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Authority record

Nelson, Lou

  • Person
  • 1953-

Patricia Lucille Nelson was born in Montreal in 1953. Although her mother was from Alberta and her father from British Columbia, Nelson and her four siblings grew up in Laval West and St-Eustache (Québec). She studied the humanities and languages at Vanier College in Saint-Laurent, printing at Ahuntsic College in Montreal and worked at Classic Books before moving to British Columbia in 1974.

Nelson quickly settled in Vancouver and started working in a screen printing shop in Burnaby. She lived in a coop house and, in 1975, she joined Press Gang. Here she worked on a voluntary basis and became a press operator. This is also the time when she came out as a lesbian and decided to informally change her name to Lou, a shortened version of her middle name, in honor of the occasion. It is also when she became involved more actively in the feminist, socialist and unionist movement that prevailed in Vancouver in those years. For example, she joined the NDP in September 1974. The following year, she participated in the occupation of the Vancouver Canada Manpower Centre Office to pressure the Canadian Government to make real changes regarding women and work. She worked at and supported Press Gang by involving herself in numerous fundraising activities and helped organize the 1979 Conference on Women and Work. “In order to sustain herself”, she ran Simon Fraser University Student Society’s print shop for four years. While working at SFU, she also got involved with the feminist union Service Office and Retail Workers Union (SORWUC).

In 1983, she moved back to Montreal where she entered the Translation Program at Concordia University. During her studies there, she worked part time at Concordia’s student society print shop. She graduated in 1987 and became a freelance translator. Still loyal to her feminist beliefs in this new profession, she translated works from Anne-Marie Alonzo, Nicole Brossard, Louise Dupré and Monique Bégin.

Nelson’s love of words goes a long way back. For instance, she kept diaries for years. In 1978, she even wrote in one of them that she would like to become a fiction writer by age 35. Part of her diary was also published in the anthology Our lives, Lesbian Personal Writings (Second Story Press, 1991). She was actively involved with an organization called Women and Words throughout the 1980’s.

Lou Nelson left her last lesbian partner in 1989. She now lives with her husband in southern Québec and works as a freelance translator, with plans to retire in 2022.

Bazilli, Susan

  • Person
Susan Bazilli is a lawyer, author, educator, social entrepreneur and advocate, who has worked globally on issues of women's rights for more than 30 years. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B.) and UBC (LL.M.), she lived and worked in South Africa from 1985-1991, and is the editor of the groundbreaking text "Putting Women on the Agenda: Women, Law and the Constitution in Southern Africa". From 1992 - 1997, she was the Legal Director of METRAC, The Metropolitan Committee on Violence Against Women in Toronto, Canada, and founded the Internet-based Ontario Women's Justice Network. In 1997 she became the first Executive Director of the California Alliance Against Domestic Violence. From 2003-2007, Susan was the Co-Director with Marilou McPhedran for the non-profit organization the International Women's Rights Project (IWRP) based in Vancouver, BC. Susan went on to become sole Director of IWRP from 2007 onwards (Susan is the Director at the time of writing in 2021). IWRP advocates for women’s human rights, strengthens Women’s NGOs in Canada and around the world, and encourages implementation of international human rights standards through collaboration, participatory research, and evidence-based advocacy on a project-by-project basis. In 2010 Susan was the Executive Producer and Writer for the documentary film Constitute!, a project of IWRP which documents women's constitutional activism for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Sections 15 and 18) on February 14th, 1981. Susan's international missions have included many UN missions and assignments on peace building, rule of law, gender based violence, sustainable development, international trans-boundary waters, gender mainstreaming within the Global Environment Facility, and gender equality laws in Mongolia and, South East Asia; women's human rights training in Bosnia, Lithuania and East Africa for Women Law and Development International; bilateral missions in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan for the OSCE; trainings in ICTs for development in the Baltic and Balkan regions for USAID and CIDA; evaluating the use of CEDAW by grassroots NGOs; managing the gender program for the American Bar Association - CEELI Program in Russia; developing and coordinating a seven country Southern African Women's Legal Rights program. D).

