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Women Working with Immigrant Women

  • Instelling
  • 1974-?

Women Working with Immigrant Women (WWIW) was established in 1974, incorporated in 1985, with the goal of organizing workshops and sharing information to understand the problems and needs of Canada's growing immigrant population. WWIW sponsored workshops, courses, events, and programs, produced information kits, published books and articles, and produced a film. WWIW has also worked with other organizations to lobby the government for rights of immigrant women and women of colour, and to spread awareness about the issues encountered by immigrant communities in Canada.

In 1983, WWIW joined forces with the Coalition of Visible Minority Women to form the Ontario Immigrant and Visible Minority Women's Network. WWIW was also affiliated with the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women. In the 1990s, funding cuts caused WWIW to lose its core membership. By 1995, due to federal and provincial cutbacks, WWIW had lost so much of its funding that it could no longer support its staff. Although WWIW is no longer as active, it remains present in the Canadian women's movement, and was last seen in 2015 protesting discrimination against women wearing niqab.

Kučera, Andrej

  • Persoon
  • 1899-1974
Andrej (Ondrej) Kučera was born in Radošovce, Trnava (Slovakia) on October 25, 1899. In 1926, he moved from Slovakia to Canada, eventually settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (Canada). Afterwards, Andrej Kučera worked for Canadian Pacific Railroad, first as a second stationman and then, as a foreman.
In December 1932, Andrej Kučera with Juraj Rošo and Pavol Sabo founded the Canadian Slovak League (CSL) in Winnipeg. This organization was to focus on the needs of Slovak Canadians. Andrej Kučera was the president of the CSL for 25 years. In 1957, he was named Honourable President for Life.
On December 26, 1974, Andrej Kučera passed away, leaving behind his wife Maria. They had two sons and a daughter: Karol, Kamil and Valerie Hačko (née Kučera). He also had a daughter and a son-in-law named Mary and Tony and two grandchildren: Mary Ann Doucette (née Hačko) and Anthony (Tony) J. Hačko. At his funeral, J. Metchler was a pallbearer.

Slovak Studies Association (SSA)

  • Instelling
  • 1977-

The Slovak Studies Association (SSA) was founded in 1977 in Washington, D.C. during the National Conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS). Attending this first meeting were Thaddeus Gromeda, Richard Liba, Thomas Marzik, Jozef and Renee Mikuš, Mark Stolárik, Anthony X. Sutherland and Edward Tuleya. The purpose of this first meeting was to discuss a tentative constitution, enabling the secretary-treasurer, Mark Stolárik, to write its first draft, and to elaborate the procedures for the election of SSA’s officers. Procedures pertaining to the election of SSA officers were also elaborated during this reunion.

The SSA promotes interdisciplinary research, publications and teaching relating to worldwide Slovak experience. This scholarly organization assists scholars interested in Slovak studies, sponsors panels on Slovak history and themes (i.e. “14 March and the Slovak State“ and “Slovak Literature as a Mirror of National Awakening“), and issues a bi-annual newsletter. In addition, the SSA “conducts all of its activities in accordance with academic freedom and completely devoid of partiality to any philosophical, political, or religious orientation“. The SSA is affiliated to the Association for Slovak, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEES) (formerly the Association for Advancement of Slovak Studies). In 1983, the SSA was incorporated to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a non-profit scholarly organization.

Gleiman family

  • Familie
  • 1893-

Dr. Lubomir Gleiman (1923-2006), son of Dr. Jan Gleiman and Anna Urbanek, was born in Trnava, Czechoslovakia (now in Slovakia), on May 21, 1923. His grandfather Ferko Urbanek had been a famous Slovak playwright and poet. During World War II and the Slovak National Uprising, Lubomir and his family were removed from their home, and he was forced to work in labour camps. In a particular occasion, he and his colleagues from medical school were made to march across Austria in a defensive measure against the allies. After being freed when the 506th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division liberated his camp, he became secretary at the displaced persons camp in Rauris (Austria). He became friends with the US Commander Al Hazzenzahl and Lt Gerald Evers. The latter gave him a letter of recommendation after the camp closed, which was invaluable to Lubomir during his subsequent months as a refugee.

