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The 2016 National Day of Action Community Actions

For the 12th consecutive year, girls and young women steer away from typical Valentine’s Day activities, and are invited to create action-oriented projects that raise awareness about issues important to them and their communities.

Actions are taking place across the country! Check out what's happening in your area!

More details on the actions:

Maritimes

Planned Parenthood-NL Sexual Health Center - St Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador    

Empowerment Open Clinic                        

We will hold an open clinic and empowerment session for self-identified girls and women, where girls will get inspired by strong women in Canadian history.  This action includes a lunch and popular education workshops to foster positive self-awareness and positive sexual health.

PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Mentorship and Legacy Across Generations                      

On February 14th 2016, a group of newcomer girls will electronically launch and share in social media, websites, and YouTube channels a video on the intergenerational legacy for immigrant women. This video will be professionally made and will include true stories of girls and their mothers and/or caregivers. The focus of this short video will be on messages for immigrant girls about life and living, and messages about learning from the past, living in the present, and building for the future.                         

All Women's Empowerment and Development Association (AWEDA) - Halifax, Nova Scotia                                                                                      

Celebrating Krio Women's History in Canada: Their Past, Present, and Future                 

As part of National Day of Action 2016, the aim of this project is to dedicate an entire day to the celebration of Krio Women’s History in Canada.  In collaboration with local youth groups, the Krio Descendent Union in Canada (KDU Nova Scotia), AWEDA will organize a one day gathering on February 15, 2016. This gathering will bring racialized girls/young Krio women together to share their personal stories of being racialized in the social, cultural, political and economic spheres in Nova Scotia which has led to their sense of ‘oneness’ and lack of belonging. The day will consist of a variety of activities, for example, storytelling, and an informal lunch combined with a bonding activity. This gathering will also be an opportunity to share the historic connection between Freetown and Nova Scotia.  The feedback from this action will be used to contribute to developing an anthology to meet the needs of participants. 

YWCA Halifax - Halifax, Nova Scotia

Newcomers from YWCA Halifax’s Youth Programs (GirlSpace/Youth Advisory Council) and women’s Newcomer Programs (Conversation Clubs and Financial Literacy) are coming together for a community gathering to share stories, celebrate diversity and create opportunities for knowledge exchange through mentorship. Participants will explore and deconstruct issues they face as young newcomer women living in Nova Scotia (i.e. online violence and cybermisogny, racism in schools, culture shock, social isolation), identify what makes them feel welcomed, and strategize how to create positive change for newcomer youth in the area.

Participants will be involved in planning and facilitating the gathering and this will incorporate popular education and Art of Hosting facilitation methods. The gathering will culminate in the creation of a collaborative art/media piece around the theme of fostering welcoming spaces for newcomer youth.

Multicultural Association of Fredericton - Fredericton, New Brunswick

We will host a women and girls’ day where we invite inspirational women from different walks of life to come participate in activities and tell their stories to the newcomer and refugee girls group that we have at the Multicultural Association. We will also encourage our newcomer girls to tell their own stories if they feel comfortable doing so.

YWCA Moncton -  Moncton, New Brunswick

The YWCA Moncton Strong Girls Strong World Youth Council is hosting a Gala event/exhibition highlighting strong female role models and leaders from the Atlantic Provinces.  The event will speak to women in politics and feature keynote addresses from a woman city councillor and Member of Parliament, as well as leaders identified by members of the youth council. 

Quebec

West Island Black Community Association (WIBCA  Roxboro) - Roxboro, Quebec 

Sharing our Stories                        

The project will be a 1 day special event. The aim is to organize a workshop that will center on sharing knowledge and empowerment of girls in the process of their integration into Canadian society. Emphasis will be placed on communication, problem solving, decision making, listening, teamwork, and organizational skills. It will focus on girls who have migrated to Canada within the last few years and who are also members of a visible minority.  The participating mothers will shed light on the challenges that children face in overcoming cultural, social, economic, and language barriers as they integrate and adjust into a new environment. The older women will provide mentorship and guidance, and education on black women history in Canadian context.       

