Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Jessica and I am a practicum student here supporting the Get Assistance area of the Women’s Centre. I am in my first year of my Masters of Social Work at University of Calgary where I am specializing in International and Community Development. I am new to Calgary; however, I am so excited to be at the Women’s Centre, to learn from all the amazing women who come here. I love to have hiking adventures, practice yoga, and play guitar. I also enjoy a wholesome cup of coffee with some lovely conversation!
What is your personal definition of feminism?
I believe it is difficult to provide a solid definition of feminism, as it is always evolving! However, in my experience, I see feminism as equal opportunity for ALL women, women empowering each other and working towards making change to unfair structures that place women at a disadvantage. In my view, feminism is all about validating women’s unique experiences and understanding the intersectionality that exists to truly recognize women’s differing perspectives.
What brought you to the Women’s Centre of Calgary?
I have always searched for ways to stand up for and advocate for women in my community, however, this past year has opened a brand new awareness and understanding into Women’s issues. When applying for practicums, the Women’s Centre truly encompassed a community where I felt I could expand my understanding both professionally and personally. I loved the idea of being at the Women’s Centre because it lined up with many of my personal values; such as empowerment, inclusivity, authenticity and diversity. I am excited to learn more about the unique ways we can work towards tackling women’s issues!
What’s one thing you hope to learn at the Women’s Centre?
From the Women’s Centre I hope to learn more about the unique barriers for women. Specifically, how can we address issues such as food insecurity and housing, and how we can create or change policies to meet women’s needs. I am excited to learn about these areas through women’s experiences as well as the great work that the Women’s Centre does for our community.
Describe a woman who you admire or who has influenced your life.
I would have to describe my mother. She is an incredible woman who I have learned an immense amount from in regards to single motherhood, disability and poverty. While my mother has faced many barriers, she has shown me the importance of perseverance and speaking out against injustices. She has the title of Paralympic Gold Medalist and computer programmer and has done various speaking events in my community in Ontario. She was the first person to open my awareness to the intersectionality that exists for women, and the importance of recognizing my own privilege. She is definitely a woman I admire and who continues to inspire me in my pursuit of social justice.