The Canadian city of Winnipeg is referred to as The Heart of the Continent. Not only is it located at the exact center point of North America, but it is undeniably a place with a lot of heart. To give you an idea of the elements that folks living in this Prairie city endured this winter, just check out the news coverage of this year’s chilling polar vortex. While many were grumbling and hustling from indoors to underground with frozen toes in a number of cities that experienced a colder than average season, Winnipeg was the city that freaked everyone out when it’s temperatures hit total ultimate lows, competing with the cold of such places as, oh, I don’t know...Mars. Out of this world, amiright?!
But seriously, it certainly becomes understandable that the sense of community that exists in this particular city is almost out of necessity. 'Cause what else are you gonna do when you find yourself in a place that has such a long and devastatingly cold winter season? You can either hibernate, or you can get down to business.
Ellie Schwartz and Alex Torcolacci, both Political Studies students living in Winnipeg, have poured their hearts into a new project that they’re calling Strength In Heels .
These two passionate young women have essentially created a movement in their community. (#strengthinheels is already trending locally) where the goal is to allow conversations about gendered and domestic violence to occur in an accessible and non-threatening way for a young generation of women, the age group they personally identify with.
Ellie and Alex have focused their energies on this super important issue in the form of a fundraising event of the same name. They've described feeling an overwhelming amount of local support for the charity party that will take place in March on International Women’s Day.
The party, complete with local dj’s and raffle prizes, will be a safe space for folks to educate themselves on the significance of eradicating gendered violence. But the most important part of the night is that all of the proceeds will be generously donated to the Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre (FGWRC), a not-for-profit, feminist organization that supports women to engage in healthy life choices for themselves and their families, through innovative and responsive programs and services.
FGWRC’s is always in need of funding (much like the majority of Canadian women’s resource centres), and Ellie and Alex are especially excited to be supporting their Crisis Line.
The girls feel that it’s important to make clear that the use of a crisis line doesn’t have to be an intimidating thing for young women. Ellie explains that feeling insecure about whether or not your situation can be considered a crisis is a really important thing to talk about. Recognizing the significance of your gut feeling could definitely be a part of avoiding a potentially dangerous situation later on.
Kudos to a couple of young ladies on a supportive mission.
Here's a link to the Strength In Heels fundraiser event page.