One Year Into COVID-19 It’s not every day that you start a new job and then immediately have to close down the office indefinitely and send everyone home amidst a once-in-a-century pandemic. But that was my whirlwind experience when I joined YWCA Edmonton as our new CEO one year ago today. I hadn’t even met most of our staff yet before making that difficult decision after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mandated an historic stay-at-home order
A MEAL WITH MARGARET
March 31, 2021 – 7:00 p.m.
A Discussion on Youth Leadership, Tokenism, and How to Get Involved
Hi! I’m Cherry Chen and I am the Chair of the Projects Subcommittee on the City of Edmonton Youth Council. As Projects Chair, I oversee the largest subcommittee on CEYC and all of our ongoing initiatives in the community. I also work as a Youth Engagement Program Assistant with the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate! A large part of this is helping to facilitate a council of youth with lived experience in government care and ensuring they have the power to advocate for themselves. Previously, I have had the opportunity to serve as a Youth Leader with Canada Roots Exchange to help facilitate workshops targeted towards educating youth on Indigenous culture and reconciliation. Needless to say, I am super passionate about youth advocacy, and I think it’s more important than ever that we make sure that youth are engaged in the issues that matter to them.
Elaine Tran (she/her) is a proud Edmontonian, budding researcher, avid community volunteer, and future social worker. She is a fourth-year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Honours Sociology with a specialization in Family, Youth & Diversity, and minor in Political Science at MacEwan University. Her honours thesis centres on anti-Asian racism, COVID-19, and media. Some of her other research interests include children and families, gender, gerontology, and social inequality. Post-graduation, she aspires to pursue a Master of Social Work degree to foster her continued interest in research and empower and enrich the well-being of others.
Moreover, Elaine has always had a keen interest in advocacy, leadership, and volunteerism. Currently, she is a Student Councillor with the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU), the Co-President of HuRDE @ MacEwan, and is Girl Up Alberta’s Outreach Coordinator. Outside of her volunteer work, she is also a Peer Tutor at MacEwan University’s Writing Centre, and the Research Coordinator at Roots4Change, a youth collective supported by the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights.
Katie Kidd is the 2020/21 Vice President Student Life (VPSL) at the University of Alberta’s Students’ Union and a fifth-year Secondary Education student. In the role of VPSL, Katie has been a strong advocate with a focus on campus sexual violence, students who parent, EDI, and mental health. Most notably, Katie collaborated with the University of Alberta to facilitate the creation and hiring of a Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator, a project that initially began in 2016. Further, Katie has proven leadership experience in working with children. Katie is a passionate lifelong learner who focuses on uplifting the people around her.
Shivani Solanki (she/her) is an immigrant and settler who resides on Treaty 6 Territory in Edmonton, Alberta. She is a fourth-year Bachelor of Science student at MacEwan University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Biology. At MacEwan, Shivani is a research assistant on several projects in nursing, mental health, and social work. She has also pursued independent research in health psychology investigating stress and academic performance and neuroscience, where she is currently analyzing Oil Sands Process Water (OSPW) and zebrafish behaviour.
At MacEwan, she is VP External of the Student Psychology Network and Co-President of the Human Rights, Diversity and Equity (HuRDe) student club. She has also volunteered at the Office of Human Rights at MacEwan and is currently undergoing training for the Champions of Diversity and Equity program. Shivani was awarded the “Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Leader” Award from the Office of Human Rights in March 2021 for her advocacy and leadership work within the student body. Outside of university, Shivani has volunteered at The Centre for Autism Services Alberta since 2019.
Equity, decolonization, and empowerment of marginalized groups are integral to Shivani’s core values, and she aims to integrate them into her future plans for graduate studies in Public Health.
ABOUT THE EVENT
In the second instalment of The Searching for Izena: ‘Unwomanly’ Stories of Female Leadership at Edmonton City Hall podcast, we shine a light on former City Councillor Margaret Crang. At the age of 23, Margaret became the youngest woman elected to City Council and one of the youngest citizens in Edmonton to ever be elected to civic government. Today, many remarkable young women in the city are at the forefront of leadership, transforming the status quo and paving the way for others.
In celebration of Margaret Crang, we invited four young leaders to share their experiences about youth leadership, tokenism, and how to get started. Our goal is to facilitate an open discussion about the joys and challenges of youth leadership. We invite you to join us on March 31st, 2021 at 7 PM MST to hear about their stories.
Gurpreet Kaur Bolina
Gurpreet Kaur Bolina is a third-year Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Alberta majoring in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. She is an avid volunteer in her community through organizations such as being the VP External for Sangat Youth, VP Outreach for the Sociology Undergraduate Student’s Association and volunteering with Parity YEG. She also works as the Social Stride Coordinator for the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. Her work is centred on creating equal opportunities for marginalized groups. This includes supporting women in politics, supporting the Sikh community or supporting those who face discrimination and hate online.