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Women’s Wall of Fame
Introduction Our goal with the Women‘s Wall of Fame is to provide a snapshot and personal herstory of several women who have helped shape the Northern Women‘s Centre. The project looked at the past 15 years of the Women‘s Centre beginning with the women who were involved with creating the Women‘s Centre to the current women who ensure that the centre continues to run. The women were asked to participate by either filling out a questionnaire or participating in an interview. The questions consisted of the following:
Questions 1. How are or were you involved either formally or informally with the Northern Women‘s Centre? 2. What did you do specifically? What events did you participate in (Take Back The Night, Jezebel‘s Jam, International Women‘s Day, Dec. 6 th mourning ceremonies, etc. )? 3. Do you have a wish for the future of the Northern Women‘s Centre? 4. What are you doing now (in regards women‘s issues) and how did the Northern Women‘s Centre influence your life? 5. Is there anything else you would like to share about the Northern Women‘s Centre and what the Centre means to you?
Thank you We are thankful for the women who were able to take part in this herstory. They capture the women‘s involvement with the Women‘s Centre and we are thankful for their contributions.
Acknowledgement The Women‘s Wall of Fame is not complete – it only gives a small herstory of what the Northern Women‘s Centre has done in the past 15 years. This is not a conclusion, but a collection of stories to capture the heart of the Northern Women‘s Centre. These women and many more are the herstory of the Northern Women‘s Centre. They helped to create and develop the Centre into the strong independent Centre we have today. The Northern Women‘s Centre has helped me become the woman I am today. I will hold the Northern Women‘s Centre close to my heart wherever life takes me. I am thankful for the support, mentorship, and education that I have gained from being a part of the Women‘s Centre. Forever thankful Vienna Skauge – Bouillon
Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 – 2008 Dr Mariane (Marika) Ainley, a distinguished historian of science in Canada, died in Victoria in September 2008 at the age of seventy. Marika was a pioneer in the history of ornithology and women in Canadian science; author of books and countless journal articles and book chapters; former principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute; and associate professor emerita of Concordia University and professor emerita of the University of Northern British Columbia. Born in Budapest in 1937, Marika began her studies in industrial chemistry as a teenager, completing her Diploma at the Petrik Lagos Polytechnical College. After the 1956 uprising, she left Hungary, first for Sweden and then for Montreal. While employed as a lab technician by Chemaco and Imperial Tobacco, she was also completing a degree in English and French literatures and psychology (1964) at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia). Such intellectual breadth and energy marked Marika‘s scholarship and life. One of Marika‘s deepest passions was for birds. She completed Cornell‘s certificate in ornithology in 1979 while working on her MSc in the history of science at the Université de Montréal. Her thesis, ―La professionalization de l‘ornithologie Americaine, 1870— 1979, was completed in 1980. She then pursued her Ph. D in history of science at Mc. Gill University.
Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 – 2008 Her dissertation, ―From Natural History to Avian Biology: Canadian Ornithology, 1860— 1950, ‖ was accepted in 1985. Marika‘s doctoral dissertation, she later wrote, ―lacked a gender analysis‖; at the same time, her work experience ―as an invisible woman chemist, combined with my activities as an amateur ornithologist, led to a scholarly interest in those on the margins of the Western scientific community. ‖ Influenced by the work of American historian of science Margaret Rossiter, she attended the First International Interdisciplinary Conference on Women in the History of Science in Hungary in 1983, an experience she described as a ―major turning point. For the following decade, she worked on two linked projects, both of which bore the marks of her feminist perspective on the history of science. Her work on women in Canadian science, funded by the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women and by a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, led to Despite the Odds: Essays on Canadian Women and Science, published in 1990.
Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 – 2008 Simultaneously, Marika completed a ―feminist scientific biography, ‖ in her words, of a pioneering ornithologist and founder of the Zoology department at the University of Alberta. Restless Energy: A Biography of William Rowan, 1891— 1957 was published in 1993. Marika‘s first regular academic appointment was as Principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute and Associate Professor of Women‘s Studies at Concordia University, a post in which she served from 1991 to 1995. She left the institute in 1995 to become Professor and founding Chair of Women‘s Studies at the new University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, BC. During her time at UNBC, Marika served as president of both the Canadian Women‘s Studies Association and the Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association. While supervising graduate students, teaching undergraduates, and publishing a steady stream of articles and book chapters, Marika also engaged with the Prince George arts 6 community and enjoyed the birds of the boreal forest. She continued to work on the project that seemed to her most urgent and was dearest to her heart: the history of women in scientific work. This research led her to a profound engagement with oral history, as she recorded interviews with some of Canada‘s pioneering women scientists, many of them of advanced age.
Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 – 2008 Marika‘s interest in the margins and silences of Western science also led her to an interest in indigenous scientific and environmental knowledge and its transfer in Canada and Australia, the topic of her final SSHRC grant (2001). During this period, her work was facilitated by Visiting Scholar appointments at Central Queensland University (2003, 2000) and the Institute for the Study of Gender at Auckland University (2001). As usual, Marika was entranced not only by her academic research but by Australia‘s natural environment. Marika retired from her position at UNBC in 2003, moving to Victoria with her husband David in 2004. Soon afterward, cancer interfered with her characteristically busy schedule of painting, research, and birding. Marika met this new challenge with her usual indefatigable spirit and inimitable style, continuing to work with her painting group, the Madronas, and completing her manuscript on the history of women and scientific work at Canadian universities from 1884 to 1980. On 26 September 2008, with her husband children at her side and her dear sister on the telephone, Marianne Gosztonyi Ainley passed away. Celebrations of her life held in Victoria, Prince George, and Montreal made clear her contributions to communities of scholarship, advocacy, and friendship. She is deeply missed. Jacqueline Holler Chair of History and Coordinator of Women‘s and Gender Studies Programs University of Northern British Columbia
Marianne Veronika Goztonyi Ainley, 1937 – 2008 I feel privileged to have been one of Marika Ainley Women's Studies students. She was an amazing force in life and one that now remains in my life after her passing. Marika stoked the fire in the hearts and minds of her students. She brought passion and color to everything she touched. Also, a favorite of a fellow student Emily Hansen, we kindly dubbed Marika 'Coco Chanel' as she swirled in creativity and strength. She was always well presented with a high level of grace. I would not be the woman I am today without the love, nurturing, and the influence of this amazing woman. She worked hard and struggled to have women in the Prince George region have access to education. To help them open their minds and question the world around them. I miss Marika everyday, I am glad to have had the amazing opportunity to have known her as a teacher, a woman, and a friend. Rest in Peace lovely Marika. Alexandra Vlaszaty.
