Big Ideas: $100,000



2018 has been unofficially named the “Year of the Woman.”

From public conversations to policy debates about pay equity, parental leave, childcare to addressing sexual harassment in the workplace and beyond, there is recognition that we can no longer sit idly by and ignore the needs of over half the population.

Over the last few years, we’ve also seen the emergence and impact of movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #IdleNoMore, #MeToo and #TimesUp and how critical a role young women with diverse identities play in those spaces.

With a federal election around the corner, we want to ensure that young women across the country are supported to leverage their energy and interest to civically engage and democratically participate!

By educating, inspiring, and activating, we want to create a platform to support the development of the next generation of civic leaders!

How are we going to do it?

We will build communities of young leaders across Canada. Our civic engagement and human rights program will engage with young leaders in 14 locations who are ready and energized to have their voices heard.

The three pillars of our program are:


Young women are passionate about making the world a better place. They have a vision for a society that is more equitable and supportive of all people.

We want to provide them with the skills, knowledge and networks to create a positive impact. We envision doing this through a variety of ways beginning with a ‘Civic Engagement Bootcamp’ where we connect passionate young women with experienced civic leaders to learn about essential skills such as organizing, lobbying, government relations, public speaking, op-ed writing, media relations and more!

We will also develop a toolkit so that the curriculum content we develop is accessible to a broader Canadian community so young women all across the country can benefit from this resource.


As young women develop new skills and attain knowledge about civic engagement, we want to get them excited to make a difference. We will do this through a series of inspiring keynotes at the ‘Civic Engagement Bootcamp,’ but also through a mentorship program where they will connect to seasoned civic leaders who will provide insights as they plan initiatives in their local communities for civic engagement and to inspire others to participate in the democratic process.


A critical focus of our platform will be to support young women as they develop their civic engagement initiatives. They will produce events and programming in their local communities that respond to their community’s needs. For example:

• Organizing a Vote Pop-Up that simulates voting, so people in their community are encouraged to vote in the upcoming federal election
• Organizing an all-candidates town hall in their community to ask candidates where they stand on specific issues
• Writing an op-ed for their local paper on a topic they care about
• Developing an advocacy action like a letter-writing campaign or a petition to increase awareness of a particular issue.

Whatever it is – we want to activate young women and support their pursuits for social change!

We will end this program with a Day on the Hill Event where young women are supported to meet with MPs in Ottawa on an issue they care about and engage with the public at Parliament Hill.

This initiative is all about supporting young women in their pursuit of creating a more equitable society by connecting them with the resources, networks and skills they need to make a positive impact!

Support us and help catalyze the next generation of civic leaders!

580 young leaders trained - Online engagement: 10,000+ people

*** READ MORE*** Young Woman's story from our 2017 leadership program:

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YWCA Canada

Location: Canada