Kate Crozier, Community Justice Initatives’ Stride Program Coordinator, will talk about the history of women’s correctional services in Canada; the influence of indigenous practices in the development of holistic, women-based principles; reintegration support for women leaving prison through the Stride and Circles programs; Fresh Start Creations; and the educational opportunities of Walls to Bridges.

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Guest Speakers


Just a snapshot (follow the link) of some of the fun at the National AGM hosted by CFUW KW.
Follow the link to our Facebook page with photographs from our Conference Photographer - Susan G.


Conference Overview  |  Conference Program  | Conference Logistics and Fees

Tours Wed, Jun 18  |  Tours Thurs, Jun 19  |   Tours Sun, Jun 22     


CFUW Learning and Development Day - Plenary Session
Opening Speaker - Friday June 20th 8:30 - 9:00 am

The STEM Career Landscape for Women – Are we making progress?
Prof. Mary Wells Chair Ontario Network for Women in Engineering (ONWiE)
Associate Dean Outreach, Waterloo Engineering, University of Waterloo

There continue to be fewer women who pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math the so-called STEM sector. This occurs despite the fact that women are not objectively worse at math or science by any measure and in fact on average girls typically receive higher grades than do boys in mathematics throughout elementary and secondary school. Moreover, of the women that do chose to study and work in a STEM field, there appears to be a continuous loss of women at consecutive career stages – the so called “leaky pipeline”. Reasons why are complex and are believed to relate to popular culture and stereotypes of women, lack of role models and girls believing they are just not smart enough to be engineers.

Finding ways to close the gender gap in STEM fields is a hot topic, and there has been much time and effort devoted to try and solve this issue. The real question is are these initiatives making any progress to both understanding and creating equal representation in these fields.

Friday, June 20th CFUW-KW hosted morning workshops


1. Mennonite Women: One Patch in the Quilt

This session will explore the histories and present-day lives of Mennonite women, with a focus on their identities in southwestern Ontario. Themes to be addressed include their religious beliefs, their diversity, their roles within families, their contribution as artists and producers, and their work as peacemakers.

Marlene Epp is a professor of History and Peace and Conflict Studies, and Director of Mennonite Studies at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo. She is author of "Mennonite Women in Canada: A History" (2008). 



2. Trailblazers: Indigenous Women in Canada at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Among many Indigenous cultures, the role of woman in pre-colonial societies was as the centre of their societies. Colonization attacked the structures that gave them a place in the governance of family and community life. Slowly over the past half century, Indigenous women have begun to assume new roles in the modern world where they once again are full participants in decision making. Indigenous women are in the forefront when it comes to breaking barriers in education and they are leaders in community life.

Chief Dan George in 1967 said, referring to Indigenous men, "I shall grab the instruments of the white man's success-his education, his skills-and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society." In 2013 it is just as likely an Indigenous woman fulfilling that vision.

Jean Becker is the Senior Advisor: Aboriginal Initiatives at Wilfrid Laurier Initiatives. Of Innu, Inuit and English ancestry Jean is a member of Nunatsiavut (Labrador). She has worked in the field of Aboriginal education and Aboriginal community development for the past twenty years in the Waterloo/Wellington region.


3. Women in the Age of Anxiety: Witches at Stake

The presentation will focus on how the anxieties that developed out of the religious, political and technological changes of the Early Modern Period (1450-1750) contributed to the scapegoating of women during the great witch hunts of the 16th century. At both the popular and elite levels of society, anxieties about natural and religious phenomenon found a supernatural explanation in witchcraft and led to the persecution and deaths of thousands of women.

Dr. Greta Kroeker is an Associate Professor of History at the Unviersity of Waterloo. She received her PhD from the Unviersity of California, Berkley, and is the author of Erasmus in the Footsteps of Paul (Toronto, 2011). She specializes in Early Modern religious history (1450-1750) and teaches a range of courses from the "History of the Western World" to a course about Early Modern women called "Witches, Wives and Whores". 



4. From Buttons to BlackBerry and Beyond - Waterloo Region Tech Talk

Avvey Peters, MJ Vice President, External Relations, Communitech. 
Based in Ottawa, she focuses on strategic communications, advocacy, and partnership development to advance the Waterloo Region technology industry. Since joining Communitech in 2007, Avvey has helped frame its $107 million digital media strategy. She holds a Master of Journalism (Carleton University, Ottawa,) and a degree in Rhetoric and Professional Writing (University of Waterloo), and has completed the Ivey Executive Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business.

This session will highlight the entrepreneurial spirit of Waterloo Region, with a focus on technology companies and how they have transformed the region’s economy over the last decade. Themes to be explored are: the power of regional innovation ecosystems; collaborative capitalism; and the challenge of attracting and retaining women in technology leadership.


5. The difference is the difference. Walking the talk on cultural diversity. 

Isabel Cisterna will relate her journey from being an immigrant unable to find work in her field (drama) because of her accent and lack of connections to becoming one of the most recognized faces in the arts scene in KW.  After 10 years of presenting mainly her own monologues and work she began to see a gap that needed to be filled, the culturally diverse performances gap. Find out how she made the leap and how one decision changed her life and career.

