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National Day of Action 2011

2011 Edition

For the 7th consecutive year, the National Day of Action is an opportunity for girls and young women to unite to create action-oriented projects that raise awareness about the issues affecting them and their communities.

This year, the National Day of Action will be held on March 8th, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day and the official launch of Girls Action Foundation's LIGHT A SPARK campaign. Nearly 40 community actions will be activated from photo exhibits and variety shows, to workshops and the creation of zines educating girls about safe cosmetics.   

For more information, contact karine@girlsactionfoundation.ca or call 1.888.948.1112

Check out the map of actions happening accross Canada!

View theNational Day of Action 2011's actions in a larger map

British Columbia

Courtenay, Comox Valley Transition Society Girls Group
Contest of women's photography from Comox Valley
I intend to ask my community, from the local college, hospital, school district, vendors, art galleries, and other community service providers to enter a Girls Action Photography Contest. The winners of this contest will have captured the essence of the impact of women in our community. Selected photographs along with a brief description of the photo will be put in a calendar to be distributed throughout the community. In addition, photographs will also be published in the local newspapers, each accompanied by an featured article on the photographer or the subject or both. The Comox Valley Tranisition Society Girls Group will also publish a collection of work on our website which is being constructed on a volunteer basis  by a local, generous woman. This collection will be presented in a gallery on March 8th and the public will be asked to again vote on their favorite photographs. The winner(s) will receive an opportunity to attend a course of their choosing at North Island College. Their transportation to and from school, a small living allowance and continued support will be provided for the winner(s).
For more information, please contact Conch.

Fernie, Fernie Women's Centre
Self-esteem campaign

We are planning a self esteem campaign. Young people in the community will be creating a clothesline project. They will be designing t-shirts that communicate positive self image. The girls group will be facilitating this activity over noon hour at the Fernie Secondary School on March 9th. The t-shirts will remain on display at the school. The t-shirt campaign will complimented by a poster campaign. The girls are going to create posters with messages of self love and put them up throughout the school and community.
For more information, please contact Lauren.

Vancouver, Action Team - Multicultural Youth Circle
Celebration and Community Screening for the INTERGEN Young Women’s Video Project

The Celebration and Community Screening for the INTERGEN Young Women’s Video Project will celebrate girls and women and engage in an interactive evening of dialogue around the issue of Gender within their familial and social structures. On March 4th, at 7pm at the Britannia Community Centre (Vancouver, BC), there will be a safe and supported space to discuss often sensitive issues of gender roles and expectations. The videos created by the young women will serve as conversation-starters and inspiration for the dialogue to ensue. After the generational differences that are going to be viewed in our action, we’re hoping that it would be a conversation starter for the young women with other female relatives. It is an eye opening and inspirational experience of how the lives of women can change throughout generations due to communication.
For more information, please contact Shirin.

Vancouver, Réseau-Femmes Colombie-Britannique
Safe cosmetics workshop

Why are so many cosmetics toxic health risks?  What should you look for on the labels of cosmetics you buy?
How can you make your own natural, safe and affordable cosmetics?
A fun workshop with the girls and in French to get informed and you leave with safe cosmetics that you can make again at home! A short awareness video or a slide show will be made after the workshop and shared through social media.
For more information, please contact Fanny.

Victoria, antidote: Multiracial and Indigenous Girls and Women's Network
Elimination of Racism workshop
As a community organization we have networked with the University of Victoria’s student society anti-racism advocacy group, Students of Colour Collective. We have decided to collaborate due to our similar mandates around supporting racialized individuals living in Victoria and our commitment to anti-racism awareness and education. This will be a series of social support events bringing together our current sistahs and interested members of Students of Colour Collective. The events will take place in March, the first being a week before March 21st, the International Day for the Elimination of Racism. This will highlight and emphasize the M21 event taking place at the University of Victoria and create more opportunities for social supports within our community.
For more information, please contact Desiree.


Winnipeg, FemRev
Femme Toxique: Sweat it Off!
Join FemRev for a night of sweating off the toxins, a dance party that will bust myths around cosmetics and the beauty industry, that will raise awareness around the potential dangers of cosmetics’ ingredients and where young women and their allies will be encouraged to see through the façade of beauty products. Rid yourself of toxic old makeup by engaging in a collaborative art project, thought provoking dialogue and of course, a dancy ol’ time. At The Lo Pub (330 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg) on March 12th.
For more information, please contact Shimby.


