Changemaker August 2022

Dear friends and supporters,

Paulette Senior, President and CEO, Canadian Women's Foundation

What brings you joy?

For me, it comes from knowing that the impact you enable through your support is making a difference in people’s lives at a critical time.

And when I think about your impact in the lives of diverse girls and young people, I feel deeper joy knowing you’re helping them find belonging, confidence, mentorship, and community connection they might not otherwise have.

Here are some young people you support:

“Girl Code is every Monday and I count down my sleeps each week until the next Monday!”

-Participant, Girl Code, ElevateHER, Nova Scotia

“I feel like I do not need to hide who I am. There are loads of opportunities to try new things.”

-Participant, Girl Force summer camp, Calgary Women’s Centre, Alberta

“I’d like to thank everyone who made this program possible. It can feel so difficult to find non-binary BIPOC community and self-love, but this program has made both possible and I am eternally grateful.”

-Participant, Non-Binary BIPOC Drop-In, Planned Parenthood Toronto, Ontario

These programs are more urgent than ever, considering the state of young peoples’ mental health in Canada. Research indicates they’re struggling with anxiety, healthy relationships, and a positive sense of the future. And they’re heading into another uncertain new school year.

But the community programs run by our Grantee Partners in every region of Canada offer the safe, consistent, and supportive environment they need now. Imagine if ALL girls and young people could participate.

That’s why, just before school starts, we’re launching Got Your Back 2022. This is your chance to focus on girls and young people across Canada and the programs they need to thrive – whether they’re girls in northern British Columbia, 2SLGBTQI+ youth in Alberta, or young newcomers in Montreal, Quebec.

Keep reading to learn how we can show young people we’ve got their backs.

Thank you for your tireless generosity,

Paulette Senior
President and CEO
Canadian Women’s Foundation

In the news

Reproductive justice and the overturn of Roe v. Wade
Read our public statement addressing why federal and regional leaders in Canada “must ensure access grows and is never clawed back.” And catch up on our podcast episode on reproductive justice.

Tribute E-card design shows flowers and Mother's Day message

How you can show young people you’ve Got Their Backs

By supporting Got Your Back 2022, you can help ensure that safe, supportive programs are there for girls and gender-diverse young people who need them.

Your donation:

  • Bolsters child and youth mental health and emotional well-being
  • Teaches young people about healthy relationships and consent
  • Provides a sense of belonging and community connection
  • Offers mentorship opportunities and builds confidence
  • Encourages young people to explore art, STEM, sport, physical activity, and leadership
  • Provides positive, inclusive spaces where girls and gender-diverse young people can thrive

Got Your Back Survey

Are you a parent or caregiver of a child or young person aged 9 to 19? We want to hear what you’re concerned about and what would help your child as they head into a new school year. Your voice helps us advocate to make things better for girls and gender-diverse young people in Canada.

Grantee Partner Spotlights: Your Support Transforms Young Lives

A group of girls in the HERd League Zine program sits in a circle on grassHERd Zine League, delivered by LUSO Community Services in London, Ontario

In this program, girls develop media literacy skills and think critically about gender stereotypes. Girls also learn how to use zines and other media to promote positive, empowering images and messages.

“One of our HERd Zine League participants was new to both Canada and the London area,” said Mariah Ford, a youth support worker at LUSO Community Services. “With the school year being mainly virtual, she was having difficulty meeting friends … Halfway through the program, her mother phoned to thank us for running it because it was the first time that her daughter talked about new friends. The mother reported that her daughter’s self-esteem, confidence, overall mood, and mental health had greatly improved since the beginning of our program. This participant was incredibly artistic and creative and it was so wonderful to see her come out of her shell and share her art with the group – she even helped some of the other participants with different art techniques that they could incorporate into their Zines.”

The Ins and Outs of Healthy Relationships, Planned Parenthood Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Health Centre

This program helps young people spot positive and negative behaviours in their relationships – “green flags” and “red flags”, as they call it – and take action.

A staff member explains: “After each session we would ask: ‘What is one thing that you have learned that you didn’t know before?’ At first the answers surprised us … they showed why a program like ours is so important. One student, after learning about the basics of boundaries, consent, and red/green flags in relationships, told us that everything they thought was healthy was actually unhealthy. Before this workshop, they thought that being possessive, jealous, and having no boundaries was healthy in a relationship.

“Another youth said they did not know that friendships could be toxic and that the workshop taught them how to communicate with people better and how to walk away from harmful friendships. We also had a youth who realized through the program that what was happening to them was abuse. They were able to ask for the help they needed and are now working with the justice system.”

First Nations, Métis and Inuit Youth Speak Out

Cover of Resetting Normal Report on Pandemic Impacts on First Nations, Metis and Inuit youth
This report reveals new survey data about the pandemic’s impact on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth. A concerning 84% shared that isolation has had an impact on their overall mental health. Seventy-four per cent identified worsening mental health. Read more

Tribute E-card design shows flowers and Mother's Day message

Do you know how to support someone facing abuse?