Lynn Box The University started offering classes in 1991, and in 1992 or 1993, when the campus was almost complete. Julia Emberly, one of the Women‘s Studies professors, was adamant that the University have a Women‘s Centre. I think that she was very instrumental in creating the Women‘s Centre, along with Paul Zanette, who was also an asset. I think because I was a student in Women‘s Studies, I was more involved with signing whatever needed to be signed and getting the Centre going. In the beginning, the University wanted the Centre to be located in the Winter Garden, but we wanted to be here, in the current space, because it is close to Security. I was also involved informally while I was doing my Women‘s Studies degree. During the early days, we did not have a board of directors – everything was run by consensus. Since we didn‘t have funding, everything was done by volunteers. Once we did get some money, we hired a part-time person to keep the Centre running. We didn‘t have the resources that are here now; there were no books, bookshelves, or the microwave. The couch is the same one [laugh]. I think for the first couple of years we were pretty closely monitored as to what we were doing. In the beginning, we were not political – it was more important to get the space established. There was a lot of resistance to the Centre from some of the men on campus. They just didn‘t see why we had to have a Women‘s Centre when there wasn‘t a Men‘s Centre, and at the time this was one of the bigger spaces available. For the first couple of years we were quiet. We had our room, and we didn‘t want to make any waves. We didn‘t want to upset any men on campus (well, not just men), there were a lot of women that didn‘t think we needed a Centre. We did an open house in both September and January so that we would have both doors open and we would do ―women things, ‖ like bake cookies and brownies, and have all that kind of stuff available, but the naysayer still wouldn‘t come through.
Lynn Box I went to The December 6 th ceremonies because they were on campus. Take Back The Night or Jezebel‘s Jam began years later while I was doing my masters, so I didn‘t really have time for those events. The Centre has been here since day one, and I am thrilled that it is still here. My wish would be that the Centre wouldn‘t be necessary – that we wouldn‘t need women‘s shelters, women‘s centres, or separate spaces for women at all, and that women would get paid the same as men for the same kind of work, but until that happens, I think it is great the Centre is here. My wish would be that someone won a whole bunch of money and bequeathed it to the Women‘s Centre to keep it running. Now I make afghans from wool that are donated from the community or whoever will give it to me. I make three different sizes: adult, child, and afghans for babies. The afghans are then given to women and children at the Phoenix House, and then the women can take the blankets with them when they leave. That is how I am giving back to the community.
Jacqueline Baldwin In September of 1993, before the buildings of the University of Northern British Columbia were ready for occupancy, UNBC classes were held in various temporary locations in Prince George. I believe there were only about 200 students at that time. The Registration and Faculty offices for the new University were in a building on the corner of 6 th Avenue and Brunswick Street, downtown, next to the often rollicking old Bingo Hall. The University Library was temporarily housed in a cavernous vacant Forestry building up near 20 th Avenue and Ospika. Students would sometimes meet after class in the coffee shop of the Bingo Hall, and on occasion there workshops given by visiting guests held in the large basement rooms of those buildings. Poet Betsy Warland of Vancouver held one of the first writing workshops organized by Dr. Julia Emberley, our professor, who was teaching a course called ―Introduction to Women‘s Studies. ‖ I was one of the 23 new students most of whom were from the immediate Prince George area, who had registered in her course, and it was the first time I had been in a University classroom for more than thirty years. When my youngest child graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in English and Women‘s Studies in 1991, I sold our farm and moved to the city so I could go back to school again. I wanted to pursue a writing career. We attended classes either in the Theatre of the College of New Caledonia, or over at the Ecole Francaise on 17 th Avenue in the Millar Addition. When we needed a space where we could watch a video as part of our class work, students and professor would gather at my house downtown, and we would all crowd ourselves around on the living room furniture, sit cross legged on the floor or perched on the stairs to view the film. Sometimes we would bring potluck, or I would make a giant pot of Moroccan bean and squash soup for us to share. I remember those occasions as times of deeply profound discussion and learning despite the informal nature of the venue – or maybe because of it.
Jacqueline Baldwin Very early in the first semester, Dr. Emberley talked to us about the need for a Women‘s Centre to be established at the University, and invited people to form a group which could begin doing the planning and groundwork to make a University Women‘s Centre a reality. I was not on that particular committee, but I do remember observing what a lot of hard work was necessary to ensure that the foundation work was done so that space would eventually be approved and provided after the new buildings were up and running. Until the Women‘s Centre was formally established, our debriefing sessions were held in the Cafeteria at the College, at Other Art and Cappuccino Café opposite City Hall, down in the Bingo Hall Café, or in private homes. What we were learning in our Women‘s Studies classes was often very difficult to accept because of the deep and shocking truths about colonization, race, class and gender, and the depth and breadth of violence against women and children all over the world. It was difficult at first to learn how to accurately perceive the reality of male domination of women and how that domination informs women‘s lives. Sometimes students experienced emotional reactions to these realities, and the debriefing sessions provided a safety valve for many of us, and also comfort. The shared experience of studying texts in Dr. Joanne Fiske‘s classes in 1994 that outlined the appalling facts of the sex trade in Asia for example, was made less traumatic because of the connections students made after class in those various temporary places of gathering. On occasion, our studies triggered memories for some women students who had endured abusive experiences, and they found themselves able to talk about it out loud for the first time. Such was the value of the integrity of the after-class gatherings of the women. Later on this same connection grew and thrived in the Women‘s Centre when it was established. It became a place where women could seek and find learning, support, solace, understanding, wisdom, peace, and safety. A place of discussion, refuge and respect.
Jacqueline Baldwin Beginning in 1992, I had participated in local Prince George events such as The Annual River Flower Ceremony, Take Back The Night March in Prince George and Vancouver, International Women‘s Day celebration annually, the December 6 th Montreal Massacre Memorial Ceremony, and then when it began in about 1996 or 1997, I was a guest performer at the annual Jezebel‘s Jam. If I remember correctly, it was a group of students in Marika Ainley‘s Feminist Research Methods class who came up with the idea for Jezebel‘s Jam. I was invited to read my poems at all of these events, and continued to do this until 2007. The Northern Women‘s Centre has been very supportive of my writing career, and extremely generous and welcoming to me. When my first book Threadbare Like Lace was published in October of 1997, I was invited to the Centre to meet students to talk about the publishing process, and presented with flowers and cards of congratulations Since 1992 when I had my very first poem published, I have done more than 400 readings of my work at Conferences, Training Forums, and Workshops in Prince George and Vancouver, on Radio and Television, in Elementary and High Schools and at the College of New Caledonia, and have often been a classroom guest at UNBC. My books have been required reading in various classes at UNBC and in other Universities and Colleges across Canada.
