Guest bloggers

New study shows we’re apathetic to domestic violence?

Woman looking This article was first published on the Huffington Post and has been republished with the author's permission.

Last week a friend told me how she was feeling optimistic about the recent progress made in public attitudes to end domestic violence. The media turned up the volume to an unprecedented level in late 2014 to profile celebrity abuse cases. Obama interrupted the Grammy’s with a poignant anti-abuse message. The Super Bowl was all about domestic violence ads. It’s almost hip and even trendy to speak out against sex assault.

Daydreamers and Wonder Women

White FlowersGrasping hold of an idea or a fleeting image is like capturing a shadow.  You can just see it in your mind and then it is gone.  Expressing that inner experience or thought is what keeps me at my art table. I keep lots of notes about stuff and sometimes those notes turn into an art piece. 

The "Stormy" girl is really my niece Tamara, with beautiful black hair, who is training to become a police officer. When I showed her my finished collage,  she said,  "I LOVE IT!!!!  She reminds me of a Super Hero,  ( Wonder Woman Type ) with REAL LIFE problems on one side of the door, and a peaceful happiness inside the door.

Top Ads for Women and Girls in 2014

LikeAGirlAs a female consumer and a marketer, I pay especially close attention to how brands choose to position their products to girls and women. Breaking through the advertising noise to capture the attention of your audience is difficult enough, so it’s all the more surprising when I see brands falling back on lazy gender stereotypes. Gender is one of the observable characteristics we marketers use when segmenting our audience.  It’s a valuable distinction, but to gain real quality insights we need to look beyond simple demographic information and consider the attitudes, interests and opinions of our audience.  

Debunking Common Myths About Trafficking

Woman Trafficking of underage girls and boys is child abuse, yet it happens on a daily basis in Canada. 

Many people may witness sex trafficking happening, but in order to recognize it, we need to understand the complexities of it. When we don’t have a clear idea of what sex trafficking is or how it happens to youth, it deters our ability to respond to this crime. As such, here is a list of misconceptions regarding sex trafficking of minors and what the real facts are.  

Encounters with Art and Life

White FlowersThe best time for me to attack contemplation and painting is in the morning. When I am waking up i think about life, visual ideas and design. Even though my paintings are whimsical and imaginative, I want the viewer to be drawn into the expressive metaphor or idea. Hopefully, my art will touch the heart or make a connection. 

So, for me, painting has been an opportunity to speak.

My Successes

ButterflyMy successes are hard to tell today,

I just knew I didn't want to live and die this way.

It was up to me to make changes in the way I live,

To stop the cycle was the best I could give.

I'm Sydney Shannon - What's Good About Having a Mentor

Girl holding a video camera“…Moments in life aren’t just created on their own. They’re shaped by the people you surround yourself with...the people that get you there.” – Sydney Shannon

Athlete and photographer Sydney Shannon from Whitecourt, Alberta is surrounded by her mom, dad, big brother Andrew, and her coaches who have acknowledged her talents and helped make her believe in dreaming big. In the video “I’m Sydney Shannon”, Sydney, who struggled as a kid with exclusion, describes herself as a “product of mentoring.”

Reflections of a 30-something Feminist

Woman ReflectingI spent most of my twenties passionately focusing on women’s issues that did or could potentially have a direct impact on my life. Things such as: female representation in media and pop culture, inequality in the workforce, self-image and body issues, violence against women and reproductive rights. This was not intentional and it’s only looking back now that I see it. I suppose it’s human nature to care most about things that do or may affect us personally. Of course (and unfortunately) these are all still very much salient issues today.

STEM and Entrepreneurship: A fusion for the economy’s sake

Science GirlThis post was first published on STEM Education website and has been re-published with the author's permission.

I have always maintained that every young Canadian has the capacity to be a leader. It is not just an optimistic approach, it is a necessary one. Our country’s youth will be at the helm of the strong economy we strive for.  

We can’t talk about social, economic or environmental prosperity or a strong culture of innovation without talking about how we invest in our youth — all youth.

Beyoncé’s Sexy Feminism Is a Good Thing!

FeministAnyone who knows me is already aware of my long-time obsession with Beyoncé. So let me start out by admitting my blinding bias where she is concerned. I’ve loved her feminist anthems since she was in Destiny’s Child and way before she started referring to herself as a feminist publicly and re-creating iconic women’s rights images on Instagram. Having said that it should come as no surprise that her latest album has made me ecstatically happy all summer long—and it’s not just because of her perfect voice and catchy beats.