University Women's Club of Ottawa

  • Corporate body
  • 1910-1991

The Canadian Federation of University Women/Ottawa (CFUW-O) was formed in April 14th, 1910 and incorporated under the name of University Women Club of Ottawa (UWC-O). It was formed by women graduates of various universities living in Ottawa. UWC denomination was changed in 1991 to Canadian Federation of University Women of Ottawa (CFUW-O). The club is a voluntary, self-funded, non-partisan, non-profit organization, open to all women. It is dedicated to the promotion of equality, social justice, fellowship, and life-long learning for women and girls. It provides opportunities to members to socialize, educate and advocate.

The organisation offers opportunities for friendship, learning as part of external outreach groups. Study and interest groups for a wide range of interests including outdoor activities, indoor games, cuisine, book clubs, art, public affairs, music have been formed. Various events have been organized during which expert speakers intervened on educational, political, social, and cultural issues with a focus on equality for women and girls.

UWC/CFUW-O members work on local issues. Their advocacy is always based on policies which have been approved by their members. The UWC was admitted in 1919 to membership in the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW). The UWC/CFUW-O is also part of Graduate Women International (GWI), formerly International Federation of University Women (IFUM). The UWC/CFUW-O has also been active in both the affairs of the CFUW and the IFUW. They support CFUW-Ontario Council on provincial issues, and the CFUW National Board on national and international issues.

In 1913, the Drama Reading Circle was started. This group grew into the Ottawa Little Theatre. During the First World War, many members were involved in volunteer service with the Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance. In 1951, the Penal Reform Study Group was responsible for the organization of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa. In the 60s, the UWC participated in the initiation of the School Volunteer Project “Step By Step”, and the Diplomatic Hospitality Committee was initiated. This committee welcomed hundred of diplomatic visitors to Canada.

The organisation supports university and college students through scholarships and awards. The club began to award university scholarships in 1935. The Scholarship Trust Fund (STF) was formed in September 1983. The purpose of Scholarship Trust Fund is to encourage and support the study and research of those seeking higher education. Through annual appeals, proceeds from various fundraising events, investing, members and friends’ donations, the Fund has given in university scholarship and awards.

Dr. Charlotte Whitton former Mayor of Ottawa, and well-known women have been presidents of the UWC/CFUW-O.

Canadian Federation of University Women of Ottawa

  • Corporate body
  • 1991-

The Canadian Federation of University Women/Ottawa (CFUW-O) was formed in April 14th, 1910 and incorporated under the name of University Women Club of Ottawa (UWC-O). It was formed by women graduates of various universities living in Ottawa. UWC denomination was changed in 1991 to Canadian Federation of University Women of Ottawa (CFUW-O). The club is a voluntary, self-funded, non-partisan, non-profit organization, open to all women. It is dedicated to the promotion of equality, social justice, fellowship, and life-long learning for women and girls. It provides opportunities to members to socialize, educate and advocate.

The organisation offers opportunities for friendship, learning as part of external outreach groups. Study and interest groups for a wide range of interests including outdoor activities, indoor games, cuisine, book clubs, art, public affairs, music have been formed. Various events have been organized during which expert speakers intervened on educational, political, social, and cultural issues with a focus on equality for women and girls.

UWC/CFUW-O members work on local issues. Their advocacy is always based on policies which have been approved by their members. The UWC was admitted in 1919 to membership in the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW). The UWC/CFUW-O is also part of Graduate Women International (GWI), formerly International Federation of University Women (IFUM). The UWC/CFUW-O has also been active in both the affairs of the CFUW and the IFUW. They support CFUW-Ontario Council on provincial issues, and the CFUW National Board on national and international issues.

In 1913, the Drama Reading Circle was started. This group grew into the Ottawa Little Theatre. During the First World War, many members were involved in volunteer service with the Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance. In 1951, the Penal Reform Study Group was responsible for the organization of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa. In the 60s, the UWC participated in the initiation of the School Volunteer Project “Step By Step”, and the Diplomatic Hospitality Committee was initiated. This committee welcomed hundred of diplomatic visitors to Canada.

