“Making spaces safe and inclusive is everybody’s business,” said YWCA Cambridge Executive Director Kim Decker. “This conference is one attempt by us, the City of Cambridge and Conestoga College to put action behind our own words of believing in a better society for everyone.”
I heard once that for years and years there can be these barely perceptible shifts, and then one day, bam. Earthquake. I saw this conference like that: a way for all these community members with different lived experiences to come together and for us all to collectively tear down barriers still hindering so many of our neighbours. I needed it to be like that.
Many of the women in the group are survivors, coming from many different walks of life and backgrounds, all suffering loss on some level, drawn together by circumstance, driven by purpose. In the program, we are encouraged and given the opportunity to share as much or as little as we want. But we learn quickly that we are not alone on our journeys.
Today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we’re launching a mini blog series from guest blogger and YWCA Cambridge employee Tara Kleinsteuber exploring Truth and Reconciliation and her own story of moving through the world as an Indigenous person. Before I attended YWCA Canada’s Annual Membership Meeting, I was told how powerful the movement was, and …
Despite all the progressive policies in Canada today, there are still so many risks to being anything but cisgendered and heterosexual and out. According to Statistics Canada 2014 General Social Survey, “for every 1,000 cisgendered, heterosexual Canadians, 69 reported they had been the victim of either sexual assault, physical assault or robbery. That number jumps to 142 for lesbian and gay Canadians and is even higher for bisexual Canadians at 267.
The 10th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes walk to end gender-based violence was an enormous success, even getting some media pick-up! More than 50 red-shoed walkers traipsed through downtown Galt on Saturday, and as YWCA Cambridge Board President Christine Vigna said, by some 10th Anniversary miracle, the weather held up, despite the dismal …
It’s been ten years and the issue of gender-based violence still lingers. According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner, and Canadians collectively spend $7.4 billion in dealing with the aftermath of spousal violence alone. According to the same report, “half of women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.”