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Fireweed

  • Instelling
  • 1978-2002

Fireweed was founded in Toronto, Canada, in 1978 by a 24 women collective. Originally called Fireweed: A Women’s Literary and Cultural Journal, the journal adopted the name Fireweed: A Feminist Quarterly of Writing, Politics, Art & Culture in 1980. The foreword to the first issue described Fireweed as a “feminist journal devoted to stimulating dialogue, knowledge, and creativity among women” and stated that the journal’s collective was “committed to an editorial policy of diversity.” Collective members have included Gay Allison, Lynne Fernie, Hilda Kirkwood, Liz Brady, Elizabeth Ruth, Makeda Silvera, Carolyn Smart and Rhea Tregebov. Issues of Fireweed usually focuses on a theme or topic, such as "Writing" (#10), "Fear & Violence" (#14), "Women of Colour" (#16), "Sex & Sexuality" (#37 & 38), and "Language" (#44/45), though there are frequent "open" issues. They published the first collection of Jewish feminist works (#35) to critical acclaim. Beginning in 1982, Fireweed invited guest collectives to edit issues of the journal. This was an opportunity for under-represented groups to define their own issues.

Fireweed was committed to an editorial policy of diversity and not intended to represent a particular style or aesthetic. The collective was also committed to print both established and new women authors including works from native and immigrant communities. However, in the beginning of their history Fireweed did not completely adhere to this mandate. Most of their first issues included little or no works from writers of colour, native women, or immigrants. This exclusion created some adverse reactions from the community. By 1982, all but one woman resigned from the original collective and a new eight woman collective was formed. This collective, which included two women of colour, argued extensively about the aesthetics and contents of the journal. By the mid- to late-1980s and beyond, Fireweed began to paint a broader discussion of race, class, and sexuality. Several themed issues that gave voices to minority groups including two issues on Asian women’s writings, Lesbiantics: an issue for and by lesbian women, and a double issue on class. Even though they received letters about certain issues, themes, and writings, Fireweed never compromised their vision. The journal published fiction, poetry, reviews, essays, photographs, and drawings from women around the world. The collective encouraged women from every background to submit their works to the journal. They wanted women to articulate how they were perceived in popular culture. They had an extensive editorial system that involved a group consensus when considering submissions.

The Fireweed collective also wanted to encourage and support women to pursue writing and other arts. They continuously participated in the Ontario Arts Council’s Writer’s Reserve grant system that provided Fireweed the opportunity to recommend funding to writers for individual projects. Their continued work with the arts community created an annual Fireweed festival, which showcased various artists and works from the feminist community. The journal also showcased writing from a number of renowned Canadian artists including Margaret Atwood and Rina Fraticelli, the future head of Studio D at the NFB. Similarly to many other publications, the collective system was not entirely efficient or beneficial to the journal and began to show strain in 1983. By the mid-1990s a new organization was developed to better manage the publication of the journal. First, a 6-member editorial collective was responsible for the editorial direction especially with the development, solicitation, and selection of issue contents. The staff collective included coordinators for sales and marketing, editorials, office management, and the design of the journal itself. Finally the board collective as the legal entity was responsible for overall organizational and staff issues as well as all fiscal matters.

Fireweed was published from 1978 to 2002 with a final double issue on women, race, and war resistance. The quarterly's ISSN is 0706-3857.

Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women

  • Instelling
  • 1979-2001
The Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women (CCLOW) is a national organization which was formed in 1971 to promote learning opportunities for women. It facilitated networking, identified barriers, publicized critical issues, organized conferences, and publishesda periodical, Women’s Education des femmes. CCLOW was originally called the Canadian Committee on Learning Opportunities for Women. The Quebec regional chapter was formed in circa 1979 and CCLOW disbanded in 2001.

Women of Impact

  • Instelling
  • 2014-2015
This project led by Mary Wells and Anne Millar, aimed to recognize and document the experiences and accomplishments of leading women in mining, metallurgy, and materials in Canada and throughout the world. Furthermore, it was designed to disseminate their inspiring stories through a one-day Women of Impact symposium as part of the 2015 Conference of Metallurgists (COM) and through a peer-reviewed publication, which was provided to key networks of women in science and engineering across Canada. The interviews took place during 2014-2015.

