I deeply believe
that women are – and belong – at the heart of their communities. We need to invest in women and girls at every possible stage of their lives. Over the years, I have developed leadership skills and experiences to plan and execute social initiatives.
I endeavour to commit to creating a community that is socially just and respectful.
An initiative I created called Politigal worked at increasing women’s participation in municipal politics. The intent was to provide aspiring female politicians across the eastern Ontario region with the training and resources required to run for office. I ran unsuccessfully for Cornwall’s City Council in 2014, but other Politigal participants ran and won.
When I started to learn about the whole process of the mechanics to run for municipal council, I realized two things:
- There was little information/support for women
- There is a significant gender gap in Canadian politics
I also organized a women’s campaign school and created a series of classes. I hoped to engage more women in the political process.
I reached out to female counsellors for information and put together a curriculum with the following themes: Deciding to Run; The Role of Municipal Council & Basics of Municipal Politics; The Campaign Process; Communications and Public Relations; and Fundraising. Each session included a teaching topic, discussion, and a speaker (an elected official) to share her experience related to the theme.
Real progress is within reach, but so much more work needs to be done. After a year, I coordinated and hosted the Eastern Ontario Women Leadership Conference for women who want to run municipally.
Volunteer with Philippine Red Cross
In 2018, I took a leave of absence from work and travelled to the Philippines to volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
I was part of the BRAVO (Building Resilience and Adaptability through Volunteer Organizations) project to help support and strengthen three chapters in Panay Island. I worked in resource generation, donor identification and development of a long-term fundraising strategy. My days included teaching management the art and science of fundraising, attending events, and eating Sapin-Sapin (a dessert made with glutinous rice, flour, and coconut milk).
The experience taught me to step outside of my comfort zone and see how other people in the world live. As a learner, I recognized how important it is to practice patience and be aware of the needs of others. I had my own plan when I started this volunteer journey but quickly needed to pivot and remain flexible and adaptable to the requirements of my new team. I spent my days with teammates who share a different race, culture, socioeconomic status, and opinions from me, yet every day I was reminded how similar we were. I also witnessed a way of life different from mine and appreciated small things that I have generally taken for granted re: flush toilets, hot water, and freshwater.
Resolutions Director and Vice-Chair - Canadian Federation of University Women 2012-2015
As a past member of Cornwall’s Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), I served as a Vice-President and CFUW’s Resolutions Chair. During my term, I researched, wrote and co-presented a resolution entitled Hypersexualization: Countering Exploitative Child Girl Images in the Media.
CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 CFUW Clubs, located in every province across Canada. Since its founding in 1919, CFUW has been working to improve the status of women and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace.