Empowerment all around at IGG’s 2019 Empower Yourself Conference!
Indigo Girls Group kicked off 2019 on a powerful note with our Kingston branch running its second annual Empower Yourself conference on January 10th. Self-identifying girls from high schools around the city, including Sydenham High School and Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School came together to discuss issues related to mental health, women in leadership, healthy relationships, dealing with failure, and feminism.
The conference was kicked off by this year’s keynote speaker, Queen’s University Kinesiology student, and founder of Step Above Stigma, Ampai Thammachack. She captivated the young women with a powerful message, urging them to stand up for issues they are passionate about, and reminding them to walk through life with confidence by echoing a phrase from The Help: ‘“you is kind, you is smart, and you is important.”’
Indigo Girls from across Ontario joined to facilitate interactive workshops for over 60 young women and even their teachers. The women participated in activities ranging from a Feminist Escape Room to “Relationship Jenga,” where they learned how to have a fierce, or essentially constructive conversation. Each workshop was followed by stimulating discussion among peers and facilitators.
Feedback from both students and teachers was overwhelmingly positive. However, in our commitment to continue improving educational programming for girls, IGG has carefully taken all advice from educators and the participating girls into consideration in hopes of further enhancing the experience in the coming years.
Many businesses and groups in the Kingston community also supported IGG’s efforts to help make the day a wonderful experience for all the women in attendance. Queen’s Female Leadership in Politics joined forces with IGG for a second year in a row to design and run the Girl Boss workshop. The Experiential Learning Projects Fund—a project hosted by Queen’s University that supports initiatives that promote learning through practical experience—awarded Indigo Girls Group a grant of $2,300 in support of the conference to further the development and learning of Indigo Girls volunteers through their experience in organizing and running the conference.
Empower Yourself 2019 truly showed us that all women’s education is everyone’s business!