International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES)

  • Instelling
  • 1964-
INWES is the International Network for Women Engineers and Scientists. It is a global non-profit organization that serves to strengthen the capacity of individuals and organizations related to women in STEM worldwide through the exchange of information, networking, and advocacy activities to increase the presence of women in STEM worldwide and to be a responsible voice and influence on scientific issues for the benefit of society and the environment. The International Conference for Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES) had been taking place for twelve years before delegates decided to create a network of organizations that represent women in STEM fields in 2001. In 2003, INWES was declared a non-profit corporation under Canadian law. INWES continues to exist as an organization and it sponsors workshops, conferences, and research, publishes a newsletter, and hosts regional meetings throughout the world.

Section of Women and Psychology of the Canadian Association of Psychology (SWAP-CPA)

  • Instelling
  • 1976-
The Section on Women and Psychology (SWAP) is a community of researchers, teachers, and practitioners interested in the psychology of women and feminist psychology. It aims to advance the status of women in psychology, to promote equity for women in general, and to educate psychologists and the public on topics relevant to women and girls. It supports students through an annual student paper award and a convention social event. Members are kept informed of developments via annual newsletters and are connected through the CanFemPsyc listserv and other online groups. SWAP members regularly organize symposia and pre-conference institutes as well as supporting a Status of Women Committee.

Ontario Advisory Council on Women's Issues (OACWI)

  • Instelling
  • 1985-1993
The Ontario Advisory Council on Women's Issues (OACWI) was founded in 1984. It was the successor to the Ontario Advisory Council on the Status of Women (OACSW), founded in 1973 in response to the 1970 federal Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. Succesful lobbying by women's groups pushed the Ontario government to expand the capacity of OACWI and it was charged with advising the government on women’s issues through a special minister. The Conservative government decided to fold the OACWI in 1996.

Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)

  • Instelling
  • 1985-
Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) is a national, charitable, non-profit organization, founded in 1985. LEAF works to advance the substantive equality rights of women and girls in Canada through litigation, law reform and public education using the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Healthsharing

  • Instelling
  • 1978-1993

Healthsharing was a Toronto-based publication concerned with examining women’s health issues and alternatives to mainstream health care from a feminist viewpoint and it has been called “Canada’s first women’s health magazine”. The Healthsharing Collective was comprised, for the most part, of volunteer labour and regularly a minimum of two paid staff members. It was officially incorporated in 1978 and published quarterly between 1979 and 1993. It is clear from the collection of letters which flowed into the Healthsharing Collective office on a regular basis that the magazine was well received and was an integral part of women’s health activism during the fourteen years of its existence. Although the first years of publication ran smoothly, it soon became increasingly difficult for the magazine to survive and much of the energy of the collective was spent not only on maintaining and improving the magazine, but also on advertising and soliciting funding from government and other agencies. In 1990, the Conservative government cut the Secretary of State’s Woman’s Program and this hit Healthsharing hard. Although the magazine managed to survive for three more years thanks to donations from supporters, subscription renewals and a transfer of $344,000 in grant funds originally intended for a regional women’s health network, they published the last issue in fall 1993.

The administrative records are incomplete and run from 1984 to 1993 and largely reflect the beginning of the Collective. Despite Secretary of State funding in the mid-1980s, pressure to obtain more funding for expansion was crucial. While the notion of expansion was clearly an exciting one, their concepts and methods of collective organizing based on devoted volunteer efforts made obtaining stable funding difficult. The collective continued for many years in this way, at times successfully soliciting additional funds for special issues through Health and Welfare and Employment and Immigration work programs. In this way, they were occasionally able to pay extra staff.