Bracebridge, YWCA Muskoka
Fairly Foul zines

Want to know more about the chemicals in your cosmetics?  This March, the YWCA Muskoka will be releasing the revamped Fairly Foul zines!  A Girlz Pocket Guide to the chemicals in your cosmetics outlines 20 different chemicals of concern, and the Guide to Cosmetics, the Environment and YOU looks at cosmetics regulations, environmental and health impacts and includes action ideas and further resources.  A limited number of our zines will be printed in colour, and both will be available for free download online.
For more information, please contact Katie.

Ottawa, Hopewell
Beauty From the Inside Out workshop

Hopewell is planning an interactive one day workshop on March 19th at 153 Chapel Street (Ottawa, ON), titled Beauty From the Inside Out, aimed at developing self-esteem and media literacy skills among girls aged 11-14. The workshop will focus on increasing the girl’s media knowledge and literacy.  Through discussion of television, magazines and advertisements, we will address and deconstruct issues of “beauty”, self-esteem, body image, fame and sexuality. Girls will be encouraged to identify their unique qualities and come up with ways to challenge the “beauty ideal”.
For more information, please contact Jamie.

Ottawa, Girls’ Centre Project
The HEALTH is BEAUTY workshop
for girls and young women (13-20)

Find out about the chemicals in cosmetics with a "Femme Toxic" presentation and the short film "The Story of Cosmetics"...because poison isn't pretty!

Join our discussion...
"Does beauty come from a bottle?"
"How do YOU define beauty?"

Prepare and enjoy delicious fruit smoothies!

Learn about alternatives to toxic cosmetics and make your own natural lip balm to take home!

Together we'll create a "beauty manifesto" poster inspired by our workshop presentations and discussions.

Where: Dulude Arena - 941 Clyde Avenue
When: Saturday, March 5th    1pm - 4pm
Cost: FREE

Please contact Susie to register:

Ottawa, Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC)
Girls Chat: Sister 2 Sister Chat

Girls Chat: Sister 2 Sister Chat will involve senior members of ORCC's Girls’ Chat Program for immigrant, refugee and racialized girls in five Ottawa high schools will conduct workshops for grade nine girls from immigrant, refugee and racialized girls, particularly those attending ESL classes during lunch time. The focus of the workshops will be promoting positive self-esteem and body image amongst immigrant, refugee and racialized girls.
For more information, please contact Sandy.

Ottawa, InSol: Womyn of Colour Collective
In An Era of Sexting!

The goal of this project is to engage with and help empower young immigrant and racialized women to discuss sexuality in a feminist, sex-positive, queer-positive and non-judgemental way. On March 12th at the Graduate Students’ Association Lounge (6th floor in the Unicentre at Carleton University (Ottawa, ON), there will be discussions around sexual consent, sex positivity and safe sex that will be led by young women. From 10am to 5pm, women will share their thoughts and ideas around the creation of a project that reinforces women’s agency and ownership over their bodies.
For more information, please contact Kimalee.

Toronto, Edna Aryee
Sexuality workshops

A day of workshop to educate girls and young women on their sexual rights, teach girls and women on sexual assertiveness and safer sex negotiation and understand the strategies of violence prevention especially black African and Carribean girls and young women, so they can become more assertive so they can navigate life better as well as make smarter choices. Join us on March 19th from 2 to 4pm a the Trinity Baptist Church at the St George Campus at the University of For more information, please contact Edna.

Toronto, Tara Muldoon

Who: Hosted by Tara Muldoon
What: A panel of six women, a mix of race, age and gender, speaking about a time in their lives they had to forgive either themselves or another. The Forgiveness Project is an inviting, tell-all event that aligns personal growth with self-improvement. This event has the potential to impact our community and young adults by way of real-life portrayals of hardships, and overcoming barriers that at one point seemed insurmountable. Hearing first-hand trials and tribulations from people just like us can open the door to inspiration and the motivation to do better and most importantly, feel better. Included themes on the panel are murder, sexual assault, depression, drug-use and self-forgiveness.
When:  Sunday, March 6th, 2011. 6pm.
Where: Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreational Centre: 220 Cowan Ave
Cost: Nothing.
For more information, please contact Tara.

