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About Us

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Launched in 2021, The Women’s History Project is a not-for-profit organization focused on public education through an events program and development of the Women’s History Production Fund. 

 

We believe that by knowing our shared history, women in Canada can be better advocates today and change-makers for tomorrow. By using an inclusive, intersectional, and inter-generational feminist perspective, we create experiences across various platforms to make history relevant.

 

We have partnered with the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) who provides charitable receipts for donations earmarked for The Women’s History Project.

There are many great women whose campaigns, achievements and contributions have led to substantial change in Canadian history. Their stories need repeating!

 

We will shine a light on those stories of past change-makers in a modern way, capturing the hearts of those new to history and the equality movement and honouring the women who came before us.

As a national non-profit, volunteer organization, The Women’s History Project’s ambition is to advance women’s equality by promoting the role, achievements and contributions of women in Canadian history.

 

Working with partner organizations, we will provide opportunities for discovering women's history through conversations, discussions, storytelling, multimedia productions and art. We aim to generate awareness, educate, advocate and create future change.

Get to know our board members who are bringing life to a project they have long envisioned with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers.

Board Members

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Debra Davis

President

With over 40-years of experience in strategic communications, engagement and project management, Debra has an extensive background in the private, volunteer and public sectors working at local, national and international levels. She is an active feminist, supporting women candidates in her career as a political organizer, managing a Canada-UK women’s program as Counsellor Public Affairs at the Canadian High Commission in London (1999-2001), serving as a board member of the Arab International Women’s Forum (2001-2010) and the Ottawa Women’s March, (2019-2020). Debra returned to Ottawa in 2016 and rejoined the public service. She has had a long interest in the history of women, the equality movement and social justice.  debradavis@womenshistoryproject.ca

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Deborah Morrison

Vice-President

Deborah Morrison joined Universities Canada in March 2023. Previously, she was the president and CEO of Experiences Canada, a national charity that supports youth development through experiential learning, youth travel and exchanges. Much of her career has been devoted to media production and educational programming: she was publisher and CEO of Canada’s History and Kayak magazines, director of operations for Historica Canada and director of marketing and development and production coordinator for the CRB Foundation, creators of the Heritage Minutes. 

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Sahra Ali

Chief Financial Officer

Sahra is the Director of Financial Services at Universities Canada and has joined the organization in 2013. Sahra manages and oversees the annual financial cycle, including budgeting and year-end responsibilities, mitigates key elements of risks and compliance, monitors investment activities and continues to develop and maintain financial and operational controls. She serves as the chair of Universities Canada retirement plan committee and is also a member of the organization’s senior management committee. Sahra holds a bachelor of commerce with an option finance from the University of Ottawa and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.
 

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Catherine Bélanger

Director, Sponsorship and Fundraising

Catherine Bélanger is the President of KatiCorp Inc, a strategic consulting company based in Ottawa. Catherine started her professional career as an executive search consultant before joining the public sector, developing expertise in public policy development, strategic planning and strategic communications. She has worked with the Canadian Coast Guard, the National Capital Commission, the Treasury Board and the Correctional Service of Canada. Catherine is Co-chair of the REACH Auction Gala in Ottawa, supporting legal aid for disabled persons, and is a member of several boards of directors, including the ALS Society of Canada and the Canadiana Foundation supporting Canada’s Official Residences. 

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Dawn Lavell-Harvard

Director

Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, Ph.D., is a proud member of the Wikwemikong First Nation. The first Aboriginal Trudeau Scholar, Lavell-Harvard has worked to advance the rights of Aboriginal women as the President of the Ontario Native Women’s Association from 2003 to 2021. Dawn has been the Director for First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University since 2016, having left her previous role as President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada in order to return to her roots as an educator.

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Komal Minhas

Director

Komal is a columnist for Fortune magazine and the founder of Karseva, a company focused on building individual, economic, and societal resilience through advisory, media production, and investing. She curates powerful experiences and conversations as an interviewer, business strategist, resilience educator, and investor, and was named to Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100 list for this work.  As an interviewer, she has been in conversation with Michelle Obama, Glennon Doyle, Rupi Kaur, Angela Duckworth, and more. As a business strategist and resilience educator, Komal supports the leaders behind the brands, companies, and organizations you love to scale their revenue, impact, and protect their well-being as they work to transform the systems we live in.

Giovanna Mingarelli

Director

As the CEO and Co-Founder of two international companies, M&C Consulting and MC2, Giovanna Mingarelli plays the dual role of technology entrepreneur and thought leader. For 15 years Giovanna worked in the field of political and digital communications.  An expert on the gamification of politics, social engagement and crowdsourcing, Giovanna has been an active contributor to events at the White House in Washington, D.C., the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland and the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China.  n 2015 Ms. Mingarelli was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the WXN. In 2019 she received on Honorable Mention by Startup Canada as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. A social entrepreneur, she’s involved in many youth empowerment initiatives, such as Global Dignity Canada, which she Chairs in Canada and for which she serves on the Board of Directors internationally.

Who we are

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Jackie Neapole

Director

Jacqueline Neapole is the executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. A committed feminist, she has also worked at the Feminist Alliance for International Action and as an activist in various social justice movements.

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Frances Wright, C.M., A.O.E.

Director

Based in Calgary, Frances is an entrepreneur who has launched several businesses specializing in economic development, public engagement and government relations. From 1996 to 2005, Frances served as the Co-Founder and CEO of the Famous 5 Foundation. As of January 2022, Frances is the CEO of the F5F once again in preparation of the 95th Anniversary of the "Persons" Case on Oct. 18, 2024. In February 2019, Frances completed an 18-year-old project when the Senate of Canada finally agreed to restore O Canada to its inclusive nature – True patriot love, in ALL of US command! She has been instrumental in launching charities such as Women’s Justice, Youth Clubs of Calgary and the Canadian Centre for Adult Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (cc4ms).

Communications and Marketing Team

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Catherine Morrison

Communications Advisor

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Kelcieya Ratnarajah

Social Media Specialist

Victoria Doherty

Video production

Leah Bethel

Social Media Specialist

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Ellen Beveridge

Researcher / Writer

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