Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Bouchier are excited to announce our fifth and final Women of Inspiration.
Community activist Kg Banjoko was selected for her incredible passion for being a strong advocate for women of colour and for her drive to ensure that all girls have the chance to be strong, smart and bold.
Kg was one of the main organizers of the Black Lives Matter March that took place in the summer of 2019 while helping to create anti-racism policies aimed to protect students in the public school system.
“Living in Fort McMurray you kind of see things if you are a black person or a person of color that other people don’t. Finally having a space to be like ‘oh, we can talk about it now,’ was really positive. But then also seeing the pushback online kind of made me feel like I wanted to tap into the action and not just be online sharing my perspective and arguing with people in comments. I wanted to give people a chance to see that even here in Fort Mac, there are people that are progressive, that understand that institutional racism is a thing and don’t want to gloss over it.”
Even years after those events, she says that it feels good to hear a heartfelt thank you from individuals for giving them a place to feel heard and giving them the freedom to not feel ostracized for opening up.
Kg jokingly recalled that she was made aware of being treated differently for her gender before becoming aware of any differences due to her race.
“I remember one day I was in Middle School and I had heard about basketball tryouts, and it just said basketball tryouts, nothing about gender. I was like okay I play basketball, I’m going to go in and try out. I sit down and the coach begins talking and then in the middle he’s like, ‘what are you doing here’ and I’m like I’m here for basketball. I look around and see I’m the only girl. I thought, there are other girls interested in playing, so why not have a team for them? Having the assumption that I can’t do something because I’m a girl never sat right with me, especially growing up and watching my mom do the things that she was being told she couldn’t do.”
In her eyes, Kg describes a role model as someone who will stand up against adversity and not back down.
“When I learned about Oprah’s story that hit home, and that really made me think and really wonder about what I can do to stop that from happening to others. When I learned about the things that my mom had to deal with, like trying to survive on a single income that inspires me to work hard and do things. Also, teachers have always been a huge inspiration to me. I’ve been blessed throughout my life to have strong and smart committed female teachers who have seen something in me and have taken me on a mentorship role. Having that kind of structure and being able to go to after-school programs provided me with the avenues to flourish and become the person that I wanted to be.”
Join us in celebrating Kg and our four other incredible individuals at Together: Women of Inspiration Celebrating presented by Bouchier on March 18.
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. Since 2004, Girls Inc. has been operating on the lands of Treaty 8 territory, the traditional meeting ground, gathering place, traveling route and home of the Cree, Dene and Métis people for thousands of years. In 2021, Girls Inc. was able to connect with over 1,566 girls from Conklin to Fort Chipewyan. The girls-only, physically and emotionally safe environment where girls discover their strengths, find their voice and become agents of change
Bouchier is a leader in integrated site services, 100% local, and Indigenous-owned. With more than 20 years operating in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, they specialize in both civil and facility maintenance & construction as well as provide project management solutions. Committed to a strong safety record and family focused culture, Bouchier believes in the importance of always being a good neighbor. Not only does the company have long standing loyal clients, they also invest time getting to know their stakeholders at all levels. They honor their roots proudly, with community investments that create lasting change for their team members, Indigenous peoples, and the communities where they live and work.
Trusted Partner. Providing Solutions.