Who Will be There?
A diverse group of young women between 16 and 25 years of age from across Canada, who have a range of different experiences- high school, college and university students, young women employed in a range of different fields, mothers, activists
Young women from the Leadership Summit Animation Team, who are supporting the logistics and planning
YWCA Canada staff and board members
Keynote speakers, workshop facilitators
Think Big. Lead Now, National Young Women’s Summit is a three-day immersive leadership program for young women who are already leaders. At YWCA Canada we understand that not everyone learns in the same way, some of us learn best when listening, others while doing, others while talking it through and for some of us need quiet time to reflect on what we have learned for it to sink in. Therefore, you can expect to have sessions that include inspirational speakers, sessions where you will chat with other delegates, do hands on skills building activities with facilitators. Every day there will be time for reflection, networking, and getting active outside. Those sessions may be guided or you can take a quiet moment for yourself.
A Safe Space
Creating a Safe Space for women and girls is very important to us. A safe space is a place where women and girls feel physically and emotionally safe. This means that we can be in these spaces without fear of trauma, high stress, violence, the fear of violence or abuse. Together we aim to create a space where you feel comfortable, can enjoy your freedom and express yourself without fear of judgment or harm.
We all have to work together to create this space.
To do this, we ask everyone to acknowledge that they will work to make the space safe by signing a Code of Conduct. We will also have an e-learning module in advance of the Summit on this topic.
We all have very different realities, perspectives, experiences and they are all valid. Sometimes when we do feel safe, we often feel we can have conversations or talk about topics that we don’t usually feel supported enough to talk about. This can sometimes mean the topic could be triggering for someone else. So when this happens, we will offer trigger warnings, and invite others to do the same.
It is sometimes hard to have these conversations, to share openly when the subject matter is triggering. You may have experienced something personally or you may just find the subject matter challenging. There will be social workers at the Summit who work at YWCAs or our partner organizations who are available if you need to have to talk with someone. You can pull someone aside, YWCA staff can also put you in touch with someone or refer you to someone. If you need to take a moment, please do so, no judgement. So keep an eye out for those folks who will be identified to you.
Based on feedback from previous delegates, there will also be a quiet room, for reflection. This space will be away from some of the main activity areas. It will be a calming space where someone can just take time alone or do a quiet activity like colouring or crafting.