Jacqueline Baldwin In 2002, I was a cast member of the production of the Vagina Monologues at UNBC directed by Cathy Denby, a counselor in the First Nations Studies program, and stage manager Alison Haley of Prince George. It ran for five performances to full houses at the Canfor Theatre. The Northern Women‘s Centre and Serious Moonlight Productions were the joint sponsors/producers. I played two roles – Hair, and The Bosnian Woman. Being involved in this endeavor was one of the finest privileges of my life and I will always be grateful to my superb colleagues in the cast, The Northern Women‘s Centre, and all who were involved in the production and performances, including the respectful and enthusiastic audiences. I wish that the Women‘s Centre will continue to grow and thrive, that funding for it will be a priority of the University‘s financial plans because of the immense contribution the Northern Women‘s Centre has made not just to the wellbeing of women students during the demanding years of working toward their degree, but to the wellbeing of all. The Northern Women‘s Centre benefits the wider Community of Prince George, and by extension all of Northern British Columbia through its work to raise awareness and promote a closer understanding of women‘s issues, and how all of those issues are connected to, and benefit, individual, family, and community health. 10 I believe it was poet Betsy Warland who once pointed out that feminism is not simply about women getting ―a bigger piece of the pie‖ but about better health and wellbeing for all human beings.
Jacqueline Baldwin I continue to write, publish my work, and do my readings. I am involved in many community and University events that support advancement of women in society. I have done keynote presentations at Simon Fraser University, at Ending Violence Conferences in Vancouver, and presentations at similar events here in Prince George. An essay and poem of mine were published in the United Kingdom recently in an academic journal called Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography. (Routledge: 2009). Some work has been published in Chicago in 2009, and seven new poems appear in a new anthology edited by Debbie Keahey of UNBC: Unfurled: Poetry By Northern British Columbia Women (Caitlin Pres, 2010) to be launched at Art Space at 7 p. m. on September 18, 2010. There are 31 Northern B. C. women poets in this new collection. The Northern Women‘s Centre influenced my life by never giving up on goals no matter what difficulties arose. (Referring, for one example, to the temporary closing down of the Centre early in its history). By acknowledging and continuing to speak out about the realities of women‘s lives rather than the fictions that have been invented about women, the Women‘s Centre reinforces courage for others to speak out too. The Centre influences and encourages us to investigate and re-examine our own personal life experiences under a new and more accurate microscope that leads to greater understanding through feminist theory and practice. The Northern Women‘s Centre‘s activities contribute greatly to human wellbeing.
Jacqueline Baldwin The people who work there have always given me a gracious and generous welcome, provided opportunities for me to read my work at events or on the campus radio, sent me delightful e-mails signed: ―your pals at the Women‘s Centre‖ and encouraged me in my work as a writer. In addition, my times spent either at the Women‘s Centre or at events they have sponsored and to which they invited me as a guest, have left me with many fine memories to carry with me. Laughter, kindness, understanding, generosity, and all that wonderful music and dancing at Jezebel‘s Jam over the years. The privilege of being a guest reader in the company of all of those other performers at various events whether memorial or celebratory has added great riches to my life. Yes. The work done to build and sustain the Northern Women‘s Centre, and the subsequent numerous day to day successes of the Centre provide clear evidence of positive change in a difficult world, and of the importance and value of all effort to advance feminist knowledge and awareness. To the Northern Women‘s Centre on this important anniversary, I send my congratulations, admiration, respect, and gratitude.
Theresa Healy My connection to the Women‘s Centre has always been informal. I came to UNBC in 1994 as a faculty member with a brand new teaching load, so I didn‘t have a lot of time to volunteer with the Centre, although I always believed in it. Whenever there was a need for someone to speak for or support in some way I always believed it to be my foremost role as a women professor to support the Women‘s Centre. I feel very strongly about this, I do not want this history lost. Every fall there was always controversy about the Women‘s Centre‘s very existence and the attempt to take away the space the Centre occupies. Every year there would be something written in the student newspaper or some desire to take the space away. After all, we didn‘t have a Men‘s Centre, so why should we privilege female students with a Women‘s Centre? There women faculty that were prepared to speak up very candidly that the University campus was not necessarily a safe place for female students and we needed the Women‘s Centre. Women on campus have a need to feel safe physically and emotionally. In addition, women need something of their culture of being women recognized, and this was a fierce battle every fall. I remember being so frustrated that once again it was the same issues. There would be new students coming up through the undergrad society and not understanding the importance of the Women‘s Centre, so once again it would have to be explained all over again, and most often to male students. To me, it is a vitally important part of history I do not want lost. I also want to acknowledge Dr. Jago, who was the President and started at roughly the same time I started. He would come and speak at events like the December 6 th memorial, and other events that the Women‘s Centre organized. I would also like to acknowledge Dr. David Delmare, a history professor, who produced a book on the history of violence against women.
Theresa Healy I am really discouraged that the Women‘s Centre has not grown in the last 15 years and that it is exactly the same size as the day I started. I find it a bit symbolic of how women are valued in our society, not to mention how they are valued within a university system. I always participated in the December 6 th memorial and International Women‘s Day, and have always made it a point to attend the December 6 th memorial. I was studying at the University of Saskatchewan when the attack happened. We held vigils very shortly after the massacre happened and people said we couldn‘t speak out, that we could get shot because no one knows how many other mad men are out there. I remember saying that we have to speak up, even though I was terrified to speak on the podium. I wondered if we too would be attacked and shot at, therefore, December 6 th has always been important to me. Furthermore, one year the Women‘s Centre put body shapes in masking tape (if you only knew the trouble we went through with the University), but it is important to do these very creative and impactful things as a way of reminding people about the 14 young women that died when they shouldn‘t have, for the simple reason that they wanted to be in a university class room. For many years I was a speaker and have written poems, each year. I try and do a different poem to speak to the importance of taking this time, and that he – this lunatic, this misogynist - wouldn‘t win.
Theresa Healy There are smaller things I have done for the Centre over the years, such as donating a beautiful piece of art to the Centre. I have always collected the toiletries from hotel rooms and bring a big bag of those to the Centre. I had been told there are some women living in residence that do not feel safe, so they spend the night in the Women‘s Centre. I feel that by bringing those types of things into the Centre it helps support them in having a safe space to go. We have held fashion shows, brought books, and donated books. A year or two ago we even created a pot of money for single mom‘s who could not afford to feed their children; I would donate $100 and would challenge my female colleagues to donate money. We also did a mentorship project where we matched a person that was more experienced in issues surrounding feminism with someone who was a feminist and eager to learn. Overall I did lots of things over the years so the Women‘s Centre could continue to help support women.
