Girls Inc of Northern Alberta

Girls Inc. and Bouchier name final Women of Inspiration nominee

Girls Inc of Northern Alberta and Bouchier announce final nominee in Women of Inspiration Series
(L-R: Nanase Tonda, executive director, Girls Inc., Caitlin Downie, woman of inspiration, Leanne Hawco, communications specialist, Bouchier)


Fort McMurray (February 13, 2020)— Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Bouchier are excited to announce the final nominee in the Women of Inspiration Series is Caitlin Downie.

Downie has been in the Wood Buffalo region for six years, her dedication to create a more inclusive community is evident in a variety of ways — from helping create quiet rooms to leading the launch of Pride Week.

She is a founding member of the Collaboration for Religious Inclusion (CRI), bringing local faith groups together to promote religious inclusion. Her work with the CRI includes leading a research project to understand local perceptions about different faiths and lobbying the Fort McMurray Airport Authority, MacDonald Island Park and the RMWB to implement quiet rooms for their staff and the public.

Downie’s work to create equality and equity has been recognized around the world, she developed a toolkit for UNESCO that was published internationally titled “LGBTQ2+ Inclusiveness: Toolkit for Inclusive Municipalities in Canada and Beyond”. The kit is being used to inform municipal policies and practices related to LGBTQ2+ inclusion around the world.

She was elected Chair of the UNESCO Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities. She has received the “Friend of Diversity” award at the annual Diversity Awards in Alberta and has been recognized by the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee for her work advancing human rights and inclusion.

“It has been such an honour to have witnessed how much potential and inspiration the Wood Buffalo Region offers through this initiative. We wouldn’t be able to recognize this group of incredible women without Bouchier, Syncrude and other partners’ in our community. We cannot wait to ‘shatter’ barriers and stereotypes together on March 7 and transform the energy of our Women of Inspiration Series,” said Nanase Tonda, executive director, Girls Inc.

Downie says, “Strong, smart, bold women of inspiration align action to purpose. They use the seat they hold in rooms and what privilege they hold to speak up and drive positive change. In the face of a wall of barriers they find a shovel and start digging.”

Nominations for the 2021 Women of Inspiration Series presented by Bouchier will open at the beginning of March.

About Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta (Girls Inc.) inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. Our comprehensive approach to whole girl development equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Girls Inc. has been serving the Wood Buffalo Region since 2004, growing our reach every year. In 2019, Girls Inc. was able to connect with over 700 girls from Conklin to Fort Chipewyan. The girls-only, physically and emotionally safe environment is a sisterhood of support.

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