Sainte-Agathe Academy - Ste Agathe Des Monts, Quebec                                                    

Celebrating First Nation’s Women                         

The Girl’s Club at our school will create an exposition on Remarkable First Nation’s Women in Canadian history.  We will invite an Algonquin Woman for oral history and do research online.  The students will write up biographies, create art, and trace where these women were located in Canada.  This will all be pieced together to form a travelling exposition.  It is our objective to bring to light First Nation’s women’s accomplishments and impacts in their communities.   

Centre solidarité jeunesse, Projet Antre-Classe  -  Quebec City, Quebec              

Conference on Women’s Rights                              

The conference will focus on the theme of celebrating women's history in Canada. At this event, we want to engage girls in understanding the place of women in today’s society through a historical perspective.  

Breast Cancer Action Quebec - Montreal, Quebec

This school year, we will be offering our girls' health leadership program in two Secondary IV Ethics classes in a High School in Saint-Henri. To mark International Women's Day, the students in our program will be making a mural that will celebrate womanhood with a special attention to missing and murdered indigenous women.

Barclay Elementary School Girls’ Club - Montreal, Quebec

#Girlslives 

We are planning a multimedia action with our girls of the Barclay Elementary School Girls’ Club, addressing the topic of immigration and the different realities and identities associated with it. The 22 girls in the group were given a disposable camera that they brought home. They took pictures of their family, their community, and their realities as racialized and / or immigrant girls. Following the format of an Instagram publication, they expressed what defines their realities, forming a mosaic of similar, but unique, realities. They are organizing an exhibit where they will invite their families to share their projects.

Riverview Elementary School Girls' Club - Montreal, Quebec

How to make history, a photo exhibit about inspiring women in our lives!

The participants of Girls’ Club are getting ready to create a vibrant photo exhibit about women in their lives they find inspiring. Through the creation of this project, the girls will have the opportunity to reflect on what inspiration, leadership and being a girl/woman means. The whole project will be a celebration of women and their leadership in our lives, in our stories and in Canada. The girls will use photography to express themselves and their creativity throughout the project and they will then present the exhibit to their families and friends in an event they will organize.

Ontario

Women's Health in Women's Hands:  Community Health Centre - Toronto, Ontario      

Ontario Women Offering Wisdom (W.O.W)      

This action will focus on empowering young racialized girls from ages 16 – 24 to become agents of change in our communities! We will bring together youth (16-24) and adult (25-65) mentors on December 16th and January 20th from 5pm-7pm to plan an ‘Open-Mic’ (poetry, song and storytelling evening) event for both youth and their mentors to exhibit their stories and poems on February 8th.    These poems and stories about experiences of migration, settlement, family life, discrimination, and how resilience, strength and community support have impacted each story, can serve to engage youth in expressive arts for healing and empowerment.  We want to see our community come together and reduce isolation among racialized & newcomer women, while offering an opportunity to transfer knowledge about resilience, strength, and how intergenerational connections with other women can facilitate the opportunity for social action.

Bkejwanong Youth Facility - Walpole Island/Wallaceburg, Ontario, Anishnaabe KWE

Empowerment Project!                               

The action that we are planning is to collaborate with the local urban museum to have female youth voices heard through their artwork, being put on display. We will focus on different First Nations women in our community, and Turtle Island as a whole that have made a historical impact and have contributed to the global community. On February 14th, we will host an open house at the local urban museum where the youth will be able to display their artwork. The open house will be open to people from our community and our local town as well. The people that come to our open house will be able to design a quilting square that will end up being the background for our display that will be available for anyone to go and see at the museum during the entire month of March.

WORC IT/ Aspiring Leaders - Toronto, Ontario                                                                  

Ontario Collective Stories: From Girls to Women                            

Aspiring Leaders is planning to have an event where girls can commemorate the women in their lives that have impacted them in any way. More importantly, this will be a chance for girls to share their experiences on the women that are directly (or not so directly) around them- the ones that have made sacrifices and paved ways for them to thrive, mothers, grandmothers, teachers- any woman the girls feel have done great and magnanimous things. For it is women like this that are seldom celebrated by community and the country. Through storytelling and art, the girls will have a chance to create a piece that will be added to a larger masterpiece and showcased to the community. The smaller pieces can also be given to the women that they were dedicated to!            

Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women - Windsor, Ontario

For National Day of Action 2016, we are planning an intergenerational mentorship event that is geared towards filling in gaps that exist between newcomer young women, adult women, and senior women. The highlight of our event will involve multiple small group discussions around the topic of transitions. Not only about transitioning to a new country, but transitioning from girlhood, to womanhood, to being a mature senior woman in the context of the intercultural experiences of living in a new country.  Specifically, we hope that through sharing of memories, of past and current experiences, we will start conversations about creating future possibilities. The possibilities include the actualization of hopes and goals which will ease and shed on the transition process for newcomers/immigrants between and across generations. Through this initiative, we will build strong relationships between youth, adults, and seniors that will extend beyond this one-day event. The topics discussed at this event include; intergenerational communication, intercultural transitioning, caring for loved ones here and abroad, womanhood and culture, and navigating intimate relationships across the lifespan. These topics will be woven into an applied art activity in which all participants will have the opportunity to co-create a large piece together.

Cangrands National Kinship - North Hastings, Ontario                                                      

Grand Tales & Grand Food                         

Kinship girls in the McArthurs Mills community will come together to do a project on collecting stories of women in Canadian history who were raised by grandparents and interviewing grandmothers to collect two family recipes from their kinship caregivers to create a cookbook. Grandchildren, girls, young women raised by kinship grandmothers are the invisible minority in Canada despite there being 22,000 kinship children in Ontario alone. Many of these children struggle to bond. Writing about women in history who have experienced being raised by kinship caregivers and creating a GRAND cookbook will be a fun way to strengthen the bond.           

Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office - Toronto, Ontario                                                  

Beautiful You                   

For National Day of Action, our agency will empower newcomer and immigrant girls by helping them find their voice to stand up against violence and to learn about forming healthy relationships. With a peer-youth art facilitator, the girls will be able to express themselves through various forms of art, which will be displayed for their community so that they may bring awareness on violence in their community.             

Cultivating Herstory, Toronto, Ontario                                                                          

Reclaiming our Narratives

Our action will bring together women of colour for a day of unpacking herstory. Together we will debunk history and discuss stories which include the narratives of women- especially of women of colour as integrated parts of Canadian nation building. The purpose of this day is to engage young women of color in discussion and activities that centre women of colour as important shapers of our current lived experiences. Women of colour will be showcased and recognized for their role in history. We hope to look at current women of colour who are making positive changes in the Canadian context, such as activists, leaders and young professionals. We will invite some of these young leaders to the event to share in their stories and build meaningful relationships with the participants. Finally, we will bring the narratives of women who are integral to the Canadian landscape down to a micro perspective and look at how the women in our everyday lives have created change and impact. This includes truly understanding the sacrifices and effort the women in our lives make to support us. 

Ininiew Friendship Centre - Cochrane, Ontario

National Day of Action for girls!

On the day of our action, we will have an Elder to start off and to close our day with prayer and smudging. She will also be telling stories of the past, history, traditions and role and responsibilities of women and men in a traditional family. We will have door prizes for women and history trivia. We will also include fun activities of soap making, dream catcher making, and there will be various activities throughout the day of pampering nature. We will make it a fun day of learning! We will have various women in our community talking about what they do. There will be hands on activities and various tables set up with demonstrations by women in our community’s arts and crafts.       

Manitoba

Honouring our Women's Teachings - Winnipeg, Manitoba                                                  

Heart Medicine               

This action will consist of creating a space for young indigenous women participating in a decolonizing love and sex symposium called Heart Medicine to honour their elders through ceremony while acknowledging the oral teachings women have been passing on.  We will also celebrate these women and their teachings as a true representation of "Canadian" women's history to reclaim indigenous cultural practices.              

Saskatchewan

Women Warriors - Lloydminster, Saskatchewan                                                        

Indigenous Female Leaders Brunch                       

Women Warriors will be hosting an intergenerational (mother/daughter) brunch with guest speakers. The brunch includes making your own waffles with healthy options such as fruit toppings and sugar-free syrup or low-sugar jams and jellies. There will be activities like creating a group mother/daughter poem with community mapping. The guest speakers are prominent Indigenous female leaders in the community of Onion Lake and Lloydminster, SK that will speak about strong female leadership. A guest will facilitate a traditional indigenous craft for the mothers/daughters.            

