Meet Jessy, Our New Environmental Issues Coordinator

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi – I’m Jessy, the Environmental Issues Coordinator. I read books and ride bikes. Along with working at the Women’s Centre, I also work in waste and also with a film festival. Please don’t ask me anything about film, but I’m always excited to talk trash! Even though I’m still pretty new to Calgary, I’ve started to feel a sense of place here. When I first moved here, I thought I would escape to the mountains at every opportunity, but I’ve actually found myself invested in what the city has to offer.

What is your personal definition of feminism?

I would define feminism as identifying gender specific barriers women and girls face in society – from the way we’re socialized to the way we continue to be perceived. When we identify the structures that exist we can begin to address them and work toward healthier communities.

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

I’ve been in Calgary for less than a year and the Women’s Centre was the first place that made me feel like Calgary was home. I didn’t have a network or community so I started volunteering at the Centre in the girls programs. I quickly started spending all of my time here – from attending workshops and social events, to even taking a course (Women Lead YYC). When the opportunity to join the Centre as staff came up, it seemed like the right next step; an exciting step.

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

I hope to learn what my role is in removing some of the structural barriers that are so embedded in our society. I think a lot of us know what we want in our fight for equality, but I don’t always know what role to play. I’m fortunate because the Women’s Centre affords me the opportunity to try different roles.

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

It was my Grade 1 music teacher. When other students insisted on laminating the music sheets, she explained to us that laminating, with plastic, meant that we would have the sheets for thousands of years longer than we needed them. Those words resonated and have influenced much of my values. I don’t remember her ever intentionally trying to create environmentalists out of her music class, but she got at least one.

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