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Category Archives: Blog

Indigenous Roots Program Launches

Last week, Minerva launched Indigenous Roots, Canada’s first outdoor leadership program for Indigenous girls. This ground-breaking initiative began with a five-day retreat at beautiful Camp Squeah, nestled in the mountains of Hope. Girls ranging in age from 13 to 18 gathered for this first of many adventures to come.

Remembering Russ Cook

Russ will be remembered by the Minerva family for his inspirational leadership, humour, generosity and the undeniable courage he showed in asking the right questions. His greatest gift was the space he made for others – for women and those who didn’t know the same privilege he did.

Jen Schaeffers on the ‘Post-Feminist’ Myth

For her first speaking engagement as Minerva’s new CEO, Jen Schaeffers recently sat on a panel at Hycroft called ‘Women Working Together: A Vancouver Women’s Group Symposium’. The questions posed to the panel were profound — peering into the state of modern feminism and the role of women’s groups, moving forward.

Cocktails and conversation with an icon.

Join colleagues, business and community leaders for a dynamic evening in support of the Minerva Foundation for BC Women.

Enjoy a glass of wine while you mingle and network over canapés, learn about the good work that Minerva is doing to promote gender equality in BC, and be inspired by Margaret Trudeau’s personal stories and practical approach to choosing a healthy, happy and secure future.

Symbia Barnaby on courage and leadership.

At our Promote Her annual fundraiser in November, Symbia Barnaby (pictured on the right, with Minerva’s Lisa Tallio) took to the podium for what became the pinnacle of the evening. Her vulnerability, paired with the strength to share it, transformed a room full of listeners. We came to understand what Minerva’s Combining Our Strength™ Initiative is really up to, with her clear testament to the impact it’s had on her life.

We were fortunate to record her speech, to share it with you now:

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Bonsoir Mesdames et Messieurs. I was born Mi’kmaq, but adopted and raised Haida, in the city of Prince Rupert.

I am a nurse; I am an artist; I am an advocate for marginalized people. I have six children, who I’m now raising on my own – three of them with special needs, one of them in particular has autism.

I was asked to come and share with you how Combining Our Strength™ has made an impact on my life. So I’m going to give you a little timeline, and start about a year and a half ago, and then introduce the pieces that lead me to be here today.

Today is a signpost.

On the day of the US presidential election we created a very different meme from the one below – one which celebrated a victory for us all. We thought the age of womankind had undoubtedly begun. And now, only a day later, we realize the extent to which we are still fighting for it.

Hana Doubrava takes the stage.

One of our favourite aspects of Women Leading the Way™ is discovering each cohort’s success stories. One such narrative always emerges early in the program – a woman who makes an enormous leap on her leadership journey.

In cohort six, which began in January of 2016, that story was Hana Doubrava’s. She had joined the program with a clear objective: to take her career to the next level, by changing roles and organizations. She was already working with a career coach; she had come to Minerva to acquire what she articulated as the “missing pieces”.

What she discovered is just how good she is at her job.

Minerva at WE FOR SHE

Minerva is always working to champion the next generation of leaders. Which is why we were so delighted to be an event partner at We For She, earlier in October. Over 1,500 people attended the conference, which brought business leaders and students together to advance gender equality. The goal was to give young women a greater understanding of their own potential, expand their confidence in what they can achieve, and inspire them with access to dynamic and successful role models.

We For She was the perfect opportunity for alumnae from our Learning to Lead™ program for Grade 11 girls. Ashley Milbury, Minerva’s coordinator of Learning to Lead™ (seen above, on the far left), re-united a dozen of the girls from the 2016 cohort, and served as their chaperone on the day of the event. Two of the twelve travelled from outside the Lower Mainland. Another was so eager to attend, she rallied funding and the support of a teacher/chauffeur, and brought three of her classmates all the way from Agassiz – entirely the result of her own initiative.

Jacquelyn Nadrazsky on her MBA and her life’s purpose.

In March of this year, Minerva was fortunate to add a new full-time team member: an extraordinary educator and lifelong student named Jacquelyn Nadrazsky. At the six-month mark, Jacquelyn and I sat down to discuss her MBA, her life’s purpose, and the moment she knew she’d been ‘Minerva’d.’

Jacquelyn was born and raised in Bella Bella, the traditional territory of the Heiltsuk First Nation. She graduated from high school there and knew that she wanted to continue into post secondary education right away, without delaying like so many of her peers. At 17, she went to Malaspina University to attend First Nations Arts One – an introduction to Liberal Arts. At that time, she also competed at the North American Indigenous Games in basketball, where she met her husband. She transferred to UNBC Prince George for First Nations Studies, where she remained for three years, before becoming pregnant with their first daughter. Feeling the call of home, she and her husband returned to Bella Bella, where she became a liaison worker at the community school.

Meet our summer intern, Amelia Cook. She’s been gathering testimonials, and the results are inspiring.

Amelia has been keenly conducting interviews with past participants of our Learning to Lead™ program for grade 11 girls.   One such testimonial came from Sanya Ranchal, a recent graduate of UBC in Immunology and Microbiology.  She hopes to pursue gynecology, obstetrics and women’s rights – largely because of her experience with Minerva. What she shared with Amelia:...

minerva bc 20 year anniversary

the face of leadership is changing

but it's not changing fast enough.

Minerva BC is a Vancouver-based charity that is
dedicated to advancing the leadership of women and girls.

We acknowledge that we work on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish People.

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