Theresa Healy If I could be a fairy-god-mothere would be three wishes I would wish. One, that there would be a bigger space and that it would include a shower, laundry facilities, lockers, and a quite rest room with a comfortable couch and dim lighting that any women could access - I feel that right now the Women‘s Centre is a hive of energy and ideas. Two, I would like to see the University actually make that happen and commit publicly and vocally to give those resources, and ensure we have paid staff. Also, to make it possible for female students to access things like an emergency childcare fund, an emergency food fund, an emergency book fund, and help remove some of those obstacles in order to gain an education. Men can go and work a construction job all summer and make really good money. What options do women have to support themselves? The Women‘s Centre could help reduce some of those barriers for women. My third wish would be to see the Women‘s Centre more active in Northern BC women‘s issues. It is called the Northern Women‘s Centre, yet it does a lot more than many other Women‘s Centre‘s in the community, but overall I would love to see the Women‘s Centre be more active within the community.
Theresa Healy I am still a very strong feminist, and a lot of my work involves ensuring that gender issues are addressed. Not just work involving women, but complicating gender issues to understand, such as, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, poor, and Aboriginal issues. Women suffer double and triple jeopardy because of other circumstances in their lives; therefore, a lot of my work is really focusing on the marginalized – not just women. I think that I am still doing a lot of feminist work, and I have my first book of poetry coming out this fall. I have always contributed financially, emotionally, practically, and in as many ways as I can. I always offer mentorship, for example, when I teach a class I try to make sure that my feminism isn‘t something that is just a philosophical theory, its how we make sure women are given this hand to bridge into this world in a good way. I think that the Northern Women‘s Centre is a magnet that seems to draw the feistiest, the most interesting, and the most politically aware women into its fold, but mostly women that need help. It is interesting when women go to the Centre because they need assistance, not because of a feminist impulse, and then they learn what actual sisterhood is about, what being a feminist, and being a woman in our society is about, and one of those things is learning to help each other out.
Tammy Skomorowski I was involved with the Women‘s Centre between the years of 1995 – 1998. At that time, the buses ran once every half hour and it would take me two buses to get home. I would stay in the library until 11: 00 pm but the last bus left at 9: 00 pm, so I would sleep in the Women‘s Centre. The Women‘s Centre is close to security and I knew I could lock the door and be safe, as well as heat up my lunches, or just hang out. That is mostly how I used the Women‘s Centre while I was a student, and later as a referral agency because I wanted to do a work placement. I started asking where I could locate placements in the community with my degree in M. Ed. In 2004, I came back to the University as a staff member. I was working in the medical program, as the Student Affairs Officer, so I was involved with the Women‘s Centre in terms of knowing what the Centre offered and how it could benefit students in the medical program. In 2005, I started in the Counselling Centre at the University and began doing the volunteer training for the Women‘s Centre, this included, creating the communication skills and crisis response training every semester. I used some of the previous material and some material from Sarah and combined these along with my own materials to create the training program that is still currently being used. I am currently involved in women‘s issues through my work as an assertiveness workshop facilitator for the Salmon Valley Women‘s Festival and my role as a counsellor at the College of New Caledonia
Kerri Fisher I got involved with the Northern Women‘s Centre in 1995 in order to meet people. I began planning and attending events, then joined some of the committees. I helped organize International Women‘s Day, Take Back The Night, and the December 6 th Memorial. For Take Back The Night, I acted as an assistant, making posters and getting people out to the event. For December 6 th, I did quite a bit of organizing in 1996 and 1997. We did tape outlines of each of the women that had been murdered, then put their names inside them and put those around campus. That caused quite a stir and was one of the more controversial and political things the Centre did. I think it raised a lot of awareness, but caused a lot of problems for us at the same time. I was involved with the Women‘s Centre for three years and still have friends that I had made at the Centre. For the future of the Women‘s Centre, I hope that the Centre continues to get funding and continues to be a social and political voice for not only the university but for the community in general. As far as how the Centre influenced my life, it was my first real exposure to feminism and other women with feminist ideas. It was a nice way for me to get exposure to other feminists around my age. It was lots of fun. It wasn‘t just a political Centre for us - it was a really fun, social Centre for potlucks and rest. If you didn‘t feel well the couch was there to relax on if you couldn‘t make it all the way home. When we hired the first coordinator, we wanted the best person for the position. The members of the Centre had never hired anyone before so it took us 5 or 6 hours of communal conversation to reach any kind of decision. We had some really good times in those early years. I was the supporter to get things moving.
Tobi Araki I was the Coordinator for most of the Winter ‗ 96/Spring ‗ 97 Year, and then was integrally involved with various events and activities until 2000. Take Back The Night, Jezebel‘s, International Women‘s Day, December 6 th mourning ceremonies, etc. I organized the first major International Women's Day fair at UNBC; we brought in a keynote speaker that year from Georgia Tech U to speak on Women's issues in Science. Also participation and performance at the December 6 th Vigil with Elizabeth Fry Society and many, many other events such as Violence Against Women (VAW) week, as well as organized with other women the first annual Jezebel's Jam, and integrated work with PGPIRG by starting the food co-op, we had a second hand "trade" box to help students in need. I was part of starting many other programs such as self defense and psychological self defense classes, I cannot remember everything, but there were fundraisers, poetry nights, women's retreats at Purden Lake, women's art projects (some of which are still hanging on the wall). I am currently a regular member with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, posted in Prince George. I continue to do work with AWAC (An Association Advocating for Women & Children), and I am currently work with at risk youth and run a program that deters consumers involved in the sex trade (johns). I am also a member of Community Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth (CASEY).
