March 8 is consistently one of my favourite days of the year. The birds begin to sing, the ground begins to thaw—and it’s International Women’s Day! I feel grateful that we have a moment to pause and celebrate the leadership and accomplishments of women, girls and gender-diverse people from coast to coast to coast. The women in my life, my work and my community are courageous; they ask incredible questions—including how to show up for their friends, their families, their communities, and for themselves. They face challenges head-on—addressing systemic inequality, rethinking philanthropy and creating spaces where everyone belongs. 

Today, I am thrilled to announce that in honour of International Women’s Day CFC will be hosting a webinar titled Brave Conversations with Fearless Women in Philanthropy on April 3 from 1-2 PM ET. We must see and experience the hard work, courage and empathy of women in this sector. I hope you will join me to talk about the importance of the work of women. We’ll be having an honest conversation about what it means to lead, and lead as a woman, in 2023. Our conversation will include four of the many women I find inspiring. 

  • Michelle Friesen co-founded Lead As You Are, an initiative to inspire and empower women, youth, LQBTQ2S+, BIPOC and all others to seek leadership positions. She is also the first Indigenous woman on the Whitehorse city council. 
  • Lydia Sadiq is a CFC board member and a community builder in northern Alberta, with a passion that is focused on a just society and the accessibility of post-secondary education. 
  • Djaka Blais-Amare is a founding member of the Foundation for Black Communities, a veteran of the community foundation movement and the Executive Director of Hogan’s Alley Society, which builds the capacity of racialized communities in Vancouver to participate in city building. 
  • Melanie Thomas is a familiar face to many across our movement. As part of the CFC team, Melanie has been an integral leader in program development and new opportunity sourcing—including the two largest granting programs ever done in partnership with  community foundations, the Emergency Community Support Fund and Community Services Recovery Fund.

I’m looking forward to this conversation and would love for you to be part of it. I’ll be ready to listen and learn from these fantastic women, and invite you to share questions you’d like asked in advance too. 

Today, I hope you take a moment to pause and honour the women in your world. My personal thanks to the women in this movement for being part of my world, and for consistently showing me an incredible spectrum of leadership. I feel fortunate to be part of a movement powered by women who are changing our communities. Keep at it friends, the world is stronger because of you. 

With oodles of appreciation to all women, 

Andrea Dicks