ETFO’s annual leadership conference for women, …and still we rise, celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. The conference takes its name from the Maya Angelou poem, Still I Rise.
Letter from the Editor
The summer issue of Voice is our women’s issue, an opportunity to focus on women members, women’s programs and women leaders in ETFO and the broader community. This women’s issue focuses on Women Change Makers – women who take action for social justice – and includes a special poster and challenge. Research the change makers in the poster with your students or create your own list of women activists from your community and talk about why they are social justice heroes. The poster is accompanied by a digital animation that you can watch at etfovoice.ca and share with your students. In this issue’s feature Empowering Young Women to Be Change Makers, Tanya Ferro reflects on her students’ participation in Girls’ Government, a program that encourages Grade 8 girls to get involved in government and public policy. “The girls who participate in Girls’ Government learn about careers in government and are challenged to think about meaningful ways that they can participate in changing policy.” In a related article, Empowering Girls Through Education: The Story of One Small School in Ghana, Natalia Kostiw writes about volunteering as a teacher with a focus on girls and women.
In this issue’s interview Community Organizing to Make Change, Voice speaks with Kiké Roach, civil rights lawyer and Ryerson University’s Sam Ginden Chair in Social Justice and Democracy. Reflecting on why community organizing is so important, Roach says, “Democracy is something that happens in between elections, when people make their voices heard, when people make their presence felt, when people come together and say no to what we don’t want, but also when we fashion solutions we do want to see happen.” Making her voice heard in Teaching Indigenous Histories Through an Authentic Voice, Tanya Leary considers the “danger of a single story” and the importance of ensuring that students learn Indigenous stories through Indigenous voices. Also in this issue, Francesca Alfano talks about volunteering with Books to Bars, using her skills and passion as a teacher-librarian to bring books and reading programs to incarcerated women.
With all of these features – along with a poster, animation, a Girls’ Government curriculum insert, reviews, and a special crossword – this issue is jam-packed and reflects the powerful impact our women members have on their students and the community every day.
Happy reading and enjoy the summer break!
Twenty-two ETFO locals from as far away as Ontario North East, Rainbow, Near North,Ottawa-Carleton, Avon-Maitland, Thames Valley, Bluewater, Limestone, Hastings-Prince Edward, Renfrew County, Greater Essex County, Kawartha Pine Ridge, Simcoe County, Upper Grand, and Trillium Lakelands joined GTA area locals at the April 21 “We are Ontario” Day of Action at Queen’s Park.