It is with honour and a sense of duty that I have accepted the privilege to become your 42nd president. Since 1927, the UWCM has been led skillfully by pioneering women whose work has molded the foundations for our actions. Because of their contributions in bridging educational gaps, their legacy shines upon us like a beacon.
Those who know me well, often refer to me as a fearless, unapologetic and resilient fighter with no limits to my commitment to equality and justice. It is with these qualities that I shall endeavour diligently in my mission to continue their work through leadership, collaboration and innovation.
Considering the significant decline in our membership, my goal for the next year is to insure the sustainability of our Club through promotion, member satisfaction, and advocacy. Using education as a major basis for action, my focus will be on high impact projects that will increase our capacity to recruit and retain members.
I will begin by capitalizing on existing projects to increase their scope locally and nationally. In this perspective, our VP Nadia, has submitted our bilingual publication Financial Literacy: Beginning the Conversation to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Database. This will allow UWCM leadership to shine, as such an outstanding publication becomes accessible to all Canadian Women’s centres, clubs and educational institutions.
Translation of our Website has been a pending item on our agenda for too long. We need to expand UWCM exposure to other groups of potential members: a bilingual website is imperative. For this purpose, I have spent the summer revisiting the architecture of our Website and validating/developing new content and coordinating their French translation. A tentative date for the launch of our newly updated user friendly and bilingual website would be hopefully by October 2017.
Reconsidering our promotion and recruitment strategies, there are three flagship projects which I have proposed to the Board and am excited to share with you:
- In early September 2017, UWCM will spearhead the first North American competition of Olympes de la Parole . This academic project will be implemented in collaboration with 3 schools: Sacred Heart, The Study and Villa Maria. The goal is to empower secondary-school girls as they join the debate on access to quality education and gender inequity. Let me take the time to thank all members who have graciously accepted to join this project as mentor or as member of the Review Panel. We are still looking for more participants to assure a successful implementation of this competition.
- Next month, UWCM will launch a Used bras drive. This advocacy project will be implemented in collaboration with Free the girls.org, whose goal is to support economic empowerment of women and girls victims of human trafficking in Mozambique and El Salvador. Collected gently used bras are sold in their local businesses, allowing these victims to rebuild their lives and help their communities.
- Our VP is currently negotiating partnership with TEDXMontreal Women. The goal is to promote UWCM activities in this new learning platform. This educational initiative hosted yearly by Concordia University usually attracts over 800 professional women from various age groups.
Meanwhile, our interest groups are working hard to offer a large selection of social, wellness and advocacy activities that will surely attract the participation of all members. And last, but not least, our 90th anniversary organizing committee is preparing a flamboyant and unforgettable commemorative dinner!
In order to achieve my goal, I will be relying on the dynamism of a strong vice president and the unfailing support of the Board of directors, as we share the same vision propelling us ever forward. The collaboration of all members is a paramount necessity as well. More than ever, your involvement in the Club activities remains key to our success. So, get involved within your own capacity and witness the Power of women working together!
Thank you for your trust,
Dr. Saôde Savary
UWCM president 2017-2019