Lubomir and his father later joined the movement to organize a resistance against the communists in Slovakia. They were also active participants in the attempts to resist the advances of communism and in the conservation of an independent democracy in their country. Father Tomislav Kolakovic (Father George), a Catholic priest who opposed communism, was among Lubomir’s anti-communist connections. In 1948, after the resistance movement failed, Lubomir and his family immigrated to Canada, where they worked in farms in the Glencoe/Alviston area. Later, they held several odd jobs to support themselves in Montreal. His father and his sisters Wanda and Zora worked in a chocolate factory while Lubomir was employed at various occupations, from janitor and hospital orderly to bookkeeper and graduate assistant. Despite their difficult life, Lubomir nevertheless managed to complete his bachelor’s degree in 1952 from the Thomas More Institute.

After earning his master’s degree in 1954 and PhD in philosophy in 1957, both from the University of Montreal, he moved to the United States, where he began his distinguished scholarly career. He was a professor of philosophy and political science until 1978 at Newton College of the Sacred Heart, which later became Boston College. In Boston College, Lubomir had been the Newton senior fellow in political science from 1975 to 1977. He was appointed professor of philosophy at Salve Regina University (Newport, RI) in 1978, where he taught until he retired at age 70. He continued his scholarly studies, however, even after his retirement. He was fluent in five languages, and wrote profusely. His writings included poetry, scholarly articles, essays and reviews. He also published two books: “Etudes D’Histoire Litteraire, Medieval Roots of Totalitarian Syndrome” and “Graham Green: Poet of Ambivalence and Transcendence.”

He married Nancy Waeber (1941-2018), one of his students, in 1963, and they had three children: Mary Melanie (Phelps), Cyril Gleiman, and Jan Kenneth Gleiman. Lubomir Gleiman died on May 22, 2006 at age 83.

Dr. Ján Gleiman (1893-1983) was born in Slovakia, on September 11, 1893. He served as a captain in the Austro-Hungarian army during WWI, but surrendered his unit to the Russians because they refused to fight against those they considered their “Slavic brothers”. He was then made a prisoner of war and was sent to Krasnojarsk. He learned to speak fluent Russian during this time.

Before World War II, Ján Gleiman had been a prominent lawyer, notary public and local judge in his country, and had enjoyed a comfortable upper middle class life with his family while living in Revuca, Banska Bystrica, Banovce, and Bratislava. He was also part of the Hlinka's Slovak People's Party, the Slovak right-wing nationalist party, and allegedly a confidant of Father Jozef Tiso, who was one of the party leaders and later president of the First Slovak Republic. Jan’s son Lubomir had been Tiso’s altar boy. Tiso was executed after World War II for having collaborated with Hitler and Nazism. With the advance of communism in Slovakia, Jan became worried that his political connections posed a threat to his and his family’s security, and so they sold their personal belongings and left Slovakia. They travelled throughout Europe before finally boarding a ship in Italy and immigrating to Canada in 1948.

The Gleiman family’s move to Canada after the war was not easy for any of them, but especially for Jan. Because of his age and poor knowledge of the English language, he was required to accept manual work in Canada as a condition for immigration, and could not be employed in his own field. According to his own diaries, he was very much dissatisfied with his new life and the difficulties he faced while trying to integrate in Canada. However, he continued to devote a lot of his time outside of working hours to intellectual activities such as reading and writing, mostly in relation to philosophy and politics. The family finally managed to save enough money to buy a house in the late 1950s, which had by then become Jan’s final goal in Canada. Ján died on March 13, 1983 in Montreal, at age 90.

Canadian Slovak League (CSL)

  • Instelling
  • 1932-

The Canadian Slovak League (CSL) was founded in December 1932 by Andrej Kučera, Juraj Rodoš and Pavol A. Sabo, representatives of the Winnipeg Branch of the Slovak League of America. The founding members of the CSL wanted to create an organization catering to the needs of Slovak-Canadians and sought to broaden the social and financial support to their members. In 1934, this organization received a “Dominion Charter” therefore making the CSL a fraternal benefit society. For the remainder of the 1930s, this organization continued to support Slovakia’s independence as promised by the Pittsburg Agreement. It also paid death benefits according to the size of its treasury to deceased members’ family. The Oshawa and Hamilton branches of the CSL established the First District of the Assembly followed by the first Slovak Day in Oshawa. Slovak Days in cities such as Toronto, Hamilton, Welland, Montréal and Windsor would soon follow.

