Amplify the Message!

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Calling all members! Your CFUW Advocacy committee has organized a letter writing campaign to show our support for Anti Human Trafficking education and resources that are urgently needed in our local Niagara schools. We need your help to send a clear message that this is important to CFUW members.

On January 3, 2022, a letter from CFUW President Maureen Shantz will be going out to every high school principal in the Niagara Region and to the two Directors of Education – the Public and Catholic School Boards.

To send your own letters of support to the Directors of Education, click the following links, print the letters, sign your name and mail.

District School Board of Niagara letter

Niagara Catholic District School Board letter

Why a letter writing campaign? CFUW wants to send a strong message to educators that action must be taken now on Human Trafficking in our Niagara Schools. Programs and resources need to be created within schools to educate students and staff about Awareness, Prevention and Detection of Human Trafficking, with the goal of providing students with a safe and supportive environment.

 

Timeline:

June 2021: Ontario Gov’t updated the anti-human trafficking strategy https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontarios-anti-human-trafficking-strategy-2020-2025

June 3, 2021: Bill 251: Combatting Human Trafficking Act from the Ontario Legislative Assembly was given Royal Assent

July 6, 2021: Ministry of Education sent out to schools, Boards of Education: Policy/Program 166, Keeping Students Safe: Policy Framework for School Board Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocol. https://www.ontario.ca/document/education-ontario-policy-and-program-direction/policyprogram
The link below sums up quite nicely the goals of Policy 166.
https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000467/ontario-acts-to-protect-students-from-sex-trafficking

President’s January Message

The ending of the year is a good time to reflect on some of the positives of 2021.

As a club we…

– celebrated our 100th anniversary – in many ways, virtually, but with great gusto and grace

– had an entire year of monthly meetings and speakers face-to-face on Zoom – we’ve learned so much, even managing break-out rooms

had a very successful virtual Garden Tour, thanks to our partnership with Niagara College, that raised more than $20,000 through Eventbrite, YouTube and sponsorships

– saw the formation of a very active advocacy team

– as individuals, we were able to receive two vaccines to combat Covid-19.

 There have been many difficult weeks where we have all been unable to connect in person with family and friends during times of health and illness. It has not been easy. News of the continuing pandemic is a difficult way to start 2022. I encourage you to reach out to other members.

 As individuals, we need to look after our own mental health. Take these quiet months to learn something new or to explore the many beautiful hiking trails in Niagara Region and All Trailsnearby. You can safely play cards online with friends. Create or join a walking group, a book club, and/or connect with St. Catharines Older Adult Centres in the area to learn about new programs being offered. Eventbrite has many free events that take you to different areas throughout the world. Stay busy – both mentally and physically and stay connected. It will help you to get through the grey days of winter.

 While large group meetings may not be on the agenda for the remainder of the year, we will do our best to offer you quality speakers and meetings. We will return in person when it is safe to do so. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know.

President’s December Message

Our 100th Anniversary:

Canada, as a nation, was 54 years young when CFUW St. Catharines first came to life as an organization in 1921. What an incredible group of women to have had the foresight and vision in establishing this chapter – one that is vibrant and very active today. We thank all who have so generously contributed to the ongoing success and value it has provided to women in our community during the past 100 years.

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 epidemic has challenged the celebration of our 100th anniversary in the style that we had originally planned. However, with creative thinking and the use of the internet, the 100th Anniversary liaison committee, the Virtual Garden Tour committee, the Program Committee, social media team and Advocacy group forged ahead and have provided countless ways to publicly demonstrate our continuing presence and importance in the community. A special thank you to everyone who has contributed to make this a great celebration to remember. Please take the time to read History of CFUW St. Catharines on our website. As we now enter the second century of our club – what role can we take on? Our actions today will make an impact for women in the future – The Power of Women Working Together!

 16 Days of Activism Flag Raising

I had the opportunity to proudly represent CFUW St. Catharines at the initial flag raising on November 25th at Niagara Region headquarters to recognize the 16 Days of Activism. As Chair Jim Bradley commented – it is more than raising a flag, it has great significance. It states that the region recognizes the need to provide a safe community for women and girls. Chair Bradley acknowledged that he has heard how much courage it takes for a woman to come forward and share her story. He recognized the tragedy of the missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada and expressed a need for a safe environment for all women and girls. The need for support is huge for both groups. The region is providing education as part of their commitment to the 16 Days of Activism campaign. Many thanks to the Niagara Region’s women’s advisory committee and Jean Tonogai, chair of our Advocacy Committee for successfully bringing this to the forefront within our community.