Caroline Andrew is a professor emeritus, Director of the Centre on Governance and former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa. A lifelong advocate of equality for women, she has made enormous contributions to the academic study of women's issues, serving as the first coordinator of the Women's Studies Program and developer of the first Women and Politics courses at U of O. Within her community, Dr. Andrew has served or is serving in a variety of important roles, including Chair of the Steering Committee for the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, President of the Women in Cities International, co-founder of Youth Futures, Co-Chair of the 2011 Women's Worlds organizing committee and member of the Steering Committee for the City for All Women Initiative. She has worked with the City of Ottawa on increasing inclusion of immigrants, preventing crime, improving public transit and advancing gender equality. In 1999, Dr. Andrew worked with elected officials and community members to pass the Declaration on Women in Local Government. This led to the formation of a working group to evaluate women's access to municipal services in Ottawa-Carleton, recommendations from which were approved in 2002. Dr. Andrew lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
Saara Bhanji (Youth Recipient)
Saara Bhanji is a passionate leader and tireless advocate for change in the lives of girls and young women. In 2006, Ms. Bhanji started the Association of Women's Action, Research and Empowerment (AWARE), a feminist organization in Vancouver that works with young women to overcome barriers based on race, class, poverty, ethnic background, sexual orientation and gender inequality. She is also a dedicated crisis line volunteer with Battered Women's Support Services and the youngest serving board member of Justice for Girls International and the North Shore Coordinating Committee to End Violence Against Women in Relationships. Ms. Bhanji recently served as Program Coordinator for the North Shore Women's Centre. This extraordinary young activist holds a Master of Science in Gender Studies from the prestigious London School of Economics. Ms. Bhanji has a wealth of front-line and grassroots community service experience as well as formal training in areas as diverse as suicide prevention, intimate partner violence, trauma counselling and doula birth instruction. A frequent conference speaker and the recipient of numerous awards, including the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Award, Ms. Bhanji recently began studying for her Bachelor of Laws at University College London. She currently lives in London, England, but still calls Vancouver home.
Joanne Cave (Youth Recipient)
An outspoken proponent of equality for women and girls, Joanne Cave was the Founder and Executive Director of Ophelia's Voice, a non-profit organization in Edmonton that served to engage and empower girls and young women as leaders in their communities. Ophelia's Voice addressed such pressing issues as media literacy, body image/self-esteem, healthy sexuality and political engagement. In 2009, Ms. Cave was one of 30 students selected from a pool of over 3,500 across Canada to receive a Loran Award from the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation. The award recognizes character, leadership and service to the community. She has worked with the Alberta Teacher's Association and the Canadian Teacher's Federation to encourage meaningful dialogue on women's issues in Alberta classrooms and served as a panelist in a seminar entitled "The Future of Feminism." Currently an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, Ms. Cave recently launched a Toronto-based network of young leaders to address pressing issues for the non-profit sector, such as funding reform, policy advocacy and succession planning. She also interned with an international NGO, helping to build microenterprise skills with rural women in northern India. The recipient of numerous awards, including being named one of Alberta's 50 Most Influential People and a YWCA Young Woman of Distinction, Joanne Cave still calls Edmonton home.
Corinne Gallant is a professor emeritus at the University of Moncton, a proud Acadian and an icon in the Canadian women's movement. She created one of Canada's first women's studies courses, raising awareness among her students of issues such as violence against Aboriginal and Acadian women. Dr. Gallant helped to establish the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women and was an active member from 1989 to 1994. She also contributed research to the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women and published numerous articles – in English and French – on discrimination and injustice directed both at women and at various minority groups, including Acadians. Dr. Gallant served on the organizing committee for the first official gathering of Acadian women, which took place in Memramcook in 1974. She was also the founding president of LES FAM, the first feminist association in New Brunswick, the founding president of University of Moncton's l'Institut d'études et d'apprentissages féminins, and a member of the board of Crossroads for Women, a shelter for women and children fleeing abuse, from 1985 to 1988. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Queen's Jubilee Medal, the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal and the Order of Canada. Corinne Gallant lives in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Régine Alende Tshombokongo
Régine Alende Tshombokongo works tirelessly to improve the lives of immigrant women in Quebec. In 1998, she founded the Centre d'encadrement pour jeunes femmes immigrantes, which encourages young immigrant women in Montréal to recognize and value their talents while empowering them to contribute to Canadian society. Ms. Tshombokongo serves on a committee that advises the Quebec government on maximizing its funding of projects to improve the lives of women and girls in the province. She served as an advocate for the Placer l'égalité au cœur de la diversité, a program of the Ministry of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women that helps immigrant girls learn about gender equality and adapt to life in their new communities. She is also active on a variety of regional, national and international committees, including the women's committee of the Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal and the Réseau des femmes d'affaires du Québec. Ms. Tshombokongo, who holds a Master's in Cognitive Linguistics from the University of Laval and a Master's in Literature from the National University of Zaire, has received numerous awards, including the Prix Méritas du Prix Meritas du RQuODE for her project to help immigrant women develop their child care skills and start their own daycare centre. Ms. Tshombokongo lives in Montréal, Quebec.
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