Hello! We’re the TRUSU Lean In – Leadership for Gender Equality Club. If you’d like to be part of a meaningful impact project, we hope that you’ll join us to work on the completion of our Empower Project! The project will empower underprivileged female youth and TRU students in financial need to referee a sport of their choice. Refereeing will encourage participation in physical activity, provide work experience, and income. Most sports allow children to start officiating at the age of twelve. This will give young participants a lot of time to save for their tuition! Not only does the Empower Project provide a form of economic empowerment, but it will also help to ‘level the playing field’. Did you know that there are disproportionately less female referees in sport than men? That 1 in 3 Canadian girls stop participating in sports by their late teens? Or that The Harvard Business Review mentioned that a mere 5.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women? Our project’s mentorship component is designed to build confidence in young women and girls. As well as support their leadership development. It’s been a long journey since the Empower Project was conceptualized in 2016 & our main goal is to finally complete it this over the Fall 2023, Winter and Summer 2024 semesters! The Empower Project will be funded with the money raised on March 8th, 2017, from hosting: 1) Empower Conference on Health, Wellness, Gender Equality and Leadership; 2) Empower Ignited; 3) and the generous donation from the Women of TRU! When time permits, we also help raise awareness about unconscious gender bias. As well as dive into self-development topics such as public speaking, communication and assertive language, health and wellness, women in sports #LevelTheField, bystander intervention training, women in the workplace and leadership development. Here’s a breakdown of our club’s action to date: – Feb 2nd, 2017: We hosted a donut giveaway in the International Building to help with recruiting new club members. – March 8th, 2017: We hosted Thompson Rivers University’s 1st International Women’s Day Conference (Empower Conference on Health, Wellness, Gender Equality and Leadership) to raise money for our Empower Project. March 8th, 2017: We hosted the “Empower Ignited” event to raise money for our Empower Project. Our events were attended by an intergenerational audience of 65+ people. – September 2017: To support a past club member, we sponsored the catering for the Kamloops Innovation Centre’s Women In Tech event. – October 2017: We hosted a ‘Sushi Mixer’ club event to help raise awareness about the unconscious gender bias and facilitate a safe environment for meaningful discussion over shared cultural food. Through this event we also supported a local restaurant owned by new immigrants. – Nov 23, 2017: We served as a volunteer host for a youth-led not-for-profit based out of Toronto, bringing their United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Training event to Kamloops. The event featured The Hunger Project’s Representative to the United Nations. Our event was attended by an intergenerational audience of 250 people. – July 2019: With the help of Rotary and our student union, two club representatives gave presentations on the topics of gender equality and leadership to delegates from over 27 countries at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards North America Conference in Washington, DC, USA. – Fall 2021: We hosted 1 workshop on “Unconscious Biases Women Face at Work,” and 3 Social Bracelet Making Activity workshops and meetings. – Winter 2022: Two student volunteers hosted a Week of Women in STEM events. – Winter 2023: We secured another $5,000 event grant to support the epic Earth Day Celebration event and fundraiser so that local not-for-profit, Chimera Theatres, could produce an important environmental play. This event was attended by over 70 people. The environment disproportionately affects women & girls. – Summer 2023: Thanks to the TRUSU event grant program, we hosted the “End of Summer Session 1 Pizza Social” event. – Fall 2023 to Summer 2024: Our goal is to facilitate our Empower impact project and to collaborate with another club on campus so that we can offer our members more exciting opportunities while they develop transferrable skills through volunteering. At the same time, to ensure the female youth participants of our impact project are fully supported, we will also be running a #HeForShe initiative to develop young boys as their allies on the field or court. If you want to make an impact, help to achieve the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes, and are willing to consistently demonstrate the values of service above self, we would love to hear from you. We are feminists, but we are not “man-haters.” In fact, a large portion of our club members are men who believe in UN Women’s #HeForShe campaign & want to strengthen their ability to be allies. We hope that you’ll consider our meetings a safe place & supportive environment to learn and grow together. We require a committed team of student volunteers to see our Empower Project through & invite you to #LeanInTogetherTRU!