I was in Montreal this weekend attending a training session as a Regional Network Leader for the Women’s Worlds 2011 conference (find out more here http://www.womensworlds.ca). The organizing committee chose two representatives from six regions across Canada to help coordinate the participation of grassroots women’s groups (particularly those from groups that are typically excluded) in the International Conference in Ottawa in 2011. The goal of the network leaders is also to assist in creating a regional network that will continue on after the conference and strengthen women’s organizing in the region. The video above is the work that two of the women present are doing with aboriginal youth. I have one word for that video and the amazing women who helped make it: wow.

But, there are not even words to describe my experience this weekend. Not only did I have the privilege and the honor of sharing in the Women’s Worlds vision, conceptualized by a number of activists and academics and sheparded by women like the fabulous Lise Martin and Pam Kapoor, but I also had the opportunity to connect with The Girls Action Foundation, RebELLES and with the fabulous women that will be working as Regional Leaders across Canada.

I cannot truly encompass the experience in this short blog post but you will be hearing far more about this team of amazing people as we get closer to the 2011 conference. I can only say that I have never before had a weekend as filled with laughter, feminism, fun, stimulating conversation and concerted planning. Despite my inevitable jetlag (which we BCers experience in any of our trips to East) I enjoyed every minute of it.

I feel like I have begun a journey with these fellow feminists that will only snowball as more women are brought together. I strongly believe that this conference will be an important moment in Canadian feminism and I feel so lucky to be able to be a part of it. The women that I met this weekend have become a part of my heart and they have informed and strengthened my activism. I hope to share many of their stories with you and in turn the stories of the women they work with. We are going to be launching a series of interviews with Canadian feminists called Feminists Who Totally Rock! You WILL be hearing more about these women and their work.

If the spirit and love that radiated through our meeting is any indication of what Women’s World will bring, this amazing conference WILL have a lasting and transformative effect on women’s activism and organizing in Canada.

With love,

AR

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