Toronto, WORC IT (Women of Race Climbing it Together)
I will Tell you if you Educate me workshop

Our Action Plan: "I will Tell you if you Educate me" We will be facilitating Workshops that deals with the issues that we are facing in our communities our organization will Educate these young ladies about fact and realities and how to make a difference in ther lives and community as they Tell us about the issues and problems that arise as they wake up everyday. Please join us on March 8th at the Northwood Community Centre (15 Clubhouse Court, Toronto) at 5:30pm. Call 647 348 8000 or email aspiringleaderslg@gmail.com for more information!
For more information, please contact Kim.

Toronto, Women Stand Proud Aloud
Panel luncheon on healthy relationships

We are planning a panel luncheon discussion on sexuality, violence, & relationship realities faced by single and/or young mothers also of immigrant and refugee status living in racialized communities.  We also want to raise awareness of community, government, and national supports to help them by expanding their knowledge of where to go to assist them in this type of situation to avoid any additional fatal statistics.
For more information, please contact Christine.

Toronto, Stacia Stewart
Workshop on African spirituality and healing

I am proposing to run a series of workshop sessions on African spirituality and healing for women of African descent. These sessions would be lead by a selection of teachers with expertise in various spiritual traditions from the African continent and the diaspora. The reason why this is so necessary is that many women in our community are in need of healing. We suffer from both mental and physical illness at high rates because of the oppressions that we face. Many of us also have a longing to learn about our own spiritual traditions and philosophies. I have had the privilege of learning from and being treated by African healers on a few occasions and I have found it both empowering and helpful in a way that other treatments were not. Over the course of my life I have felt a pull towards learning about these traditions, and the more I am able to follow it, the more I know and can love myself. I want to continue this process and share it with other women from my community, many of whom have similar interests and needs. The workshop will be held on Sunday March 6th starting at noon at the Accents Bookstore (1790 Eglinton Avenue West)
For more information, please contact Stacia.

Toronto, Educational Attainment West
Forum for teen moms

Our project aims to provide a safe space for teen moms from priority communities who had to drop out of school because of their pregnancy. Through equitable practices and youth voices, EAW aims to create a forum where these young women can talk and share their experiences and get supports to put them back on their track to attaining their education.
For more information, please contact Natasha.

Windsor, MCC-Interact Club Windsor 1918
Young women's session!

Our action is a women's three day seminar, focusing on young women under the age of 25. This action will empower women and educate them about the different types of scenarios they might face within Windsor and Essex County.

On day one of the seminar our Interact club will introduce what the seminar is about, what the week of action is and introduce topics that will be discussed during the three days. Following that there will be ice-breaker games that will allow the young women to interact with each other and get to know other women in the community. Lastly on the first day we will end with a guest speaker that will be speaking about one of the issues regarding women. On day two we will start with another speaker who will talk about another issue regarding women (ex, immigration). After the guest speaker we will break out into groups and do workshops that will help these women become better leaders. To close of the second day we will have another guest who will teach us self-defense. Lastly the third day involves an Interactive play put on by students about the following issues: Drug abuse, bullying, alcohol abuse, homeless women, immigrants facing social acceptance and women portrayed in the media. We will close of the seminar on a posit note looking back at what everyone has learned within the past three days.
For more information, please contact Rida.


Laval, Maison des jeunes de Ste-Dorothée
Estime-Toi: a photography exhibition

The Maison des jeunes (MDJ) de Ste-Dorothée (Ste-Dorothée Youth Center) is a space for gathering and mutual aid for 12 to 17year olds. This year, the MDJ’s youth committee will participate in this National Day of Action by presenting a a photo exhibit from February 25th to March 4th at the Centre communautaire Ste-Dorothée (966 montée Gravel, Laval). In keeping with the theme of prevention of sexual exploitation, the girls and young women on the youth committee discussed different means of prevention, as well as how they should approach the subject. During these discussions, the committee came up with a plan: "Building girls’ self-esteem could be a way of preventing sexual exploitation! Let’s show others how important self-esteem is through photos!" The photo exhibit, which will be preceded by several photography workshops, will represent the way youth, and girls in particular, perceive themselves. The photos, which will be displayed along with explanatory texts written by the girls, will convey to the community the importance of self-esteem in the prevention of sexual exploitation.
For more information, please contact Karima.

