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This year marks the tenth anniversary of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Waterloo Region presented by Meridian. The walk, historically a men’s walk now open to folks of all genders, aims to raise awareness in our community about the serious and persisting prevalence of gender-based violence.  

Wazhma Frogh is an absolute powerhouse. She is a member of the Afghanistan High Peace Council and also the founder of the Women & Peace Studies Organization (WPSO), one of the few civil society organizations in Afghanistan that is working for women’s inclusion in the security sector reform processes with a particular focus on women in the police force. She has worked with women leaders from all over the country to ensure that women are utilized as resources for building peace at the local level and that they are meaningfully included in the country’s peace process. We are so excited to hear Wazhma tell her story on April 29 at She Talks 2019!

Tessa Hill is no stranger to sexism and harassment. Growing up in Ontario, Canada, she had heard stories from her friends about catcalling and slut shaming in the hallways at school and on social media. Tessa had learned early on about “rape culture,” especially on college campuses, where sexual assault is rarely punished and where survivors of all genders are often disregarded or even seen as at fault. So, when Tessa and classmate Lia Valent were asked to choose a social justice topic for an eighth grade school project in 2014, naturally they chose to tackle rape culture. Their project, Allegedly,  went viral online and Tessa quickly became a strong voice in the sex education fight, also championing the "We Give Consent" Change.org petition which gathered tens of thousands of signatures. We are so excited to hear her speak at She Talks 2019! 

Today, the Government of Canada announced a grant to YW Kitchener-Waterloo and YWCA Cambridge through the Women’s Program of Status of Women Canada, totalling $200,000 over four years. The grant will fund a joint project by the two YWCAs to address organizational capacity needs throughout Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge, and seek to ramp up the push for social and systemic change towards gender equality by facilitating a coalition of organizations and community members as well as collecting, analyzing and making public gender-based data to inform community programming.

“Women’s organizations know the importance of advocacy work,” said YW Kitchener-Waterloo CEO Elizabeth Clarke.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone in the Ontario beer industry who doesn’t know and love Ren Navarro. For over six years she has been regarded as one of the most respected members in the industry, spending much of her 6+ years in the field as a sales representative for renowned and award-winning breweries like Redline Brewhouse, Woodhouse Brewing Co., Great Lakes Brewery, Descendants Beer & Beverage Co., and Kensington Brewing Co.

Alongside her fervent love of the craft beer world is her determination to bring it to a more diverse audience. An outspoken critic of the old notion that beer is a drink primarily for "white dudes", Navarro is on the frontlines to initiate change both in and out of the industry.

Dana Bookman is the founder and CEO of Toronto Girls Baseball and the Canadian Women’s Baseball Association. She started Toronto Girls Baseball for her six year old daughter, who loves the game, but wanted to quit after a season of being the only female player in a league made up of 400 boys. Today, Toronto Girls Baseball is the only all girls baseball league in Canada for girls ages 4-16. It grew 840% in the first year alone, and has served almost 550 girls so far. The league has expanded to three locations in the GTA and also to Nova Scotia and Manitoba.

Violence has a far-reaching, long lasting impact for all who are touched by it. Yet we rarely talk about it. In her remarkable documentary, A Better Man, Attiya Khan bravely breaks that silence. Her film explores the abusive two-year relationship she endured with a man named Steve more than 20 years ago, when they were both teenagers.

In making A Better Man, Attiya took a huge step in overcoming fear—fear for herself, that her depression, anxiety and insomnia would resurface, and for Steve, over how viewers would react to him. The risk was well worthwhile; creating the film offered a gateway to true healing for both of them, and a valuable tool for many, many others.

If you were in the Galt Country Club banquet hall last night, you were witness to something pretty magical.

Last night, we all gathered to celebrate the work and achievements of 10 awe-inspiring women for our 25th Anniversary Women of Distinction gala.

But “awe-inspiring” doesn’t even begin to do them justice. These women are blazing trails in their communities through advocacy and activism, through education and mentorship, through volunteering, and through entrepreneurship. They’re doing it all with real, genuine intentions, and improving lives for so many people. We thank each and every one of them for their work and commitment. Throughout the evening, as nominators shared the stories of the recipients, the room filled with laughter at times, with tears at others, and even snaps and hoots at others.

