Vanier College is pleased to announce that it will be celebrating International Women’s Week 2016 with a full program of events running from March 7 to March 11. Exploring the theme of Defying Categories, this year’s IWW is an opportunity to meet women who have excelled in all aspects of Canadian life, including politics, sports, business, the law, music and the arts, activism and much more.
“In many instances, these women have redefined the conversations around them by adding their strong voices and challenging the assumptions about what is possible,” says Maggie Kathwaroon, principal organizer of the event and Coordinator of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. “Because of their perseverance, Canadian youth have new models for political engagement and strong examples of women touching and changing the lives of others.”
Sayydah Garrett will describe how she started a grassroots organization that is now partnered with UNICEF and aims at helping women in Kenya. Other speakers include Katie Saulnier who will speak about neurocognitive differences; Holly Jarrett, who started the “Am I Next” campaign to stop violence against indigenous women; lawyer and human rights advocate Bianca Baldo who will discuss violence against women in social media; and hockey player and four-time Olympic Gold medalist Caroline Ouellette who will explore the progress of women in sports and professional hockey.
In addition to guest speakers, two special panels will enable students to learn about the support services available to them and to hear their peers talk about their personal experiences. “Crossing the Line” pulls together professionals and students to share information about how to identify and deal with harassing situations. “Defying LGBT Stereotypes” combines students, staff and outside experts who will address the effects of persistent stereotypes and the impacts these have on the community.
Finally, IWW offers an excellent lineup of films from women directors, including The Mask You Live In, a documentary by Jennifer Siebel in which boys and experts speak about the need to change our definitions of manhood. Another film of note is Wadjda, the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia by a female Saudi director. As well, Courtney Montour, the director of Sex Spirit Strength will be on-hand to discuss her new documentary that follows two young Indigenous men as they deal with the stigma and shame associated with their sexual health and gender identity.
Events are free of charge and open to all members of the Vanier Community as well as the public and will take place in the Vanier Auditorium, A-103.