Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’ve worked with the Women’s Centre before, so I may have exhausted my bio the last time, but here goes… my name is Jessica. I’ve worked in communications for over 6 years and I’ve enjoyed all things storytelling since I was in Grade 3. I love to read, and to write, and to watch television and movies. I like to mountain bike, though I don’t get to the trails as often as I should. And I often spend time with my family and friends connecting over a nice meal, or a coffee. I also play fastball and spend time in the gym lifting weights. Lately, I’ve taken an interest in visual storytelling, I dabble in photography and I’d like to improve my skills in graphic design.
What is your personal definition of feminism?
My interest in storytelling always brings me back to the idea of voice. Feminism, to me, means making space for marginalized voices. That includes space for those voices to be expressed as well as heard.
What brought you to the Women’s Centre of Calgary?
Back in 2017, I had the opportunity to join the team as the Women’s Centre Communications Assistant and provided support on the Centre’s day to day communications. During my time here, I identified an opportunity for the Women’s Centre to tell our stories in the digital space. However, we were unable to secure funding to keep me on any longer. Near the end of my contract, I accepted an opportunity to work for my community and I left for a short time.
At the beginning of 2019, the Centre reached out to me to explain that project funding may be possible again and asked me back for a few months this summer. It just so happened that at the same time the current Communications Coordinator, Krystal was leaving to pursue a new opportunity. I was asked to come back permanently to complete the project work and continue to execute the Women’s Centre’s communications strategy.
What’s one thing you hope to learn at the Women’s Centre?
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate on the Women’s Centre team again because I remember all of the learning available to us through team meetings, workshops, or externally. I am keen to pick up on some of the learning I started while I was here, but in particular, I am interested in reconciliation, as well as addressing environmental issues through a gender lens.
Describe a woman who you admire or who has influenced your life.
I mentioned my mother last time. I still admire her and she has influenced my life in many ways. However, this time I’d like to send some love to my friend Arlana. I met her in 2007 in an English Literature course. We collaborated on a few projects then. We now occupy different cities and see each other sporadically, but we’ve stayed in touch. She has a brilliant mind, and a gift for the written word. She is one of the first of my peers to encourage me to strive for personal growth. She is currently in the middle of completing her PhD thesis, raising an inquisitive and beautiful daughter, and she just adopted a puppy, yet somehow she manages to find the right balance. I admire her work ethic and commitment to learning. Her dedication to social justice is unparalleled, and I would not be surprised if she changed the world in a positive, substantial way.