Alex Vlaszaty-Zaiser I became involved with NWC in 1996, and quickly developed ―Boost, ‖ a Feminist Zine that we handed out throughout the campus. Shortly after I was part of the collective but also brought a large element of art to the new campus. I named the music festival Jezebel's Jam after the same concept of Lilith Fair. We wanted to reclaim a name from patriarchal rule and share the truth about Jezebel. . . a goddess worshiper who was persecuted and misrepresented in the mass society. We began Jezebel's Jam in 2000, and I helped with all the advertising, door prizes, and decorated all the posters. I also participated in Take Back The Night in 1996, as a guest speaker. My art is on the walls of the Centre, as is the belly of my amazing son, Escher Skye, who I became pregnant with my last year at UNBC in 2002. I hope for a strong future for the NWC and I would like to see something done to remember the amazing and terribly missed Marika Ainley. Her energy and power lives on within those of us lucky enough to be her warriors. She was a driving force for the NWC and on campus for all women - I miss her dearly. I have worked in the transition house system, and done my own art shows questioning the image of women in society. I continue to create a realm of sisterhood in my life, and remind women to work together, as so much in society teaches us to divide forces. I am an everyday Feminist or Feminasty, as Emily Hansen and I call ourselves! I currently work with punk and metal bands in Victoria and have created a sponsorship program to help with merchandise and gigs for local Victoria talent. The Centre is where I met the women I call my closest friends. It is where I felt safe on campus to voice my opinions and question the world around me. I would not be who I am today without the NWC, the place I called home and the women I am still lucky enough to call my sisters.
Miriam Hughes (Mim) • • I started my Women’s Studies degree in September of 1996 at UNBC. I got involved with the Women‘s Centre through the doing of my degree. That was the beginning of my involvement with the Centre. I was the summer Centre coordinator from May 2000 to September of 2000. This was during the very end of my degree (which I finished at the end of August 2000). I participated in Take Back the Night, (Jezebels, IWD these two I‘m fairly sure I was involved in…) December 6 th mourning ceremonies etc. During my term as summer coordinator the Centre was going through a bit of funding uncertainty as well as changes to the demographics of the Centre. UNBC was established in 1994 and by 2000 many of the founding members of the Centre had graduated or left UNBC and the Centre was in need of a new influx of incoming women to pick up the mandate of the Centre. The Centre had always been determinedly feminist in its ideological origins and this did not always sit comfortably with some members of the student body and some members of academic staff as well. I‘m glad to see that the Centre is still active at UNBC and in the North. That it remains true to its original origins, a centre for women, by women that are primarily interested and involved in advancing women‘s goals and interests both at UNBC and in the greater Northern community. There is a tendency to water down feminism and feminist goals and ideals which I think is ultimately detrimental to women. One of the reasons the Centre was so helpful for me, both as a student and as a woman was because of its commitment to the feminist ideals of advancement for women first and foremost.
Miriam Hughes (Mim) I currently work in disaster management and public education research at Massey University in New Zealand. Within my research is an implicit understanding that women‘s needs and experiences during a disaster are different from those of men and that a specific set of resources are needed to address those needs. I also lecture in sociology. All of my work in teaching and in research is woven with, spoken with and written with that feminist consciousness that I gained through my study and association with the Women‘s Centre at UNBC. It has become my natural way of thinking. I am also Vice President of the National Council of Women, New Zealand (Wairarapa region). How did the Centre influence my life? I went to the Centre every single day during my time at UNBC (1996 -2000). It became like a second living room in the best sense of the word. I felt welcome and supported, I made some very good friends as well, that I still keep in touch with. At that time, I was married to my first husband had young children. The Women‘s Centre provided me with what was really the first space I‘d ever had in my life to figure out who I was and what my place in the world might be, aside from my roles as wife and mother.
Miriam Hughes (Mim) The importance of the Centre for me as a woman and as a scholar cannot be over-emphasised. I‘d been raised a Jehovah‘s Witness, gotten married quite young (to a non JW) and had four children by the time I was 28. I started my degree shortly before I turned 31 after leaving the Witness faith. It opened up a whole new world for me as a person and in particular as a woman. I had a lot of ground to make up as there were huge gaps in both my formal and life experiences education. I did a lot of my studying in the Centre during quiet periods and would come up on the weekends to use the space as a quiet study area as well. My marriage was at times very rocky, particularly as my feminist consciousness developed (going from zero to 100 very quickly LOL) and the Centre provided me with a clear space to think, work and just exist in. There were some fantastic women involved with the Centre who really helped me on the way…I‘m eternally grateful to them all and I now try to return the favour to other women whenever I can. The Women‘s Centre was pivotal in my journey to my doctoral degree and the life I live now. Being able to meet women who, like me, were pursuing degrees with children to care for and other life challenges gave me a lot of comfort and confidence. It allowed me to develop faith in myself and my abilities through the provision of a space for women that while not without its politics strives to be supportive and inclusive. I worked very hard in my degree to obtain the grades I did but just as importantly I had phenomenal support from academics working at that time in the women‘s studies program at UNBC. Dr Joanne Fiske, Dr Suzanne Le. Blanc, and others provided me with a really solid foundation (as well as a huge pile of written recommendations) from which to apply for an international scholarship with which to pursue my Ph. D in Australia immediately following the completion of my Bachelor‘s degree. I was ultimately successful in my scholarship bid and successfully completed my Ph. D in 2006. Having the Centre as a place to study, think and talk to other women during this journey was hugely important.
Miriam Hughes (Mim) All of these experiences have helped shape the academic, feminist and whole person I have become. When I look back that ―Mim‖ (which is what I‘m known as to friends and family and during my time at UNBC) seems almost like another person. I do work that I love, and I am able to understand how and why women function and are positioned in the world the way they are and I incorporate these understandings into my work every day. I feel well on my way to becoming the most self-actualised individual I can be. I‘m happily remarried (with this marriage bearing no resemblance to my first one…it is a very feminist marriage and I‘m learning from my mistakes (LOL), and my children are doing well. And I think that all of this has been influenced by my time at UNBC and by the friendships, learning, thinking, and just being that I was able to do within the walls of the Northern Women‘s Centre. In New Zealand there is a Maori saying: Kia Kaha – stay strong. That is what I wish for the Centre…to stay strong. As long as there are women living, working and striving in the North there will always be a need for a place like the Northern Women‘s Centre.
