“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” – Margaret Mead
Are you passionate about women’s rights? Interested in making change? On June 15, 2013, the Women’s Centre will bring together more than 200 women in an exciting and unique day-long event. Make One Change: A Women’s Gathering will provide a forum for raising the voices of women in Calgary. And we’d like for you to attend!
“One of our goals is to create an opportunity for people to learn more about the issues impacting women from those with lived experience,” says Social Issues Coordinator Leah Kelley.
Make One Change will connect women from diverse backgrounds and communities: women experiencing poverty, Aboriginal and immigrant women, women living with disabilities, transgender women, mothers, community leaders, senior women, and corporate and professional women, among others.
To date, 20 grassroots women’s groups have been called upon to take the stage and share their perspectives on the most salient issues impacting women in our region. Discussions will focus on identifying what specific changes to policies and systems, mainly at the municipal and provincial levels of government, will be required to make change.
“In order to make change, we need to focus our efforts on preventative and transformative solutions that address the root causes of the issues,” says Leah.
Gaining Momentum The Women’s Centre has developed an expertise in community engagement and in hosting skill building opportunities for women. In 2007, Connections: A Conference for Women provided a forum for more than 200 women to connect and discuss issues impacting their lives. The focus was to provide a voice to women with a wide range of lived experiences: community leaders, women living on the street, businesswomen, women working within their cultural communities, and women dealing with violence. Women from all walks of life united with a common goal – hope for a better future.
During the last couple of years, the Women’s Centre and its agency allies have made significant progress in their coalition work. Notably, the Women’s Centre advocated for poverty reduction strategies with a gendered-lens by hosting forums within the community, publishing several reports and articles, and meeting with city councilors, Calgary MLAs and provincial ministers to discuss recommendations.
“We are excited to collaborate with other aspiring change makers and learn about how we can collectively move forward in engaging the community and impacting social change,” says Aimar Bracho, Community Engagement Coordinator.
Shaping the Future
In addition to providing a forum for raising the voices of women in Calgary, the Women’s Centre also plans to lead some discussions in how women may choose to collaborate after the gathering. For example, building off of the outcomes from the gathering, women may choose to work together in creating an inclusive women’s policy agenda that can be moved forward to impact public policies and systems.
“In the long term, we hope to identify and work to change policies and systems that negatively impact women’s lives, and advocate for more inclusive, equitable futures,” says Leah Kelley.