On the last day of February, knowing that our Wave of activity was imminent, I sat down with teachers and staff at the school where I teach English to people who have recently arrived in Canada. Although most of my colleagues were aware of my involvement in World Pulse, we had not yet sat down together to take the time to really talk about what is happening through this site, or what we do in our classes and in our school to celebrate IWD, and what messages we give to ensure that any woman in the school knows that she will have support if needed. It was a good meeting. Some had recently joined as members, some donated money to a current need in the school of a WorldPulse sister and we all agreed that it is good to and essential to take time to talk about issues specifically affecting women. I know that any who were there will feel easy about asking questions or jumping into discussion in the future.
March 1st. A few weeks ago I had met for the first time with a staff member of a local Women’s Centre and been invited back to their IWD Celebration Breakfast. One of the presenters was a woman who described the change that learning and now teaching Self Defence had made in her life, changing from painfully shy to the powerful woman she is today. Two women who had entered the police force in days that police women were rare, spoke about their journeys and love of their public service jobs. I had an opportunity to speak with many about World Pulse.
On March 2 I travelled to Ottawa, a couple of hours away, to the Annual General Meeting of the Pauktuutit (Inuit) Women of Canada, a group of women I have been wanting to meet. A group of young people came to perform traditional Throat Singing and dancing, and were happy to have parts of their performance sent out through the Wave of IWD events within World Pulse. Next week I will be able to meet staff in the National Office to go over possibilities of involvement in World Pulse. Access to health services in the far North, ongoing support for victims of violence, healing from trauma inflicted over centuries on Indigenous Peoples here, lack of equal government funding for housing and schools and ongoing destruction by mining companies not being held accountable were all on the agenda.
On March 4th I dropped in on a Montreal group of women being trained in Self Defence and after a meeting to discuss the importance of and resistance being felt in meeting together as women. It was so encouraging to feel the strength grow as participants shared their stories. Of course I described what was available through World Pulse, and hope we see some of these women here soon.
On March 5th I attended the IWD event put on for the 15th year by the Women of Diverse Cultures group here in Montreal. Visiting women from Guatemala opened the event with ceremony. Women who have died protecting their land in South America and other places were remembered. Ongoing action against rape culture was called for. There was much celebration, songs performed, dances danced of Haitian and Iranian origin, lots of food donated and celebration that we all have each other. Here too, I was able to pass out news of World Pulse and hope to see some of these dedicated women with us.
Today I meet with a woman from a local University, we have been wanting to meet about World Pulse, then I travel this evening to a town a few hours away, where I will be meeting a local women’s group who have asked me to speak tomorrow, International Women’s Day, and to Ottawa later that day for an information event in our capital City.
All the while I am watching and riding the Wave that all my global sisters are creating, soon to be here. What an extraordinary year. We are truly building a Wave of Change that is unstoppable.