Laval, The learning exchange
Crafting as an empowerment tool to creating a social network.

Many of our students are immigrant women who find it difficult to integrate into their local communities. They often have issues of selfworth and feel a sense of isolation. Through craft making they will be able to teach each other, learn and teach others. Creative expression is the objective of the project. We want women to share their crafting knowledge, share it with others, and interact in a less formal setting then the regular classroom discussion. We really want to create a sense of community within the Adult Education center as well as with our students who receive one-on-one tutoring. On March 1st, the workshop will be held at 2100 blvd des Laurentides (Laval) starting at noon.
For more information, please contact Darlene.

Montréal, Centre d’Aide aux Familles Latino-Américaines (CAFLA)
Artistic and creative expression day followed for the girls followed by opening
The Centre d’Aide aux Familles Latino-Américaines (CAFLA) (Help center for Latin-American families) presents an exhibition of paintings done by a group of 12 to 17 yearold immigrant girls participating in welcoming classes at Louis-Joseph-Papineau and Louis-Riel high schools in Saint-Michel.
For more information, please contact Ximena.

Montréal, Bureau de la communauté haïtienne de Montréal
Photography Exhibition

The Bureau de la communauté haïtienne de Montréal's women and young women will choose a woman in their lives who they find inspiring. They will then photograph the woman they have chosen in her home environment and we will show these photographs either at the Center (6970 Marquette, Montréal) on Thursday March 18th starting at 5pm. This exhibit will enable us to share in these women’s experiences. Each photo will be accompanied by a text written by each woman explaining their choice of photo.
For more information, please contact Annie.

Montréal, Carrefour d’action sociale pour l’épanouissement des citoyens (CASEC)
Cri de la Femme
This year, for the day of action activity, the Carrefour d’action sociale pour l’épanouissement des citoyens (CASEC) will present on March 5th from 4:30pm at 2324 Charland (Montréal) an artistic performance entitled "Cri de la Femme" accompanied by a debate and testimony from both local and immigrant women. We will also be presenting a photo exhibit to highlight the contributions of women’s rights activists to our struggle against the abuse and oppression of women in our community. We will also take this opportunity to set up an information booth for participants. We hope that this event will bring energy to the girls and young women involved with CASEC. They have expressed the need for more time, space and energy, and we want to support them in their efforts.
For more information, please contact Marie-Eunite.

Montréal, Centre des femmes de l’UQAM
Féministes d'hier à aujourd'hui
As part of the activities planned for International Women’s Day, the Centre des femmes de l’UQAM in collaboration with Léa Clermont-Dion is organizing Féministes d’hier à aujourd’hui where feminists of all ages will come together to reflect upon those values which have been passed on (or not) over the decades, and to discuss the issues women are facing today as well as those that we may face in years to come. We will be inviting feminists who experienced the struggles and challenges of the 1970s as well as younger women who are part of the "third wave" of feminism. The event will be held on March 4th at 7pm at UQAM’s Salle des boiseries (room 405 of the Judith-Jasmin hall)
For more information, please contact Caroline.

Montréal, Collectif RebELLEs Montréal
Hétéronormativi-quoi???? Heteronormativi-What????
Heteronormativity as violence: a discussion on the effects of heteronormativity in our day to day lives. How do we experience our celibacy, homosexuality, partnerships, etc…?
What can we do to change things?
This will be facilitated by the Montréal RebELLEs Collective on March 10th at 7pm in UQAM’s J-A de Sève hall (room DS-1950)
For more information, please contact Marie.

Montréal, Maison d'Haïti
Meet-up of the youth from the Réseau des Jeunes Parents

We plan to present the reality of girls and women on this March 8th, International Women’s Day, through celebratory activities that will make the link with the Haitian Women’s Movement Day, which is celebrated on April 3rd. To make the link between these two days, we have planned several activities that will take place between March 8 and April 3, 2011:

Friday, March 18th from 6 :30 pm to 9 pm. Meet-up of the youth from the Réseau des Jeunes Parents. On the menu : Dance and excerice workshop held by May-Lissa Dauphin, dance instructor. Informal dinner and discussion group hosted by Stéphanie Casimir, the Réseau’s coordinator;
For more information, please contact Mélissa.