In the 1940s, the CSL was involved in the Canadian war effort. Members purchased war bonds and participated in the war effort. The CSL donated an ambulance to the Red Cross. During these years, the CSL established its organ newspaper Kanadský Slovak, edited respectively by Štefan Hreha, Konštantin Čuleň, Štefan Reištetter, Andrej Brazda and Julius Behul. Upon World War II’s and the beginning of Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, the CSL sent a delegation to Ottawa to persuade the Canadian government to accept Slovak refugees fleeing the Communist regime, a situation intensified by the Pact of Warsaw in 1968.

In 1954, the CSL was reorganized as an insurance company. Members now had to pay monthly fees according to their age. Due to this new policy, membership dropped making this organization return to its previous role as a fraternal organization. Culturally, the CSL continued to support Slovak Halls where plays and Slovak folk dance groups performed culminating in a performance at Expo ’67. CSL members also sponsored radio shows and television programs.

With the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1989, the CSL demanded that a full Canadian diplomatic post be created in Bratislava. To this day, the CSL continues to help Slovak immigrants arriving in Canada and promotes Slovak culture and heritage with activities in various branches.

Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre

  • Instelling
  • 1974-

In 1974, three women (Rosemary Billings, Gaby Van Heusen and Diane Williams) originally active in the Ottawa Women’s Centre had the idea of starting a crisis centre for victims of rape and sexual assault in the Ottawa-Hull area. A grant was secured to support the project, and on December 15th, 1974, the centre officially opened. The original goals of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre were to 1) provide direct assistance to rape victims through a volunteer-operated crisis phone line, casework and accompaniment services, and group counselling 2) to educate the public toward a change in attitude and treatment of the issue of rape. Representatives of the centre spoke to high schools and other organizations to raise awareness as well as liaising with police stations and hospitals with the aim of working together to help victims of rape.

In 1976, the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre was comprised of four full-time staff and 40 volunteers. A board of directors made up of community members was established in early 1976 to provide support for a Demonstration Project grant submission to the Federal Government Health & Welfare department. Conflicts between the board and certain staff members ensued in 1976 and 1977 which threatened the success of the centre; internal conflicts occurred again in 1982. The Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre continues to operate in 2019 and has expanded to include three full time and eight part-time staff members, project staff, and approximately 50 volunteers who respond to the crisis line, provide education outreach, and sit on the board.

Nancy Ruth

  • Persoon
  • 1942-

The Honourable Nancy Ruth, CM, LLD, is a feminist, social activist and feminist philanthropist. She worked for the United Church of Canada from 1963-1986 as well as in various church organizations. From 2005 to 2017, she served as an Ontario Senator in the Senate of Canada.

Born in Toronto on 6 January 1942, and christened Nancy Ruth Jackman, she chooses to be called Nancy Ruth as a single name in 1994, the day her mother died. She is the daughter of Mary Coyne Rowell Jackman, known for her support of Canadian art, craft, culture, and early childhood education, and Harry Jackman, former MP (1940-1949) and financier. She is the granddaughter of Nellie Langford Rowell, a pioneering advocate for women, children and the poor, and Newton Wesley Rowell, former MPP, MP and Ontario Liberal Party leader.
Her paternal grandfather, Henry B. Jackman, rose in the ranks of The Taylor [Chubb] Safe Company, while her paternal grandmother, Sara Ann, did church and volunteer work.