Emily Hansen While enrolled in the Women‘s Studies program at UNBC, I met a lot of fabulous ladies involved in Women‘s Centre projects. With two of these women, Alex Vlaszaty and Jewelles Smith, I helped create from the ground-up and distribute for two years, what will always be known as Prince George‘s most entertaining and offensive women‘s Zine, ―Boost. ‖ Every month, Alex, Jewelles and I would get together with a huge bottle of wine, gathering the many submissions from both university students (male and female) and members of the Prince George community. We would then cut and paste the magazine together and send it to print the next day. Boost included ―sex poetry‖, regular poetry (but not much), interviews, random rants, paintings, and drawings, which people either loved or hated. We were interviewed by the newspaper, and people regularly wrote to the paper saying that they thought the magazine was a fun and interesting expression of women‘s lives, or that it was a complete piece of trash, not fit to line a garbage bin with – total uproar. At times, even the women who put together the magazine (I‘m not going to lie) also got into massive squabbles, which contributed to the diversity and general flavor of Boost, but also led to its demise (however, some of us are still friends almost ten years later!). Yes, may it still exist to support the empowerment of women, and may it also support the energizing level of radicalism, which helped Boost to become as popular as it was for two years. In my time at UNBC, I think that the Women‘s Centre at times had tried too hard to ―people please, ‖ either because funding was at stake (constantly an issue throughout my time there) or because some women wanted the ―image‖ of the Women‘s
Emily Hansen Centre to reflect the principles of liberal feminism (which, I have some respect for, but let‘s face it sometimes we need to up the ante a bit). As women, we need to understand that no peace comes without struggle, and if we have to kick, scream, and offend people sometimes, then that‘s fine. Let‘s keep asking for what we need as women. I have been traveling for almost nine years in Asia and the Middle East, writing about my experiences and women‘s issues. I have published several travel articles on a site called Brave New Traveler and have chosen to focus on feminist issues for many of them. I also have a piece in a book in India about what it was like to live in a small town in the Himalayas as a foreign woman for nearly two years. Now I am in Turkey and I see a lot of similarities between my culture and the Turkish culture as it pertains to women. I also realized that they suffer certain inequities, simply because they are Turkish women. I found there to be lots of overlap in oppression, as well as differences between the two cultures. I also wore an abaya in Saudi, and what an experience that was. I liked that my body shape was not in constant focus like it was in the West, but at the same time, I felt an incredible outrage against the whole general concept, which is still something I would like to write about. The Women‘s Centre and the Women‘s Studies program at UNBC has definitely helped me to integrate the information and experience of traveling, and also relating to the problem of women‘s oppression which exists everywhere.
Emily Hansen In the words of filmmaker Trinh Minh-Ha, ―The world is round and blue, like an orange. ‖ Debate and diversity are power. May the Women‘s Centre have the support it needs to exist as a multi-layered and functioning network of super cool women dedicated to making life more interesting and freer for women in the Prince George community and beyond.
Jenny Biem I think I was on the board for a little while – it has been a long time, but I might have helped with the incorporation of the society. When the Centre was first opened, I was pretty involved in the debate over whether or not it should be a women‘s only space (hoping it still is a women‘s only!) I participated in Take Back The Night, December 6 th and International Women‘s Day (IWD) events. When I was pregnant I participated in a pretty fun pro-choice rally with a shaved head and a huge belly, I also donated some books to the library when I left town. I think Jezebel‘s Jam was after my time. . . I‘m raising a girl on my own; we talk about feminist values, power in society, race and sexuality, etc. I have been marginally involved with efforts to maintain funding for the girl‘s alternative program here in Victoria, which provides support for teenage moms to finish high school. While doing my law degree at UBC, I would hassle pro-life demonstrators at UBC whenever they showed up on campus. Now, I am mainly a workaholic.
Jessica Madrid I first began to use the services of the NWC in my first year of university (1999/2000) and shortly thereafter, was recruited onto the Collective by Suzie, the coordinator at the time. I served as a board member for a one-year term in 2002 and then resumed my involvement as a Collective member until 2006 (when I ceased being a student at UNBC). As a PGP!RG board director, I also worked closely with the NWC on joint events surrounding social justice, feminism, and women‘s health. During this time, I participated in the organization/implementation of several fundraising/awareness events (both on campus and off), such as Take Back The Night, International Women‘s Day, the December 6 th Vigil, and Jezebel‘s Jam. Joint PGP!RG/NWC events included workshops on women‘s health (i. e. Scarlet Tide Brigade Menstrual/Reproductive Health Activism) and anti-fashion shows. During the early time that I was involved with the Centre, there was much tension surrounding the funding of the Centre by NUGSS. Therefore, a big part of my NWC activities involved rallying and lobbying for sustainable funding. I wish the Centre were more accessible to the community at large (this has evidently been an ongoing theme with the NWC). I also wish that the Centre had a stronger 3 rd wave feminist vibe – more acceptance of gender fluidity (which I know can challenge the concept of ―women‘s only‖ space), sex positivism, DIY culture, etc…
Jessica Madrid I am a Public Health Nurse (RN) who works primarily with women (i. e. perinatal health, women‘s centered healthcare). Although I haven‘t had much involvement with the NWC since leaving UNBC, I credit the Centre (and especially its early coordinators/Collective members, many of whom were amazing hardcore womyn) for enlightening me to the feminist movement and related activism. I made several long-lasting friendships and learned many practical skills in working with Not For Profit (NFP) societies (i. e. event planning, working on/with a board of directors/collective members, etc. ). The NWC was a huge part of my early university experience. I am eternally thankful to the amazing women who fought to keep the Centre alive during a time of great uncertainty. I am also grateful to the powerful women who mentored me during this time and who challenged me to critically think about the status of women on campus, in our community, in the world at large, and historically.
Dawn Hemingway I have been a member of and advocate for the Northern Women‘s Centre for the past 15 years – in the early days as a student and since 2000 as a faculty member. Women‘s roles, situations, and contributions to society have always been on my mind as early as I can remember. I can still see – clear as a bell - the debate topic I proposed in elementary school Why a women’s place is NOT in the home. The Women‘s Centre, other organizations and work relating to women‘s emancipation are also linked in my memory and in herstory to the second wave of feminism. In the 1960‘s, I was involved with and started the first Women‘s Liberation organization in Vancouver at SFU – the Feminist Action League – and later the Vancouver Women‘s Caucus – and organized the Abortion Caravan Across Canada to get abortion out of the criminal code. We chained ourselves to the seats in the visitor‘s gallery of the federal parliament forcing parliament to shut down for the first time ever. I also staged sit-ins with women at the Raymar housing project in Vancouver who were losing their children in the 60‘s scoop. Working with NWC, Women North Network/Northern FIRE, Women‘s/Gender Studies in a variety of capacities, is a natural extension of my involvements since childhood. I am an advocate for the centrality of/necessity for the emancipation of women and for issues facing women to be a cornerstone of the work/life at UNBC and beyond. For many years, I have worked to bring local and regional women and women‘s organizations together in collaboration to address issues for women living in poverty, older women (we‘re all aging), and women with disabilities. Through WNN/Northern FIRE and the UNBC School of Social Work, I facilitated partnerships with the NWC in addressing women‘s issues in Northern BC – conferences, workshops and social action. I have supported funding/grant initiatives; wrote letters of support to the university and others as needed. I regularly disseminate information about the work of the NWC via Social Work networks, WNN/Northern FIRE, Stand up for the North and Northern Women‘s Forum/Active Voice Coalition and other connections across the North.