Montréal, Girls Action Foundation's Club des filles
Multi-talents show

Participants of Club des filles are planning a show share their talents with their school:  parents and students will be invited to attend the event which will showcase girls’ talents in dancing, theatre, poetry and storytelling, around themes of anti-violence, anti-discrimination (including racism and bullying) and women’s rights.
For more information, please contact Renata.

Montréal, Girls Action Foundation's Girls Club
Unveilling of the Mural

On March 14th, participants from Beurling Academy's Girls Group will hold an open-house in the student lounge to share their recent projects with the school. The event will be an opportunity to unveil a freshly-created mural of painted images and inspiring quotes around themes of women's rights and anti-violence as well as distribute their new zine about women’s work in and outside the home. We’ll serve food at the event, and girls will DJ and project a ‘making-of-our-mural’ video.
For more information, please contact Renata.

Montréal, South Asian Women's Community Center (SAWCC)
Everyday Heroes: South Asian Youth in Action
Go on a city-wide adventure that celebrates the stories of strong South Asian women, both past and present. The adventure will include guest speakers, a scavenger hunt, poetry and hot chocolate. The action is a scavenger hunt that will extend into 5 different neighbourhoods of Montreal, Quebec (Cote-des-Neiges, Parc Ex, Outremont, Westmount, Plateau), at locations such as coffee houses, street corners, metro stations and SAWCC. The action will take place on March 11th, 2011 from 3-6pm
For more information, please contact Meena or Nailasada.

Montréal, Rock Camp for Girls Montreal
Rock Camp for Girls DVD launch and intergenerational party!

In honour of all the amazing hard work and talents of the Rock Camp girls and volunteers, we are organizing an intergenerational community day to screen our new DVD, connect with peers and mentors from Camp, talk about experiences and future plans, and make new connections.
The day will start with the long anticipated screening of the 2010 camp session video, followed by a Q&A from community members to learn about the girls' and volunteers' experiences, and ending with a party! This will be a celebratory event to showcase the girls' hard work during camp and new skills, while also providing important opportunities for campers to deepen connections with each other and with mentor volunteers.  See you on Saturday March 12th  from 1pm-4pm, at La Brique, 6545, Avenue Durocher, #402 (Montréal, QC)
For more information, please contact Carina.

Montréal, YWCA Montréal
Workshop on cosmetics and baby care products

On March 16th, A group of young mothers from Elizabeth High School (school for teen mothers) and Elizabeth House (residence for young mothers) will be joined by their mothers, sisters, and friends for a participatory, hands-on workshop exploring the use of cosmetics and baby care products.  The workshop will encourage participants to turn away from pharmacies and the media and look to their kitchens and themselves to find personal definitions of beauty and the many safe and affordable alternatives that exist for taking care of their bodies and babies.
For more information, please contact Carlye.

Montréal, Christine Cucciniello
Interactive Do-It-Yourself Zine Workshop

On March 10 at Café Touski (2361 Ontario Street East, Montreal, QC), from 5 to 8 pm, Christine Cuccininello will be hosting a free Interactive Do-It-Yourself Zine Workshop for our National Day of Action campaign. In this workshop we will be sharing information on zines and zine culture, creating our own media, unbranding our minds and questioning the beauty industry and the products they sell. We will also talk about the connection between safe cosmetics and environmental health. Participants will work together to create a zine. Workshop will be given in English with French translation available. Materials and vegetarian snacks provided.
For more information, please contact Christine.

Montréal AND Québec City, Spark Media
Girls are making their voices heard through a webzine!

Spark Media wants girls from MONTRÉAL and QUÉBEC working together, from a distance, to create a webzine in which they can make their voices heard on different social issues. Spark Media hopes to initiate a webzine project with girls from Montréal (St-Henri, Rosemont-Petite-Patrie and Ahuntsic) and Québec (downtown: Vanier, Basse-Ville, etc) who wish to make their voices heard on a vast array of issues including stereotypes, prejudice and violence. The webzine will also be a medium through which girls can share all kinds of experiences such as adapting to a new environment as an immigrant youth, interactions with new comer youth, etc.
For more information, please contact Marie-Ève.

