Community Work

I deeply believe

that women are – and belong – at the heart of their communities and need to be involved at the leadership level.  We need to invest in women and girls at every possible stage of their lives. No matter where I live, I endeavor to make a strong commitment to working towards a community that is socially just and respectful. Over the years, I have developed leadership skills and experiences to plan and execute social initiatives.
Politigal

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 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 2 things:

  • There was little information/support for women
  • There is a significant gender gap in Canadian politics

I organized a women’s campaign school and created a series of classes in the hopes of engaging more women in the political process.

 

I reached out to female counsellors for information, advice, and put together a basic 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 a project called BRAVO (Building Resilience and Adaptability through Volunteer Organizations) to help support and strengthen three chapters in Panay Island in the area of resources generation, identify donors to raise funds and to assist with the development of a long-term fundraising strategy. My days were filled with 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 that it is important 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 agenda 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 everyday I was reminded how similar we were. I was also able to witness a way of life and appreciate small things that I generally have taken for granted i.e.: flush toilets, hot water, and fresh water.

Resolutions Director and Vice-Chair - Canadian Federation of University Women 2012-2015

I served as the Vice-President of
Cornwall’s Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) as well as CFUW’s Resolutions Chair. It was during this time that I researched, wrote and co-presented a resolution entitled Hypersexualization: Countering Exploitative Child Girl Images in the Media that was adopted at CFUW’s 2014 national general meeting held in Saskatoon.

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.