The Community Foundation is pleased to announce funding totalling $120,000 to advance gender equality in Peterborough. The grants to Elizabeth Fry Society, GreenUp, Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, Kawartha World Issues Centre (KWIC), New Canadians Centre, and Trent University’s First Peoples House of Learning will support women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse individuals working towards a future grounded in equity, inclusion and justice.

“GreenUP is proud to have the support of the Gender Equality Fund to be able to
introduce young people to green building, food security, cycling skills, climate adaptation, and water protection,” says Tegan Moss, Executive Director of GreenUp. “We do this with mentorship from inspiring local women-identified educators and programming that supports young people in skill building needed to become the change makers and leaders of a better tomorrow.”

Sam Rockbrune, Executive Director of KWIC says, “Our work builds upon our two previous projects and reports – “Advancing Gender Equality in Nogojiwanong | Peterborough,” and the Community Foundation’s 2022 Vital Focus Gender Equality Report. In order to make a more gender equal community, we must prioritize learning, supporting and educating on gender (in)equities. Our project aims to do just that through interactive Community Conversations and Community Workshops”

Through monthly Two-Spirit Circles hosted by the First Peoples House of Learning in partnership with the Lovesick Lake Native Women’s Association and Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people who self-identify as Two-Spirit, Indigiqueer, and gender diverse will have opportunities to explore their cultures, identities, and gifts in a supportive and inclusive environment at Trent University.

“I am excited to support this incredible partnership with the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre and Lovesick Lake Native Women’s Association for the creation of a new monthly circle for Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer community members bringing together Elders and knowledge keepers to forge connections through food and cultural traditions,” says Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, Director of First Peoples House of Learning. “Spearheaded by one of our own recent grads, who is developing our Two-Spirit Program here at Trent University, Angeni Lovelady hopes this project will create space for individuals to feel supported and celebrated while exploring their sexuality, gender, and cultural identities. Having heard the concerns of our students we feel it is critical that Trent continues to be responsive to the needs of our diverse community by supporting a direction and vision that empowers students to be powerful agents of social change.”

Other funded projects include Elizabeth Fry Society’s Peer Mentor Program, which is aimed at cultivating an intergenerational 2SLGTBQIA+ community of support to build uplifting connections between older and younger members of these communities and help decrease isolation.

Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre will invest in an online platform to offer different courses and training modules that advance gender equality and focus on many issues that survivors of sexual violence face such as the impacts of victim-blaming, and bystander intervention training.

New Canadians Centre is running a program to support newcomer women and their children who are socially isolated because they face multiple barriers to participation. For many of these women, their main familial role is “caregiver.” This reduces their opportunities to engage in formal language programs, or to practice English informally in social or community groups. This has a negative impact on their ability to engage in the community, to advance their opportunities for social and economic participation, and also to engage actively in supporting their children’s learning.

The Fund for Gender Equality is financed by the Government of Canada and administered by 21 local community foundations across the country belonging to the Community Foundations of Canada network. This is the third time the Community Foundation has participated in the Fund for Gender Equality program, funding.

This is just the beginning of the Community Foundation’s commitment to supporting gender equality over the long term. Look for the launch of the Foundation’s own GEM Fund to support women and gender diverse people in spring 2023.