Québec, YWCA Québec
My body belongs to no one but Me!

For the 2011 National Day of Action, girls will join together in saying NO to sexual violence! The theme of this year’s activities is "My body belongs to no one but Me!" and we expect about twenty girls to participate. This day of action is being organized as part of the YWCA’s Girls Center’s Spring break week, and will take place on March 8th on International Women’s Day to coincide with the launch of Girls Action Foundation’s new "Light a Spark" campaign.
Through an awareness building activity, which will include a screening of a video about young women who have experienced prostitution, the girls will learn about different kinds of sexual exploitation.
Following the video screening, there will be a workshop on prevention with the two Girls Center facilitators, who will provide girls with the necessary skills to fight sexual exploitation. There will also be a role-playing workshop in which the girls will try to put themselves in the shoes of victims of sexual violence and/or sexual exploitation. This workshop will be given in rotation to smaller groups, as it would not be possible to have all 20 girls participate at once. Each group will be composed of a maximum of ten girls while the other  girls will participate as spectators like in an improvisation match. The day will end with a woman speaking about her experience of being either HIV positive, having had an unwanted pregnancy, or having experienced prostitution.
For more information, please contact Julie.

Sherbrooke, Centre de santé des femmes de l'Estrie
Making ads on toxic cosmetics
Last year, the Centre de santé des femmes de l'Estrie (the Estrie Women’s Health Center) held a short film contest in local youth centers with "body image" as the main theme. Ten youth centers participated in the project, eight short films on topics relating to body image were produced, and an awards ceremony was held to announce the winning film. This year, the Centre de santé des femmes de l’Estrie hopes to work with two of the local youth centers to produce an ad campaign on the harmful effects of toxic products in cosmetics.  Making these films will serve to raise awareness among the youth who will be making the films (with technical support and expertise provided by the organizers). These videos will also be presented at the "art au féminin" show being organized by women’s groups in Sherbrooke on March 8th at the Vieux-Clocher of the UofS starting at 7pm. The goal is to produce two awareness-raising videos. While making these videos, the young women, with the help of youth center staff, will become informed on this issue through researching the contents of cosmetic products. The video will thus raise awareness among participants, the women in their lives, as well as the women present at the show.
For more information, please contact Nadia.

Nova Scotia

Halifax, All Women's Empowerment and Development Association (AWEDA)
Yes I Can workshop
In collaboration with other settlement agencies in Nova Scotia, and a number of community partners, the Yes I Can Workshop will be an action to organize a regional consultation to understand the needs of marginalized immigrant and refugee female youth, to address isolation among individuals and to promote healthy choices and empowering connections.  The workshop will take place in Halifax at the AWEDA Empowerment Centre, located at 3434 Dutch Village Road, Upper Level, Suite 100, on March 5, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The feedback from this action will be used to tailor educational and support programs to meet the needs of the participants.
For more information, please contact Rosamond.

Halifax, YWCA Halifax
Honouring Women and Girls in Our Community
We each have an equal and honoured place in the circle that forms our community. In the swirling, twirling dance of our lives and rhythms it is possible to loose sight of the beautiful constellations we form together; the connections of inspiration, courage and experience shared; though not always visible, the intertwining forces that shape the choreography of our lives. Taking time and space to share in community gives us pause to experience the surrounding light and to know and appreciate our own truth. Each light is different. Experienced together the constellations are beautiful, complex, and whole. On March 8th 2011, Halifax community celebrates the light and contribution of women with * Voices of Celebration: International Women's Day @ 100 *. Hosted by the Halifax Action Circle of Amnesty International, it is an evening of storytellers, musicians and dancers giving voice to our stories. Young women exploring leadership in their lives and communities through the YWCA's FLY-W program are specially invited to create and host a 'star' at this celebration. Sewn in black fabric representing the unifying black of the universe, and 'versed' in gold, this interactive installation will honour all present and connect women and girls ~ in courage, expression, and inspiration ~ through an invitation to reflect and discover the sources of light and strength in our constellation.
For more information, please contact Morrigan.