University graduate, actor,  immigrant,  founder and director of Neruda Arts since 2001, Isabel Cisterna has transformed the local arts scene in K-W by introducing emerging and acclaimed musicians, vocalists, dancers and actors, art exhibits, festivals, documentary film-making, cultural exchanges, workshops for youth and art therapy programs for vulnerable groups to the Waterloo Region Community.
Her contribution has been recognized by many awards including most recently the  WOW Award for Creative Arts (2013), Canadian Immigrant magazine’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award (2012), and the Octoberfest Woman of the Year in Arts and Culture in 2010.

Waterloo Region: A Patchwork of Cultures

Friday lunch speaker

History, heritage and geography mixed with humour best describe Warren Stauch, a retired high school teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board. As a teacher, he organized slide presentations and led many field trips, acted as a step-on guide then and now for the local tourism department that take visitors on his famous “shunpiking” tours.  Because of Warren’s local knowledge, he and his wife volunteer and do community tours as well for both hospitals here to entice prospective doctors and their families to locate here. Warren has developed and taught interest courses for seniors such as the Laurier Association of Life-Long Learning. 

His lists of awards are many in the professional field such as the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation Award of Merit, with civic organizations such as the Lieutenant-Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement and as one might expect with heritage groups such as the Dr. Jean Steckle Award for Heritage Education. Learning and exploring with Warren Stauch is fun and exciting.

Since the arrival of the first Mennonite settlers from Pennsylvania in the spring of 1800, Waterloo Township and ultimately the Waterloo Region has been welcoming groups of immigrants from all over the globe. The Waterloo Region has the fifth highest per capita immigrant population of all Canadian urban areas. In the local schools, there are students from 114 different countries who speak more than 70 languages at home. Local festivals such as the K-W Multicultural Festival and local organizations have helped to make the Waterloo Region a blend of vibrant urban and rural living creating a cultural mosaic that has helped enable new citizens to find success in their adopted home.

Friday June 20th Afternoon CFUW National Workshops  


1. CFUW Clubs forming Community Partnerships

A round table exploration among participants, leaders and facilitators of: how to initiate, develop, sustain and publicize Club- Community Partnerships, mutual and 3rd party benefits and challenges, and the promotion and publicizing of these partnerships to members and the community. Club members with any or no experience with the topic are invited and all will be contacted prior to the AGM with background information to help maximize the workshop's benefit to their Clubs.

2. Looking at the Future: Implications for CFUW AGMs and Conferences

This workshop will explore in more detail the options and issues presented in the paper on CFUW AGMs and Conferences.  Members will be able to ask questions and discuss in groups the factors to consider for holding AGMs without a conference, including format, attendance, costs, technology and equipment, etc.

3.Working with Local Media to Advance Your Club’s Goals

In this workshop we will discuss how and why your Club may want to use different forms of local media (e.g. community newspapers, campus newspapers, and radio) for advocacy, membership recruitment, and publicity of events, scholarships, etc. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences (the good and the bad) of working with media. Speakers may include local editors, journalists and/or radio producers.

4. GWI Workshop

"Making a difference on a Global Scale - from the local to the International.  And be prepared to hear how GWI is changing to make itself the leading women's organization - in the world - with a focus on Higher Education. 

At the GWI workshop we hope to talk about how CFUW resolutions can make a difference at the international level.  We will also have frank discussion about the changes that we are making to streamline and update GWI.


5. Revitalizing Your Club

"This participatory workshop will focus on three aspects of becoming and staying a dynamic club: 

• How to kick-start your membership campaign; with tips for getting your club better known in the community. 

• How to follow-up on your membership campaign to keep the club growing. 

•How to keep those new members when you get them.

6. CFUW and the UN -  What's it all about? 

CFUW participates annually at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) and CFUW is also represented on the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CC UNESCO) Education Sectoral Committee.  This workshop will provide members with an understanding of the importance of these connections and the history of CFUW's involvement with the UN.     

7. Dealing with difficult people

"The nature of CFUW means that you will be dealing with a mixture of people – some of whom are board members, many of whom are not.

The workshop will cover:


  • It’s not (necessarily) something you are doing
  • You have options for dealing with difficult people
  • Difficult people come in many guises
  • Manage your relationship with difficult people
  • Body language counts
  • Work on finding a solution
  • Agree on what the problem is
  • Find the solution

You will get:

  • Tips for dealing with negative aspects in others
  • Tips for working with people with negative aspects
  • Tips for overcoming negative aspects in yourself 

8. CFUW Clubs Advocacy - Locally and Beyond

CFUW Clubs are very involved in advocacy and social action. Join us as three clubs explain their actions, how they got started and what they are doing, including community partnerships or coalitions and social action projects.  If you or your Club is interested in working in the community, in either advocacy or social action, these Clubs will give you some ideas.

9. Resolutions Workshop

This workshop will look at some success stories - after a resolution passes - what next?  We will set aside time to discuss final amendments to this year's resolutions - bring your questions and be ready to talk to the Proposers about your concerns.

You will hear about some examples of how resolutions can really make a difference and then lead into the amendment process so that we have material finalised for voting.

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