Dawn Hemingway I have been involved as an organizer/participant in multiple events such as International Women‘s Day/Week. I participated in organizing and disseminating information about IWD both on and off campus; and was also speaker at some of these events. I have spoken at several December 6 th events, specifically regarding poverty and violence and encouraging participation in the Chili Blanket (anti-poverty) event organized by the Northern Women‘s Forum/Active Voice; Boom, Bust & Beyond- Women and the Mountain Pine Beetle Project (2009) I was a member of the organizing committee and speaker at the Conference. I was also invited to speak about the conference proceedings and impacts at public meetings in Prince George and Fort St James as well as at a provincial rural network meeting in Vancouver. The School of Social Work was a co-sponsor as was Women North Network, Northern Women‘s Forum/Active Voice and Stand Up for the North. I have also been involved with the (In)visibility Conference Giving Women a Voice (2007). Through my role with various organizations, I have assisted in locating resources for the NWC – e. g. , from the School of Social Work, Northern Women‘s Forum/Active Voice Coalition, and Stand Up for the North. As well, I always bring baking for bake sales (although I don‘t bake!) and have often purchased
Dawn Hemingway tickets for other women to attend Jezebel‘s Jam when I couldn‘t attend myself. I have also helped with practicum placements; my commitment to the value of the learning opportunities provided through the Centre and its projects is also reflected in advocating/supporting the development of social work student practicum placements at the NWC. An overarching aspiration I have for the NWC is to see an end to short-term, uncertain, limited, project-based funding. That the Centre is able secure base funding that is adequate and ongoing and that reflects the necessity for and quality of its work. In a broader, long range sense, in partnership with the NWC and other organizations, I hope and work toward the day when society recognizes women‘s equality in both words and deeds. Such that women‘s centres become places primarily focused on recognizing, strengthening and celebrating the role of women in a society. In which not only women, but all people facing oppression and exploitation, are emancipated and conditions are created for all to be full contributing members of a new society
Dawn Hemingway In my multiple roles at the university and in the community, a central focus of my involvements is to bring women and women‘s organizations together and to inspire collaboration to create change. Some examples include the following activities. Women North Network/Northern FIRE; Chaired the leadership team and research project that initiated the Women North Network – a primarily web-based network of more than 300 northern women who share information; undertake community-based research and policy development; social action campaigns (e. g. , mobilization against the 2 year rule for obtaining welfare benefits; cuts to women‘s programs/funding and government ―review‖ of the disability benefits process) and work together toward social justice for women; for our children and for our communities. As steering committee member, Chair and Centre Director, I worked to ensure the sustainability and development of Northern FIRE; the Centre for Women‘s Health Research at UNBC Northern Women‘s Forum. One of the organizers and founding members of the Northern Women‘s Forum Against Poverty and Social Injustice which brought women and women‘s organizations together from across the north and resulted in the establishment of Northern Women‘s Forum as part of the Active Voice Community Coalition. Most well known ongoing work of the Northern Women‘s Forum is the Chili Blanket Anti-Poverty Event held every December, but we organized other demonstrations, rallies and meetings over the years (e. g. , against the cuts to women‘s programming, health care, welfare, etc. )
Dawn Hemingway I am also a founding board member of the Northern Women‘s Wellness Information Centre (NWWIC). Like the Women North Network, NWWIC grew out of a Northern FIRE community-based project and the work of a social work practicum student. Dancing in the No-Fly Zone; A Women‘s Journey Through Iraq; and speaking tour of Hadani Dittmars. Along with the Northern Women‘s Forum, Active Voice, Women‘s/Gender Studies, School of Social Work and others, initiated an International Women‘s Day 2006 speaking engagement for Hadani Dittmars – both on and off campus. As part of my leadership role with the WNN/Northern Fire, examples of other initiatives include: In partnership with the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), organized and co-facilitated a workshop on Participatory Action Research (2003) In partnership with CRIAW, organized and facilitated the Intersectional Feminist Frameworks for Research Workshop (2007). Through collaboration with the Quesnel Women‘s Centre helped organize and presented at the Connecting Northern Women‘s Conference (2009) in Quesnel working with the Prince George and District Labour Council Women‘s organization and community women‘s groups. I have helped to organize and have been invited to speak at the annual IWD breakfast.
Dawn Hemingway I am also a long time member of the board of AWAC (Association Advocating for Women and Children) and Surpassing our Survival (formerly Sexual Assault Centre) working on a whole range of projects, actions, funding raising, policy issues, etc. with and within these organizations. At different times over the years, participant, organizer and/or speaker at Take Back the Night; I was part of the steering committee member and organizer with the Community Response Network addressing elder abuse issues. I am also a Provincial advisory and oversight committee for the Women‘s Health Research Network I have helped initiate and provide leadership to multiple PAR/community based research studies focused on the rights, needs and experiences of women – all within the framework of Women North Network/Northern FIRE. I wrote or co-wrote related articles, reports, policy statements, leaflets, and organizing, etc.
Dawn Hemingway It was a challenge to try and capture 15 years of involvements – of necessity, it‘s only a partial picture. Although I have focused mostly on more recent years, reflecting back on many years of work made me realize just how much has been accomplished in such a short period of time (historically speaking - 15 years is brief) and how much more there is to tell (and still to do!). So much collective work is yet to be recorded, acknowledged and honoured. It‘s a positive step that the NWC is seeking to capture the experience that is most closely connected to its particular development, along with some of the broader, but related experiences of those of us who are part of it.
Si Transken I‘ve been involved with the Women‘s Centre since I arrived here in 2000. I have participated in almost every event organized over that time (as an attendee, an organizer, a funder, a supervisor, a donator, etc. ). I wish that we could pay our coordinator a more respectable wage and offer full benefits and full time hours. I believe her contribution to the well-being of the UNBC population is huge. She supports students, staff, and faculty in an array of ways. The overall population of UNBC/ PG is enriched by the work she does organizing events and collecting resources for our campus and various causes. She also does a great deal of public education which is difficult to quantify, but is necessary. If the university didn‘t have a Women‘s Centre (and at that time a very strong women‘s studies program) I wouldn‘t have come to this town. I have been deeply disappointed in the strength of resources put behind the Women‘s Studies program and feel very worried about its future. The Women‘s Centre has to fill in the gaps and do the cheerleading. The comrades I meet at the Centre and at the Centre‘s events continue to fortify and expand my life. Additionally the Centre provides significant training and development space for social work interns, summer students, and for others wanting to volunteer and expand their professional skills. It is a safe mecca for those of us who care about equality, and equality isn't here yet. Everyday I see examples of the opposite; women who are left with all the burdens of childcare and no access to safe, affordable day care, women who desperately want an education but don't have the funds, women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed, women who are working three part time jobs and who have no benefits, and women who are experiencing racist troubles, etc. Our reality is that we need a safe place where we can dialogue, problem-solve, reality check and support each other.