The organisation supports university and college students through scholarships and awards. The club began to award university scholarships in 1935. The Scholarship Trust Fund (STF) was formed in September 1983. The purpose of Scholarship Trust Fund is to encourage and support the study and research of those seeking higher education. Through annual appeals, proceeds from various fundraising events, investing, members and friends’ donations, the Fund has given in university scholarship and awards.

Dr. Charlotte Whitton former Mayor of Ottawa, and well-known women have been presidents of the UWC/CFUW-O.

Mary Bishop

  • Person
Mary Bishop is a retired CPA representative. She lived in Toronto from 1970 to 1984, until she moved to Ottawa. She started attending the theatre on a regular basis in the 70s. During that time, she attended many performances in Toronto, Stratford, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ottawa, and other locations. She saved most of the programs to the plays she attended. In 2020, she moved in northern Ontario and decided to give her collection to the Archives and special collection.

Montreal Health Press

  • Canada
  • Corporate body
  • 1968-[2001]

The Montreal Health Press–les Presses de la Santé de Montréal–was a feminist, non-profit collective that published affordable print booklets, in French and English, on sexuality and sexual health, for over 30 years. The organization provided affordable and accessible handbooks on issues surrounding birth control, contraception, child birth, sexual orientation, sexually transmitted diseases and menopause.

The organization officially became a women’s collective in 1972, although the collective originated in 1968 when members of the McGill University student body produced and distributed the “Birth Control Handbook.” Two of these student publishers, Donna Cherniak and Allan Feingold, became founding members of the Montreal Health Press.

The organization's administrative style was informal, with annual May meetings held at members’ kitchen tables. One individual was appointed chief coordinator for each publication and members volunteered to contribute their expertise as medical doctors, social scientists, photographers etc. Each handbook was continually re-published with updated medical information.

During the 1970s, a million copies of the “Birth Control Handbook” were distributed. The first handbooks were followed by the “VD Handbook,” in 1973, “A Book about Sexual Assault,” in 1979, and “A Book about Menopause” in 1988, as well as their French-language equivalents. The publications favoured clear and non-judgmental language along with detailed medical diagrams and black and white photographs.

By the 1990s, sales were greatly diminished, due in part to the proliferation of self-help books and to the availability of online content. The collective closed permanently by 2001. During its more than 30-year history, the Montreal Health Press had distributed over 15 million copies of its books and handbooks.

Comité RIFAS (Regroupement d'intervenants-tes francophones, abus sexuels)

  • Corporate body
  • 1985-1992
Le comité RIFAS (Regroupement d'intervenants-tes francophones, abus sexuels) a été fondé en décembre 1985 avec pour mission de mobiliser et réunir des intervenants-tes intéressés-es par la problématique des abus sexuels. Les objectifs du comité étaient d'établir un réseau d'échange d'informations, de coordonner les ressources offertes en français en matière d'abus sexuels, de favoriser les références de la clientèle aux diverses ressources, de créer un centre de ressources et de documentation et finalement d'offrir de la formation professionnelle. Il est composé d'intervenants-tes sociaux provenant de différentes agences telles la Société de l'aide à l'enfance d'Ottawa-Carleton, le bureau des services à la jeunesse, le Centre psycho-social, le Centre des services communautaires de la Basse-Ville, l'Hôpital pour enfants de l'Est de l'Ontario, le Conseil Scolaire d'Ottawa.