British-Columbia

The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre - Victoria, British Columbia                                            

The Resistance to Violence through Food Justice Social Action                 

The Resistance to Violence through Food Justice Social Action is for youth to explore the connections between gender-based violence, colonization, and food justice. The social action will include 12-15 youth (ages 12-21) from diverse backgrounds, such as newcomer, LGBTQ, Indigenous, homeless/living in poverty and white ally youth. The social action will be an event guided by local Indigenous Elders, in which diverse youth will learn about and practice: local salmon harvesting and preparation, cultural protocols, responsibilities to land and community, and historical lessons around colonization and its impact on Indigenous ways of life. This event will be significant in terms of their learning about local Indigenous protocols, relationship building, and social action. Finally, the fish that will be prepared will be donated to the clinic at Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, where anyone who has been recently sexually assaulted comes to access medical, forensic, and/or police services.

Réseau-Femmes Colombie-Britannique - Vancouver, British Columbia                

Mentoraction "Self-respect" Day

The Mentoraction "self-respect" day aims to provide a full day of training and support to young girls who come from immigration or are cultural minority and give them the keys to being themselves the guarantors of their own welfare, of maintaining their self-confidence, to counter the effects of bullying, but also by becoming mentors in their community to help others. Several workshops will be offered to them throughout the day to strengthen their self-confidence, ability to pass on their acquired other. These workshops include: Awareness Workshop, Confidence and Self Esteem Workshop, and Taking a Stand and Speaking Up Workshop. Four to six women mentors, from diverse and inspiring life journeys, will also be present with the girls throughout the day. They will speak with them about their bullying experiences, their life choices, and their place as leaders of their own community despite having at one point suffered violence. These stories are intended to inspire but also reassure and advise them on their own choices and future. This day will be a first contact and establish ties between mentors and young girls, who may, if they wish, thereafter stay in contact with one or more of these mentors who will follow their evolution and will help them.

Immigrant Services Society of BC - New Westminster, British Columbia

Our action will consist of an intergenerational exchange between immigrant and refugee girls/young women and adult women. Our goal is to capture the stories of immigrant and refugee girls, young women and women of different generations living in suburban cities by having an in-depth dialogue about their newcomer experience which are rarely heard in mainstream society. We would have an art component to our action, collectively dreamed, implemented and curated. We would then display the art created in a public space, as an interactive art gallery that invites the public to reflect and engage in the process of understanding whose voices get heard and whose stories get told. Ultimately we are interested in creating connections that prevent isolation, celebrates the strengths and resiliency readily available among the participants while enhancing and nurturing the community ties.

InterCultural Association of Greater Victoria - Victoria, British Columbia

Women of Words & Wisdom

In collaboration with the Girls Action Foundation, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria would like to present “Women of Words & Wisdom”. This activity will bring together a group of newcomer and immigrant girls with a group of newcomer, immigrant and Canadian-born women, to chat about being a woman in the world. The group of girls and women will come together on a Saturday afternoon to enjoy tea, coffee and connection. The main event will essentially work the same way as a “speed dating” event, but substituting the goal of romantic connection for a goal of inspiring and empowering connection. 

Northwest Territories

PHAB - Hay River, Northwest Territories                                                                              

Stories of our Elders Showcase                

The PHAB girls program will facilitate a showcase of Elderly Women's stories from Hay River, NT. The girls will learn about interviewing and will work in small groups to create presentations of their interviews in a variety of forms. They will interview those in the community who are considered to be an elder, active leader or role model. They will then showcase their presentations at the local library. Members of the community will be invited to the showcase and to celebrate women's history!         

 


We would like to thank Canadian Heritage, Youth Take Charge and Status of Women Canada for their generous funding. This event is part of the "Looking Back, Looking Forward: Youth-led Action Project Celebrating Women's History in Canada" funded in part by Canadian Heritage, and the "Newcomer and Immigrant Girls in Canada: Encouraging Girls and Multiple Skateholders to Prevent Violence Project" funded by Status of Women Canada.