Although the magazine was run through a collective editorial board in order to create a feminist alternative to traditional hierarchical structures, there were in practice several managing editors over the life-span of the magazine beginning with Volume 5, 1984. The first managing editor listed was Elizabeth Allemang until 1985. At this point, the number of managing editors begins to vary from a minimum of one to a maximum of three women at a time. Although these shifts reflect the changing lives of the women themselves, they also reflect some of the challenges faced by many feminist publications and grass-roots organizations. Many women’s organizations are mostly volunteer based, which means its collective members have other jobs as well. Furthermore, many of these groups are run by activists involved in other collectives facing similar funding and structural challenges. Often burn-out and inconsistency are the result. Although Healthsharing is no exception to this rule, they maintained a core group of women who came and went over its fifteen year life-span. In 1987, Connie Clement was effectively the managing editor. The other names which appeared regularly were Elizabeth Amer, Amyra Braha, Connie Guberman, Lisa McCaskell, Susan Elliot, Alice Grange and Diana Majury. In 1988, the editorial position was assumed by Amy Gottlieb. She remained editor for a little more than three years, until 1991, when Hazelle Palmer was introduced to the magazine for the first time. From 1991 to 1993, Hazelle Palmer was editor and member of the collective. The second last issue was released with Janet Creery as editor and for the final issue, Amy Gottlieb resumed the editorial position. Regardless of the many twists and turns in the magazine’s administrative past, they released every issue successfully save one, when they received what was to be a mortal blow, the Secretary of State funding cut in 1990.

Vancouver Women's Health Collective

  • Instelling
  • 1971-

The Vancouver Women’s Health Collective began in 1971, when women who were angered with the health care provided by their doctors got together to do something about it. The founding women recognized that women’s health care needs were often ignored, underrepresented and trivialized within the medical system. Originally, the collective worked as a meeting place for women to discuss their experiences and frustrations with the health care system. In 1972, the VWHC was established as a non-profit charitable women’s organization.

What began as a small support system, turned into a “clinic” where women could see a doctor and receive health care in a supportive environment. Women also used the space as a place to share their ideas and advocate for changes in the health care system for all women. Furthermore, organizing as a collective, rather than a hierarchical structure, made all women participants in the organization’s decision making process.

During the 1980s, the “clinic” closed and the VWHC focused on providing information and resources for women. Over the years, the VWHC has been active in a variety of ways based on women’s needs, the political climate, our volunteer power and expertise and of course, funding challenges. VWHC members, volunteers and staff attended general practitioner conferences and the Provincial Women’s Health Lobby in the fall of 1992. We held press conferences to promote awareness on diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen given by doctors to pregnant women between 1941 and 1975 to reduce the risk of miscarriage. DES was later found to have serious health effects. The VWHC also raised awareness about and was involved in actions against producers of the Dalkon Shield, an inter-uterine device promoted as a safe form of birth control. The Dalkon Shield was later found to seriously harm women who used it.

Over the years, the VWHC has produced publications on a variety of women’s health issues from a feminist perspective, some of which were translated into Mandarin and Spanish. The VWHC has also hosted workshops on numerous women’s health issues including breast health, DES, abortion, birth control, complementary therapies, mental health, natural fertility, menopause, pap tests, sexually transmitted diseases and unlearning racism. Past community-based organizing has included a 25th anniversary celebration, supporting women artists through art shows at the VWHC, and fundraising initiatives such as the sale of sunflowers on 4th Avenue in Vancouver. From 1998 to 2002, the VWHC ran the Community Health Advocate Project (CHA) that included the delivery of the Patient’s Rights workshop to women in the community.

While the initiatives undertaken by the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective have changed over the years, our aim has remained the same since 1971…empowering women to take control of their health through self-advocacy, information and knowledge, and activism.

World Inter-Action Mondiale

  • Instelling
  • 1972-
Founded in 1972 as the Ottawa-Hull Learner Centre, in the mid-1980s changed its name to World Inter-Action Mondiale (WIAM), and in 2011 changed its name again to One World Arts. WIAM was an Ottawa-based global education organization that believed that the solutions to social and economic global inequalities begin with awareness among Canadians of their social, environmental and cultural links with the rest of the world.
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