Women United: Power of Women - United Way Alberta Capital Region
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Women United: Power of Women

18 May 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Celebrate the Strength of Women and Girls

The world needs strong women – POWERFUL women. Women unafraid to live bravely and willing to lift and build each other up to reach their fullest potential. This is the indomitable clout of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region’s Women United initiative.

Join Women United supporters for The Power of Women, a celebration of the strength and resilience of women and girls in overcoming the challenges of poverty in our region. Connect with community-minded people who share a commitment to social justice and equality at this after-work networking reception and speakers panel.

From the wage gap to gender-based violence, hear personal stories from a panel of influential, changemaking women as they discuss the intersecting issues and systemic barriers women face to accessing the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. And learn how, through the collective power of Women United and United Way-funded supports, women and girls are harnessing their own power to disrupt barriers to success.


*To ensure Women United donations have the greatest impact on women and girls in our community, tickets are priced at $30 each to recover event costs.

Meet the Panel

Sheilah Pittman, Director of Strategic Initiatives, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region moderates our panel of speakers, including:

Christine McCourt-Reid, Acting Director of External Relations, YWCA Edmonton

Christine McCourt-Reid is a highly skilled communications professional with a passion for building strong, vibrant communities. As the Acting Director of External Relations at YWCA Edmonton, she is committed to enhancing the organization’s impact and reach through effective advocacy and engagement efforts. With over two decades of experience in stewardship, fund development, event planning, and volunteer management, Christine’s work reflects her deep belief in the importance of staying connected to one’s communities of interest.

Christine’s dedication to community service extends beyond her professional work. For many years, she has been an active volunteer in Edmonton, contributing her time and expertise to a variety of charitable organizations at the local, provincial, and national levels. Her commitment to excellence and outstanding contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Top 40 Under 40 award, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medals, and the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

Tsitsi Chiwara, Lawyer, Former Empower U Financial Literacy Participant

Tsitsi received her Bachelor of Commerce in Law (Bcom Law) with University of South Africa in 2010. Followed by her Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 2017. Tsitsi was called to the Alberta Bar in 2021.

Tsitsi’ s passion is in helping clients seek peace of mind for children caught in between the chaos of separation and divorce, and ensuring children are removed as the center of conflict. She is humbled to be able to be a driver of change by giving a voice to the voiceless. Tsitsi has been involved in matters dealing with child support, custody, parenting time, guardianship, mobility, division of property and spousal and partner support claims, plus collaborative divorce and mediation and arbitration.

Tsitsi has volunteered her time with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre and Assist – Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society. Near to her heart and mind though is Empower U – a financial empowerment program combining financial education, one-on-one financial coaching, and matched savings. As a victim of domestic abuse and being disadvantaged financially herself, Tsitsi understands for a family living in poverty, every day is about making tough choices – to pay rent or buy groceries? And having Empower U provide skills, confidence, and access to resources to manage finances in ways that build pathways out of poverty is something far different and creates a future where families can thrive.

Tsitsi’s lives by the quote: “Action is the antidote to despair, and the prescription to success” – Joan Baez. Born and raised in Zimbabwe (fluent in English and Shona), she is a proud single mom raising her two young sons, happily with her parents by her side where she enjoys playing chess and golfing with her dad.

Dr. Farha Shariff, Senior Advisor to the Dean and Director of CRTED, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

Daughter to Muslim immigrant settlers, academic colleague, and Senior Advisor of EDID Initiatives, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta.

I earned my PhD in Secondary Education in 2012, and I have contributed to the Faculty through my teaching and service over the last decade. My work is grounded in deep commitments to equity and anti-oppression and am sought after by organizations who seek my advice as they aim to transform their practices in more socially just ways. My areas of research and interest include intersectional anti-oppression, including intersectional antiracism, cultural identity, positionality, power and privilege. In addition, my role is to work with Internationally educated teachers in their understandings of culture, race, schooling and curriculum. I am deeply committed to helping educators and community members reach their very best potential through critical dialogue and building relationships.

High-Flying Entertainment

Enjoy the talents of Melanie Smith-Doderai, Canada’s first aerial fabric violinist — and the first aerial silk violinist to be featured on Canada’s Got Talent!

Melanie’s passion for aerial arts began in 2006. Since then, she has completed a wide array of teacher certification programs and instructs at various dance studios in Edmonton. In 2018, Melanie combined her passion for music and aerial arts into a unique and innovative art form that is both inspiring and visually compelling. There is never a dull moment as you listen to your favorite music performed in gravity defying poses.  You can find out more about Melanie by visiting her website, Silk & Strings.

Refreshments and Networking

Following the panel discussion, stick around for facilitated intentional networking. Participate in thought-provoking conversations and share ideas around driving progress toward true equality for women and girls in our community.

This event also features delicious food to satisfy your after-work hunger, plus a cash bar!

Help Tackle Period Poverty!

Bring a package of unopened menstrual products to the event for donation to United Way’s Period Promise collection drive. Donated items will be distributed to community members in need with the help of our frontline agency partners.

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18 May 2023
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


NAIT Productivity and Innovation Centre
10210 Princess Elizabeth Ave NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5G 0Y2 Canada
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