Meet Blaire, Our New Practicum Student

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am the practicum student from the Masters of Social Work foundation program at the University of Calgary. Through this program, I hope to focus on community development issues and policy work, specifically on topics of gender, anti-racism, and environmental issues. My previous work has been in the municipal and provincial government realms, advocating for low-income Edmontonians and Albertans. I love to downhill ski, bike, and camp in my spare time. If you’re in the Centre, feel free to chat with me about politics and social issues.

What is your personal definition of feminism?

My definition of feminism is always changing as I learn more from those around me – much like the movement is always changing. I believe in the kind of feminism whose mission is gender equity. To me that means working to bring all women (and all genders) into a world where there is no marginalization and discrimination. Through social justice work and critical reflection, I hope to work towards a world that is both intersectional and inclusive of the lives of all women.

What brought you to the Women’s Centre of Calgary?

I found out about the Women’s Centre of Calgary through the University of Calgary. I was intrigued that there was an organization in Calgary with the specific goal of working with women for women. The idea of the feminist peer model intrigued me and really brought together what I had been learning in class about feminist theory and doing the work on the ground. I am excited to be accepted as the practicum student from my program and lend my skills to Women’s Centre.

What’s one thing you hope to learn at the Women’s Centre?

As I mentioned above, the Women’s Centre does such an incredible job of bringing feminist theory into practice. Through this practicum, I hope to learn how to incorporate these skills into my own social work practice. I also hope to learn lots from the wonderful women I have met and will meet that visit, work, and volunteer at the Women’s Centre.

Describe a woman who you admire or who has influenced your life.

One woman who I admire and has a major influence in my life is Premier Rachel Notley. She has shown level-headed and strong leadership in this province, despite facing ongoing verbal abuse from some non-supporters. I believe she is a strong role model to young women and girls, which is a strong step towards seeing more women in politics.

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