Niagara Leadership Summit for Women coming to Brock

The YWCA Niagara Region is hosting the Niagara Leadership Summit for Women (NLSW) at Brock University on Saturday, Oct. 26. The annual event is dedicated to encouraging and celebrating female leaders in the community.

The one-day conference will feature workshops, seminars, information tables, a panel discussion and a keynote address from Rochelle Ivri, a Canadian citizenship judge with a passion for human rights.

“The YW is a feminist organization and it’s our mission to end gender inequity,” said Elisabeth Zimmermann, YWCA Niagara’s Executive Director. “We are fortunate to have two Brock alumni, Rachel Crane (BBA ’11) and Julie Rorison (BA ’10), co-chair the planning committee this year. I think it’s wonderful to see that Brock students, alumni and staff want to be a voice for women’s leadership in Niagara. The impact of the Leadership Summit goes far beyond the one-day event, and I look forward to it every single year.”

Brock has been the site of the NSLW since 2014, but recent efforts by the Women In Leadership initiative on campus have encouraged increased participation from Brock community members this year.

“I am really pleased to see a great Brock presence at the NLSW,” said Diane Dupont, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and co-creator of Women in Leadership. “This shows the depth of talent that we have and will continue to develop over time with the Brock Women In Leadership initiative.”

Brock students, faculty and staff members are among the speakers in the program and will present on an array of topics, including:

  • Robyn Bourgeois, Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies (Seminar: “From Trauma to Triumph”)
  • Andrea Blais, lab manager for the Zelisko Research Team (Seminar: “Little Woman, Big Lab”)
  • Loretta Davis, captain and coach with the Brock Niagara Penguins (Seminar: “Adversity Through Sport”)
  • Students Kailene Jackson, Political Science and Sociology, and Hope Tuff-Berg, Political Science (Seminar: “Speak Up! Advancing Social Issues”)
  • Olivia Poulin, recent Brock graduate and entrepreneur (Workshop: “Game of Life”)
  • Shannon Kerwin, Associate Professor of Sport Management (Seminar: “I Have to Earn Your Respect, Again?”)

Brock’s Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies will staff an information table to share details of its academic program as well as its many community-oriented events. In addition, NSLW participants and all members of the Brock community are invited to visit the James A. Gibson Library, where two exhibits focusing on exceptional women in Niagara will run from now until the end of October.

On the library’s Digital Art Wall, located on the interior wall near the Thistle South corridor entrance, visitors can see the award-winning photography of Assistant Professor Amy Friend of the Department of Visual Arts in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

In display cases in the Matheson Learning Commons and on the library’s exterior wall in the Thistle South corridor, visitors can view a collection created by Edith Williams, Special Collections and Archives Assistant, to honour Winifred Sankey, Isabel McComb Brighty, Dorothy Rungeling and Gladys Griffiths Cunningham — four Niagara women with accomplishments in music, politics, history and aviation.

“It is gratifying to see so many speakers and participants from the Faculty of Social Sciences and from across the University in the program for this year’s event,” says Ingrid Makus, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and a co-creator of Women In Leadership. “I hope that all members of the Brock community, but especially students, will consider attending the Niagara Leadership Summit for Women to explore what community leadership could look like for them.”

Anyone interested in attending can register here. Tickets are $25 dollars and includes lunch. An optional yoga session begins at 8 a.m. and the Opening Ceremonies kick off at 9 a.m.


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