International Women’s Day Ottawa announces 10th Annual Femmy Award Winners

Five Ottawa-area feminist leaders recognized for contributions toward gender equality
Ottawa, March 6, 2018 – Ottawa-Gatineau’s largest International Women’s Day celebration is marking its 10th anniversary while honouring five Ottawa-area feminist leaders for their tireless work advancing women’s human rights and gender equality.
This year’s International Women’s Day Ottawa event theme is Hashtags & Beyond, encouraged by #MeToo, #TimesUp and other growing movements of people breaking the silence about discrimination, harassment, and violence in Canada and internationally.
For ten years, the Femmy Awards have honoured Ottawa-area feminists for their outstanding contributions to feminism under the categories of frontline service provision, thought leadership, arts and media, advocacy and youth. Recipients of the 2018 Femmy Awards are:

Frontline Service: Keya Prempeh, Foundations and Pathways Ottawa
Keya Prempeh is a black, non-binary activist guided by womanism, collectivism and the pursuit of social justice. Keya is involved with Foundations & Pathways Ottawa (FPO), a pilot project providing a peer counseling and health system navigation services by and for trans and gender diverse people in the greater Ottawa area. The project is a collaboration between THIO, Planned Parenthood Ottawa, and KIND.
Thought Leadership: Dr. Salma Debs-Ivall, Debs-Ivall Consulting Inc
Dr. Salma Debs-Ivall’s PHD research examines the lived experiences and challenges of immigrant Canadian women with the healthcare system. Her academic work has raised the need for leadership toward achieving greater ethno-cultural diversity in the provision of healthcare in Canada.  Salma herself is an immigrant woman to Canada, who lived the Lebanese civil war and cared for victims of war.
Arts and Media: Mai Ngo, The Birth Talks Podcast
Mai Ngo is host of The Birth Talks podcast, a program about pregnancy, birth and parenting. The show strives to advance gender equity through the lens of intersectional feminism and reproductive justice. Mai brings over a decade of gender equity work to the role, as well as her lived experience as a queer bi-racial woman. In her current work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Mai strives to increase the participation of women in politics at the municipal level.

Advocacy: Lisa Pigeau, Manager of Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Métis Nation of Ontario.
Lisa Pigeau started working as a community support worker with Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) in 1999, helping families access appointments and relevant care. Now the MNO manager of Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Lisa oversees the Victim Service program and the Ending Violence strategy for Ontario. She is also a nominee of the Suzanne Rochon-Burnett Volunteer of the Year Award, and sits on numerous committees for ending violence against Indigenous women.
Youth: Jade Cooligan Pang, Our Turn National and Carleton
Jade Cooligan Pang serves in executive leadership roles for Our Turn Carleton and Our Turn National, which provide adapted action plans for anti-sexual violence work in Canadian universities. Jade self-identifies as bi-racial and is engaged in grassroots efforts at Carleton University for survivors of sexual violence. Her work has supported the implementation of the Our Turn National Action Plan at over 20 post-secondary institutions across the country so far.

The 2018 Femmy Awards will be presented at the International Women’s Day Ottawa 2018 event on March 8th at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park. The event is hosted by Ketty Nivyabandi and Bilan Arte and features a traditional opening by Verna McGregor, artistic performances by King Kimbit, storytelling by Lesley Parlane and scenes from The Ghomeshi Effect. The event wraps up with a dance party with DJ SeiiizMikk. Free food and childcare are available. The event runs from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Quotes from Organizers:
“Women’s Shelters Canada supports the women who have come forward over the last year with their stories of harassment and assault through the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the strength of these women and all women who work towards a Canada and a world without violence against women.” – Kaitlin Bardswich, Communications and Development Coordinator, Women’s Shelters Canada.
“The Femmy Awards are an opportunity to centre local, grassroots activism, which has always been the foundation of the feminist movement. Students and survivors have been at the forefront of efforts to combat sexualized and gender-based violence for decades. It’s essential that in this moment of widespread attention to sexualized violence from high-profile figures, we continue to centre the people on the ground who are doing care, support, and advocacy every day.” – Charlotte Kiddell, Deputy Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students.
The event is organized by a group of individuals and organizations including Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre, Amnesty International Canada, Canadian Council for International Cooperation, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Federation of University Women, Carleton University Graduate Students’ Association, Cuso International, The Ghomeshi Effect, Inter Pares, Metis Nation of Ontario, Oxfam Canada, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, Planned Parenthood Ottawa, Refugee613, Ten Oaks Project, University of Ottawa Human Rights Research and Education Centre, Women’s Shelters Canada, Tara Alagheband, Elizabeth Cook, and Leyla Shahid.
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To schedule an interview with event organizers or Femmy Award winners, please contact Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations, Amnesty International Canada, at 613-744-7667×236 or