Sarah Boyd (-Noel) Goodness, where to begin? I will attempt to summarize what the NWC and its members have managed to achieve in the last few years. . When I first started with the NWC in January, 2003, a NUGSS Board member approached the NWC to inform us that our funding was going to be cut if we did ―not improve‖ the services we were providing on campus to students. Obviously, I had to learn the job quickly and ultimately attempt to get NUGSS our chief funder on side. Seven years later, I believe that we have achieved a lot and we have never looked back. In terms of my involvement with the NWC, our membership has helped organize many events of relevance to women in our community i. e. No Means No, TBTN, December 6 th, Jezebel‘s Jam, Spa Night, IWD, and many other events. I have listed the recent projects that the Centre has been involved with over the past several years (next 2 pages). They cover a lot of ground – everything from organizing a provincial women‘s conference, producing a DVD on harassment with a local film maker, organizing the ‗Take Back The Highway‖ march (protesting the missing and murdered women and girls along the ‗Highway of Tears‘), research on gender bias in the court room and hosting a forum on the gendered impacts of the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. My wish for the Northern Women‘s Centre is that we have more funding, especially operational funding so that we can better meet the needs of women on campus and in the community. We could accomplish even more on the front line and educational/awareness raising campaigns if we had more funding and staffing. There are still a lot of inequities that women face in the world and lots of work to be done to address these issues. I hope I can continue to work towards change alongside the amazing women I have met through the Centre!
Alice Mphafi I was first involved with the NWC when I moved to Prince George from Vancouver. I was a student at UNBC and I found a group of women who were welcoming and supportive to my daughter and myself. In 2007, I was hired as the Business Development Coordinator for the NWC under the EI project. I have participated in many events over the years; Jezebel‘s Jam, International Women's Day, December 6 Commemoration, and in the last 3 years the Spa Night. The Spa Night started as part of my job as the Business Development Coordinator to raise funds for the Centre. My wish for the NWC is to hopefully receive more funding to allow Sarah to work on a full time basis, that way she can work on more projects that will not only bring in the needed funds for the Centre but also provide service for women (on and off campus). Due to ill health, I am not actively involved in any women's issues now; however, because of my ill health I am the face of how a lack of, or limited resources can affect women's health, their financial stability and therefore, affect how they climb the social ladder. The NWC has influenced how I can now be able to identify many women's issues that affect us all. Whether I am directly or indirectly involved with the NWC, I feel part of it always. The coordinator has worked tirelessly for me over the years with her support. She has helped me and my daughter on her own time, and has even driven me to medical and other appointments. I feel indebted to the NWC and those who are involved - it is a place that I know I will not be judged and I can be myself.
Pattama Poonuan I felt that the NWC (UNBC) was one of my homes; I was comfortable in this place and with people I met at the Centre. I met and made friends here, as well as studied, slept, relaxed, did schoolwork/assignments, and ate at the Centre. I spent the night at the Centre when it was too late to ride bus to my place, or when the weather was too bad to be outside. I also left my stuff/boxes at the Centre and cleaned up at the end of every semester. I visited the Centre many times a day, and was the first and last person in the Centre most days while I was a student at UNBC. I also broke a fuse (electrical circuit) in the Centre many times by using a kettle and a microwave at the same time. I felt it was my territory, and I was very comfortable in this place. I participated in Jezebel‘s events; I volunteered my time selling tickets at door and at table on campus. I also volunteered my time performing traditional Thai music; I played classical Thai xylophone at Jezebel‘s Jam and International Women‘s Day (IWD) events. I also helped out at registration when NWC held conferences in 2008. I wish that we will have NWC forever and hope to have a coordinator like Sarah, who is very understanding and supporting of all women. Sarah has helped me a lot. In regards to women‘s issue, I am pursuing a women career, by taking a practical nursing program.
Kara Steel This past school year (2009/2010), I acted as the Women‘s Representative for the Undergraduate Student Society. During the course of that position I acted as a liaison between NUGSS and the Women‘s Centre. I attended all weekly meetings and most group discussions with Sarah Boyd-Noel, practicum students, volunteers, and various other members of the Women‘s Centre. In addition, I worked closely with the Women‘s Centre on various school and community projects. As Women‘s Representative, I was responsible for organizing and hosting the December 6 th memorial ceremony at the school. Sarah and the women of the Centre worked with me to help bring the community together for this service and as a result it was a great success. I participated in Take Back The Night and attended Jezebel‘s Jam both of which were great events. In the fall, I put together and hosted a witchcraft seminar in hopes of raising money for the AWAC Women‘s Shelter in downtown Prince George. I had two great professors; Dr. Holler and Dr. Beeler speak about their field of research concerning witchcraft. Sarah and the Women‘s Centre were great help in providing me with resources such as newspaper and tv/ radio coverage. Due to all of their help, I raised over two hundred dollars. Lastly, in the spring I paired up with Melissa Glover, and with the help of the Women‘s Centre and PRIDE, we brought to UNBC and Prince George the 2010 production ―Vagina Monologues.
Kara Steel I spent a huge portion of my term as Women‘s Representative working extremely hard. I directed, produced, and acted in this production in hopes of putting on an amazing show. Through this production I helped raised money for PRIDE, The Women‘s Centre, and The Elizabeth Fry Society. It was a major success and at the end of three amazing performances (and after we deducted expenses), we were able to raise just over 5 thousand dollars. I would love to see more female participation from the students at UNBC in the events and meetings that the Women‘s Centre hosts. I feel it is a great service on campus that is not taken enough advantage of. I have hopes that some of the negative attitudes of what the Women‘s Centre is will diminish, even if it‘s just slightly. This past summer, I left Prince George and am now living back in Ontario. Although my life is a little hectic I have been in contact with a friend of my family who works at the Red Door Women‘s Shelter and we have discussed volunteer work and a possible job opportunity. The Women‘s Centre was a great place for me to establish myself at UNBC. In the two years that I studied at UNBC, I spent much of my time there as a way of getting to know people. This helped me build relationships and contacts with several of the women involved with the Centre. I learned a lot about where women in Canada stand, in terms of equal rights and I also got an inside peek at the state of social services, which is something I‘ve had some interest in. I will finish off by saying that The Women‘s Centre is a wonderful and safe place at UNBC, and I miss the women in the Centre very much.