Finkler, Evelyn Lilith

  • Person
  • 1958-
Evelyn Lilith (now Chava) Finkler has been an activist, writer and academic. She was born in Toronto, in 1958, to a Polish father and Libyan mother, both of whom survived the holocaust. She is the granddaughter of a prominent Hassidic rabbi. For many years, Finkler was an orthodox Jew. Today, she belongs to a Conservative congregation. Members of her extended family reside in a Satmar community in the U.S.
Since 1976, Finkler has participated and organized in social justice movements dedicated to the liberation of women, lesbians, disabled persons and psychiatric survivors. She has often marched against apartheid in South Africa, Israel / Palestine and Canada. Finkler participated in feminist groups such as Women Against Violence Against Women, Lesbian Organization of Toronto, Women for Survival, Jewish Feminist Anti-Fascist League and the Disabled Womens’ Network-Toronto. She was also a co-founder and co-organizer of the very first Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day, now known and celebrated internationally as Mad Pride.
Chava has written almost fifty articles in academic journals, trade publications and the alternative press. Since 2000, much of her writing has focused on mental health and affordable housing. No matter the topic, however, Finkler has consistently presented an intersectional analysis, linking one form of oppression to others.
Finkler received an Interdisciplinary PhD from Dalhousie University in 2009. During her years of study, she received nine academic and / or community awards including the prestigious Trudeau Foundation Fellowship. During her retirement, Finkler continues to advocate for social justice in multiple political and activist arenas.

Second Wave Feminism Oral History Collection

  • Corporate body
  • 2007-2012

The Second Wave Feminism Oral History Collection is the result of the findings from the Second Wave Archival Project, a research project organized by Canadian Senator Nancy Ruth and Beth Atcheson. Interviews were conducted by Bronwyn Bragg (lead researcher and interviewer) and Mary Breen. The Second Wave Archival Project aimed to document the history of second wave feminism in Canada. The final oral history collection includes 99 interviews with women from Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

The Second Wave Archival Project was a collaboration between Nancy’s Very Own Foundation (NVOF) and the University of Ottawa Library Archives and Special Collections. NVOF is a private foundation in Toronto founded by Senator Nancy Ruth. The interviews are part of the Canadian Women’s Movement Archives (CWMA) at the University of Ottawa Library. Bronwyn Bragg was employed from 2008-2010 by NVOF and later published a master’s thesis from the University of Toronto in 2011 titled “Deconstructing ‘Hegemonic Feminism’: The Emergence of ‘Second Wave’ Feminism in Canada (1965-1975)”. In this thesis Bragg also outlines the history of the project.

The oral history interviews were digitally recorded and conducted primarily in person. Some were done over the phone. The interviews conducted in Ontario are accompanied by transcripts done by Bronwyn Bragg.

In 2007, the original intention of the project was to collect documents and ephemera relating to second wave feminism in Canada. Then it was decided to collect oral history interviews instead when locating documents proved more difficult than anticipated. Initially ten women in Ontario were on the list of interviewees. However, the list of interviewees grew and more than forty interviews had been recorded by Bronwyn Bragg by October of 2008.

A goal of the project was to reflect the diversity of the second wave movement in Canada by including experiences from women of colour, aboriginal women, women with disabilities, and women who identify as LGBTQ2S+ as outlined in Bragg’s master’s thesis. Interviews with women who were active early on in the movement were prioritized as were interviews with the eldest women outlines Bragg.

An interview guide and consent form was created for the interviews. The consent form states that recordings will become the property of uOttawa and included in the Canadian Women’s Movement Archives, interviewees can restrict access to their interviews if desired, and receive a copy of their interview, etc. Lawyers working on the project drafted the consent form with input from the University of Ottawa Library Archives and Special Collections. The content of the consent form was reviewed before and after the interview with the interviewee. Once the interview had been conducted, participants were asked to sign the form and stipulate any access restrictions.

The interview guide was created in collaboration with other feminist academics in history and sociology. Questions in the guide were general and open-ended. The interview guide consisted of a list of questions grouped into four categories. The first being to capture stories for the next generation of feminists and to create permanent archival records for future research. The first section of questions dealt with how participants became involved with feminism, the second dealt with organizational affiliations and group memberships, the third dealt with how participants felt to be part of the movement, the fourth about what participants thought was important for young feminists today. The participants were not sent the interview guide before the interview unless they requested it. A list of open-ended demographic questions was appended to the guide to serve as follow up questions. This was done to ensure all relevant information had been captured during the interview.

Two goals were stated in the guide. The first being to capture stories for the next generation of feminists and to create permanent archival records for future research on second wave feminism in Canada.

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