YWCA Cambridge unequivocally condemns the terrorist attacks in Christchurch New Zealand. As an organization with a degree of visibility in the community, we feel it is our duty to speak out about these atrocities, and to say without reservation that we condemn white supremacy, we condemn racism, we condemn Islamophobia.

YWCA Cambridge is proud to announce the winners of the 25th Anniversary Women of Distinction awards:

“To be honoured in this way for the work I have loved is truly wonderful.”

 

In December, YWCA Cambridge Women of Distinction alumna (1996) Dr. Mary Law received the Order of Canada for her work in occupational therapy, particularly with children with disabilities and their families. To say we at YWCA Cambridge are proud of her is an understatement.

When asked how she felt about receiving the Order of Canada, Law said she was “thrilled.”

We're pretty grateful for the sweet (and delicious!) impact Jen Gralec makes within the Cambridge community. A long-term supporter of YWCA Cambridge, it's our pleasure to share some thoughtful words from the owner of Waterloo Region's most sought after bakery, Tiny Cakes.

A long-time supporter of YWCA Cambridge, we're privileged to feature Jill Summerhayes this week! Her passion and commitment to the community is broad-reaching and has been consistently impactful over the last 35 years. Read on for inspiration if you dare!

Modo Yoga Cambridge has been a long-time supporter of YWCA Cambridge and a number of other charities in the region: so we're pretty stoked to celebrate one of their three co-owners on the blog today, Christine Grant. Thanks for all you do Christine!

A long-time board member/volunteer/advocate/friend of YWCA Cambridge, Norma McDonald Ewing is one of those women that makes busy look easy. Even if she's running between commitments (which she usually is!), she's always got a smile on and encouraging words to offer. She was also instrumental in creating the first awards 25 years ago and for that we owe her a great debt of gratitude. Thanks Norma!

If you are hip to the fitness scene in Cambridge, this face is likely a familiar one. Marsha Jaworski is a massage therapist yoga and therapeutic exercise instructor, manual osteopath (thesis writer) and all around inspiring human. Oh and did we mention, also a Women of Distinction alumni? Here are a few quick thoughts from her to kick start your day with!

From emotional intelligence to men's rights, Women of Distinction alumni Colleen Smith has some thought provoking opinions to share. Take a few moments of your morning to get motivated and then get moving!

As an alumni with a passion for building community, Sarah Spry is now member of the WOD planning committee and helping us to build an outstanding 2019 event you won't want to miss. Hear from her on the importance of mentors, women in STEM, and more!

We've been waiting for this year's series of Women of Distinction Spotlights. Get ready to hear from some AMAZING alumni from the past 25 years! We hope you're just as excited. This week we're featuring Angela Asadoorian, Broker of Record, President at Royal LePage Crown Realty Services. Thanks so much for sharing your story Angela!

Alysha has been making music since she was a child. She loves producing music and is grateful to have released songs from her heart to some really incredible response. Between having auto-immune disease, being severely bullied in school and having varying run-of-the-mill artist mental health idiosyncrasies (chicken and egg- do I make art because I am depressed or am I depressed because I'm an artist?), music has always been the place where she feels ok on this planet and in this life. She doesn’t have all the answers, but she certainly has a lot of questions. Yoga has also helped her find peace. Alysha is a three-time Juno nominated artist.

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YWCA Cambridge (Head Office)

55 Dickson Street
Cambridge, ON
N1R 7A5

Monday-Saturday: 9 AM - 4 PM
(519) 267-6444

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20 Dickson Street (Unit 101)
Cambridge, Ontario
N1R 1T4

(519) 622-9960

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As a member agency of YWCA Canada, YWCA Cambridge is part of a national movement known as the country’s oldest and largest women's multi-service organization, the largest national provider of shelter, literacy, life skills, employment and counselling programs, and is the second largest provider of childcare services in Canada.

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