A close-up of hands stacking team-style

Why We Hold A Conference On Equity, And Why You Should Come

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.

A black and white close-up of Lisa, side view. She's wearing a black scarf over her hair.

Big Changes Start with Small Steps

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.

Tara pictured with her spouse and three children, sitting on a blanket on grass

The Effects of it All

That being said, here’s the thing: I don’t always use my voice to call these things out. I fear being shut down. I fear being told I’m wrong. I fear white people with more power than me will not only tune me out, but encourage others to follow suit.

Do You See Me?

So, rather than asking “do you see me?” in the physical sense, I ask “would you think of me?” Would you think of me the next time someone says “we don’t have Indigenous people around here”? This is a question I want you to keep in your heart.

A recent close-up of Tara's face

Reconciliation: See Me; Hear Me; Understand Me

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 …

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Pride rainbow flag blowing in the wind against the sky

Be Proud, but Stay Loud

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.

Group of men walking while wearing red high heels. Picture taken from side view.

Walk a Mile is More Relevant Than Ever

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.”

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