A United Church Minister by training and an activist by choice, Nancy Ruth is a leading advocate of the incorporation of Canada’s constitutional equality rights into Canadian public policy and institutions. She co-founded, and served as a director and officer of organizations devoted to achieving full civil, legal, economic, political, and cultural rights for women and girls in all their diversity, including:
• CREF-Charter of Rights Educational Fund and CORC-Charter of Rights Coalition
• The 1981 Ad Hoc Committee of Canadian Women on the Constitution
• LEAF-Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund/Fonds d’action et d’éducation juridiques pours les femmes.
• CWF- Canadian Women’s Foundation/ Fondation Canadienne pours les femmes
• The Linden School
• Nancy’s Very Own Foundation, which focuses on poverty, violence, health and peace
• Women’s Future Fund/ Les Fonds pour l’avenir des femmes
• www.section15.ca, an online women's’ history site.
• Play Fair – a film about women in sport
• www.singallofus.ca – a site dedicated to making O Canada (Canada’s national anthem) gender-neutral

Nancy Ruth has served on the Board of Directors of the Economic Council of Canada, the Canadian Centre for Arms Control, the Canada-USA Fulbright Foundation, The Doctor's Hospital Foundation, Mount Saint Vincent University, the International Institute of Concern for Public Health, and the Paralympic Foundation.

As a Senator, she successfully advocated for the addition of sex, age and disability to Canada’s Criminal Code provisions on hate propaganda; improved gender-based analysis for all federal policies and programs; access to medically assisted dying; and, the 2018 restoration of a gender-neutral English national anthem.

As a businesswoman, she has been involved with residential land development and environmental products.

Nancy Ruth ran as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the 1990 Ontario election and in a 1993 Ontario by-election. In 1993, she represented Canada at the UN elections in Cambodia.

Nancy Ruth has made significant donations to various feminist educational, health, cultural, museum and archival activities.

Nancy Ruth’s contributions to social change have been recognized nationally and internationally. She was awarded the Order of Canada (1994); the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Person's Case (1997); the Augusta Stowe Gullen Medal (2014); the Government of Ontario’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Human Rights (1998); the Toronto YWCA Women of Distinction Award (1988); the Hero Award, Metropolitan Community Church, Toronto (2000); the South African Women for Women Friendship Award (2004); and the Charles Sauriol Greenspace Award (2007). She served as a Fellow of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University, Montreal, (1991). She holds honorary degrees from York, Trent, Laurentian and Mount Saint Vincent Universities.

Briskin, Linda

  • Persoon
Linda Briskin is a Professor Emeritus at York University (Toronto) at the School of Women' Studies. In addition to numerous articles, she has authored several books including Equity Bargaining/Bargaining Equity (2006); co-edited Women's Organizing and Public Policy in Canada and Sweden (1999); Women Challenging Unions: Feminism, Democracy and Militancy (1993); and Union Sisters: Women in the Labour Movement (1983); and co-authored Feminist Organizing for Change: the Contemporary Women's Movement in Canada (1988), and The Day the Fairies Went on Strike (for children) (1981). Her research focuses on union leadership, strategies for ensuring equity representation inside unions, women’s participation in collective bargaining and social dialogue, and worker militancy, with a special focus on gendering labour militancy and nurses on strike. She has been a union activist for many decades. In 2014, Linda Briskin received the Sefton Award for Contributions to Labour Relations, presented by Woodsworth College and the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto.

De Wolf, Teressa

Teressa (Terri) W. De Wolf lived in Toronto and then moved to British Columbia in 1984. She worked in Kelowna Status of Women’s Office, in the 1970’s.

Levine, Helen

  • Persoon
  • 1923-2018

Helen Levine (nee Zivian) was born in Ottawa in 1923. She was a social worker, activist and professor. At the School of Social Work at Carleton University, she introduced women's issues and feminist perspectives into the curriculum for the first time. She received the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case for advancing the equality of women in Canada.

Helen Levine was actively involved in the women’s movement since the late 1960s. She was a member of the Faculty of the School of Social Work at Carleton University from the mid-1970s until 1988. Upon retiring, she practised feminist counselling as well as speaking and doing workshops on topics related to women’s personal and political struggles. She was a member of the Crones, a group of older feminists; of a singing group called Sistersong; and of Woman-to-Woman, a feminist counselling project in Ottawa. She published many articles, most of which have been critiques of the conventional helping professions and of the issues related to a feminist counselling approach. In October 1989, she was one of six women across Canada to receive the Person’s Award, in recognition of her contribution to improving the status of Canadian Women.

Helen Levine died in Ottawa in 2018.

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