Please join us in welcoming the newest member of the Women’s Centre team, Thunder! She’s taking over the Basic Needs Coordinator position previously filled by Carolina, who is moving on to new adventures on the West Coast.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’ve recently changed my name to Thunder Shanti, or just Thunder for short. It means compassion, self-control and giving of oneself, followed by peace. I try to live my life by these values. I am originally from Calgary but I consider myself an ‘Island Girl’ at heart for the years I spent living on Vancouver Island. On any given day, you might find me camping in the woods, paddling my SUP on a lake, teaching yoga upside down, hiking up a mountain or reading quietly with a soy latte.
What is your personal definition of feminism?
Feminism is about equality as well as equity. It is about supporting women to make their own personal choices about their lives and their needs. It is about challenging the status quo so that women can have equal access opportunities to work, be fairly represented in politics, be able to equally share household and childcare responsibilities, and be free from poverty and violence – for a few examples. These issues, and many more, prevent women from living the lives they want, which means that feminism continues to be important and highly relevant.
What brought you to the Women’s Centre of Calgary?
The Women’s Centre challenges the prevailing view of how an organization should run in a hierarchical way, and how support should be accessed and given. I previously attended the Women’s Centre for several workshops and I was inspired by the mission and vision of the Centre, so when I had the chance to apply to work here, I jumped on it! I am honoured to be a small part of this important movement.
What’s one thing you hope to learn at the Women’s Centre?
I hope to learn about my own preconceptions and face them head on. I am also very excited to meet and connect with the women who use the Centre, support and collaborate with volunteers, and work with such a friendly and diverse staff team.
Describe a woman who you admire and/or has influenced your life.
This past year, I had the opportunity to meet Taryn Brumfitt, the creator of the global Body Image Movement. Her message encourages women to love themselves from the inside out, treat their bodies not as ornaments but as the vehicle to their dreams, and to live their lives in the ‘sparkle’ zone, where growth and fulfillment happens, as opposed to the ‘comfortable’ zone. Her energy, passion, and zest for life inspire me to be brave!