We began asking this question in November, after the award-winning Signal for Help spread around the world virally. Since then, more than 27,000 people have signed up to become Signal for Help Responders to build their confidence and competence to support survivors of abuse. Amazing!

Girls and young women face a particularly high risk of gender-based violence, especially sexual and intimate partner abuse. And they’re more likely to reach out to their peers for help. Our Youth Advisory Committee is working on tools to help young people better respond and support their peers. Together, we can transform our culture of stigma and silence on gender-based violence to a culture of support and action.

Giant Tiger supports girls and youth

Giant Tiger LogoSince 2017, Giant Tiger has donated more than $250,000 to support Girls’ and Teen Healthy Relationships programs. We are grateful for the impact they’ve had on the lives of young people.

“Giant Tiger is dedicated to supporting the diverse communities it serves by partnering with like-minded organizations that align with the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion values,” says Tova White, the company’s DE&I Executive Sponsor and Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resource Officer. “We have worked closely with the Canadian Women’s Foundation to directly help improve and benefit the lives of girls across the country. Giant Tiger is committed to making a tangible difference and will continue to empower women and drive change forward in the communities we call home.”

Image shows emcee Carrie Doll, speakers Catherine O'Hara and Shayla Stonechild

Thank you, Women + Wealth Gala 2022

Actress Catherine O’Hara (middle) and Indigenous wellness advocate Shayla Stonechild (right) were among the powerhouse speakers at the Women + Wealth Gala in Edmonton, hosted by Raintree Financial and emceed by Carrie Doll (left). Thanks to their generosity and that of the 800-plus guests, more than $37,000 was raised. Incredible!

You are Tireless Supporters of Gender Justice

Rosemary Brown Giving Collective member, Laurel Daman

Laurel has seen your impact firsthand. Before retiring, she worked at SEED Winnipeg, a Grantee Partner of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Its Women in Business program helps Indigenous and newcomer women start businesses.

She decided to join the monthly donors who make up the Rosemary Brown Giving Collective because she wanted to take action in the gender-based violence spike Canada faces in the pandemic.

“The fact that the Foundation supports women in all areas and circumstances, especially with violence prevention and support and financial stability, resonates very much with me,” she says.

Thank you for your support, Laurel!

Community Fundraising by Her Voice Returns

“We want to contribute a percentage of our proceeds to a charity that supports the well-being of women and girls. We picked the Canadian Women’s foundation for that reason.”

Her Voice Returns, co-produced by Susan Ida Boucaud and Carol Ribner, is a series of storytelling events focused on sharing the experiences of women based on different themes. They have already raised more than $800 through their events, which feature a mix of poetry, music and storytelling performers. Thank you, Susan and Carol for your ongoing support!

In Tribute: Donor to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Shirley Greenberg

Shirley GreenbergShirley Greenberg left behind a powerful and inspiring legacy of feminist advocacy and philanthropy. We are sad to mark the passing of this incredible woman, who died on May 25, 2022, and who leaves a lasting impression and a unique mark on our hearts. Shirley, who became a lawyer in her 40s while raising three children, established Ottawa’s first all-women’s law practice.

She played a key role in the launch of the Ottawa Women’s Centre and established the Shirley E. Greenberg Centre for Women’s Health at the Ottawa Hospital. She was named a member of the Order of Canada for her many contributions to advancing gender equality. In an Ottawa Citizen obituary, her friend and former colleague Maureen McTeer wrote that Shirley’s memory “will continue to serve as an inspiration for what’s possible when you combine courage, fierce determination, and a deep commitment to creating a better, stronger community for all.”

Get informed: Listen to our Alright, Now What? Podcast

Catch up on recent conversations with these experts:

Thank you for helping mothers and caregivers rise!

Mother holding toddlerThank you for raising your voices and rallying to help mothers and caregivers rise! Our national 2022 poll highlighted that 48 per cent of mothers are reaching their breaking points. And more than 200 of you shared testimonials about how the pandemic continues to impact your ability to parent, earn income, and care for your own health. Gender justice is due, and your diverse voices will help inform future policy and advocacy decisions.

An extra-special thanks goes to Ivanhoé Cambridge, in collaboration with JLL commercial real estate and the following shopping centres: Conestoga Mall, Mapleview Centre, Oshawa Centre, Outlet Collection at Niagara and Vaughan Mills for raising an amazing $23,000 for Mother Rising 2022 with the sale of their curated Mother’s Day gift boxes!

A conversation you won’t want to miss

Watch iconic and award-winning journalists Anna Maria Tremonti and Eternity Martis discuss intimate partner violence and strategies for addressing the shame and stigma surrounding it.

Gender-Based Violence in Canada – Behind the Stats: Eternity Martis and Anna Maria Tremonti in Conversation.

You’re invited!

Join us for our annual Digital Town Hall on Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. EST. You can attend remotely to hear more about your impact on advancing gender justice, updates on key projects and plans for the year ahead!

We Want to Hear from You!

Did this issue of Changemakers help you to understand the work of the Foundation and how your support makes a difference? Please share your feedback in our survey, so that we can work to improve future issues.