly Winnipeg’s inner city, where poverty levels are astonishingly high and still rising, the patterns analyzed and the policy alternatives offered are applicable to communities across Canada.