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Women Changing Cities

First Power's Donna Morton teaches marginalized youth social entrepreneurship

Kurtis Lockhart
Jun 14th, 2013

Donna Morton, Ashoka Fellow and CEO of First Power, speaks at Social Venture Network about her vision for SunDrum.

I interviewed Donna Morton – a BC-based social entrepreneur, Ashoka Fellow, and chief executive of First Power (a Certified B Corporation and clean energy company that puts ownership and skills in the hands of communities) -- to talk with her about her new project: SunDrum.

SunDrum is an alternative education program that teaches inner city, at-risk, and on-reserve youth about social entrepreneurship through art, culture, and games. Through the program, marginalized youth are empowered to solve community problems using the tools of business and creativity.

Making Vancouver affordable for elderly women

Krissy Darch
Nov 24th, 2012

Photo by Rebecca Pasch

On a drizzly night in Vancouver’s West End, the Gordon Neighborhood House community room is packed with over fifty women, as former city councillor Ellen Woodsworth introduces the Women Transforming Cities (WTC) cafe on seniors and housing.  

There are young women as well as seniors, university professors as well as long-time local activists and artists, a Farsi language table, one very debonair and slightly out-of-place looking young man, and a palpable buzz of energy -- the kind of strong political feeling that is quickly transformed into political will.

The event is called “Squeezed Out of Homes and Communities: Confronting the Affordable Housing Crisis for Women and Girls,” the second half of the Cafe on affordable housing hosted by the initiative Women Transforming Cities, Designing an Ideal City for Women and Girls.

Time for Canada to declare International Women's Day official holiday

Ellen Woodsworth
Mar 2nd, 2012

March 8 is creeping nearer, and with that comes International Women’s Day. All over the world, women and their friends will celebrate this amazing day (you can find information on Vancouver's festivities, here). Where would you like to be, and how would you like to celebrate this powerful event?

First of all, do you know the origins of International Women’s Day? Did you know that while IWD is an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia, it is not yet in Canada?

If you didn't, here is a very brief synopsis of its herstory:

At COPE meeting, RJ Aquino narrowly wins over Tim Louis

Ellen Woodsworth
Feb 22nd, 2012

A packed meeting of over 300 members and another 50 onlookers gathered on Sunday for the Annual General Meeting of COPE (Coalition of Progressive Electors). The meeting was alive and electric.

 Two slates of passionate and committed activists competed to be elected to the executive and to give direction to Vancouver's party of the left.  Both
groups were committed to working on social justice, economic equality and
environmental sustainability for the city.

Where are all the women in politics?

Ellen Woodsworth
Jan 10th, 2012

Former South African deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

So here we go again, it is 2012, and Vancouver has only four women councillors, six men and another white male Mayor.

After 125 years, you would think it would be time for a change in Vancouver. But no, another city election and three more years of the same. Who is going to stand up to ensure equity at City Hall?

But wait, perhaps it is different in the rest of B.C. or in the rest of
. Perhaps it is only British Columbia which still lingers in its
pioneer past and where women are still expected to only run the kitchens.

Sigh, no -- just checked: in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, women make up just 34 per cent of councillors and 28 per cent of mayors. In Canada, that number drops to 25 percent of councillors and 16 per cent of mayors.

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