Nicole is a recent university graduate who works in the fundraising industry in Ottawa, Canada. Recently, she began a social media and communications internship with Erica Diamond and WomenOnTheFence.com, a website dedicated to personal development for women. She also runs the Ottawa chapter of Ladies Learning Code, a women-run organization offering beginner-friendly tech workshops (ladieslearningcode.com). Nicole is also proud to serve on the Board of Directors of Volunteer Ottawa. Nicole is passionate about helping young women succeed and achieve their career goals. In her spare time, Nicole has been trying her hand at blogging (nskbelanger.wordpress.com), and enjoys live music, skiing, and weekend roadtrips. @nskbelanger
Aalya Ahmad is a Pakistani-English-Canadian who was born in Rawalpindi, grew up in a little English village, and moved to Ottawa at the age of eleven. She is an ardent feminist blogger and trade union activist – you will often find her at rallies, demonstrations and on picket lines. She lives in Gatineau with a wonderful partner and their little girl, soon to be joined by a baby son, and she plays her violin whenever she can. Aalya has also taught many courses at Carleton University in women's and gender studies as well as in English. Her doctoral dissertation was a comparative study of horror literature and she writes short fiction under a pseudonym as well as co-editing a local anthology of weird and uncanny fiction and art. She has also published several scholarly articles as well as a co-edited book on teaching horror. In spite of it all, she remains an optimist.
Liz Bernstein is the founding Director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Previously, Liz served as Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) from 1998 through 2004. Liz participated in the campaign since it began in the early 1990s. She lived in Thailand and Cambodia for 10 years (1986-1996), where she worked with local advocacy organizations on various peace, justice and policy issues. She co-founded the Coalition for Peace and Reconciliation and helped found the Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines. She also coordinated Make Poverty History Canada in 2005. Liz currently lives in Ottawa, Canada.
Ivy Lynn Bourgeault, PhD, is a Professor of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa and she also holds a Research Chair in Health Human Resource Policy. She has been a consultant to various provincial Ministries of Health in Canada, to Health Canada and to the World Health Organization regarding women’s health, health policy and health professions. Her early research has focused on midwifery and maternity care in Canada and internationally; more recently she has focused on the migration of health professionals and their integration into the Canadian health care system. Dr. Bourgeault lives in Ottawa with her three children all of which were born with the assistance of midwives.
Jenna Tenn-Yuk is a former athlete turned spoken word artist and singer-songwriter. She grew up in Mississauga playing sports until a knee injury sidelined her from the athletic world. Without sports, she discovered her passions for music and writing, and went to Carleton University for journalism.
Jenna is passionate about helping people find and speak their voices and stories. As a spoken word poet, she was a member of the 2010 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Wild Card team, and has performed at Parliament Hill, City Hall, Westfest and many other shows around Ottawa. She runs a monthly poetry series and leads spoken word workshops to provide spaces for individuals to express their voices.
Through expressing her own voice in poetry and music, she has seen how the scars of her past have become beautiful ways to connect with people’s hearts and stories. Jenna is currently working on a master’s degree at the University of Ottawa, where she has lectured on spoken word and activism, and is conducting research on the local slam poetry scene.
Shari Graydon is an award-winning author and educator with 20 years of experience on both sides of the microphone. She founded Informed Opinions, a project of Media Action, to build women's leadership through media engagement and bridge the gender gap in public discourse.
A former newspaper columnist, TV producer and commentator for CBC, she also served as press secretary to a provincial premier, and as president of MediaWatch. Shari has taught communications and presentation skills at Simon Fraser University, written speeches for public officials, and delivered communications and media training to public and private sector organizations across the country.
Her best-selling media literacy books for youth, Made You Look – How Advertising Works and Why You Should Knowand In Your Face – The Culture of Beauty and You were both honoured with children’s choice award nominations and other book prizes. Proceeds from her collection of essays by 41 women, I Feel Great About My Hands - And Other Unexpected Joys of Aging, support Informed Opinions.
Named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN in 2007, Shari received the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons' Case for her advocacy work on behalf of women the same year.
Julie S. Lalonde is an Ottawa-based social justice advocate and proud feminist. Her work focuses on the areas of violence against women, reproductive justice, poverty and equity in education. A gerontologist by training, her academic research focuses on the daily realities of being an economically disadvantaged elderly woman in rural and urban Ottawa.
Julie works as a support worker for survivors of violence and recently created a province-wide anti-sexual violence campaign called draw-the-line.ca.
In 2007, she made headlines as the co-founder of the Coalition for a Carleton Sexual Assault Centre. The group launched a volunteer-driven sexual assault support line at Carleton University three years later.
Founder and director of Hollaback! Ottawa, Julie believes in the potential of social media as a tool for social change.
Most recently, she can be seen protesting on Parliament Hill as a member of the Radical Handmaids, a pro-choice group that uses street theatre and satire to raise awareness about Parliamentary attacks on reproductive rights.
Julie’s passion is in bridging the gap between theory and practice in order to make activism relevant and accessible. She believes that social justice movements must make room for humour, self-reflection and dance parties.
Gail is a PhD student in computer science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Her research centres on nonlinear and interactive storytelling in games. She is passionate about getting girls and women interested in computer science, and improving CS education for everyone. She has designed and taught many computing workshops and courses for students in middle school all the way up to professional adults. She founded Carleton University's Women in Science and Engineering and continue to advise the group after serving on the executive for several years. She is also on the advisory board of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Gail blogs at The Female Perspective of Computer Science.
A Full Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa, Canada, Rachel Thibeault cumulates a background in occupational therapy, psychology and community development. She specializes in Community-Based Rehabilitation, psychosocial care, and issues of meaning, resilience and social justice in health care. Her research focuses mainly on models of rehabilitation services delivery that would be community-based and driven, especially in hard-to-access settings, communities affected by HIV/AIDS, ex or current war zones, and leprosy communities. Her action research has taken her to the High Arctic, South East Asia, Central America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She works from a participative perspective that fosters community decision-making at all levels and promotes approaches that build on the principles of sustainable livelihoods, service integration and social inclusion.