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Women's Centres

The Centre for Women and Trans People (CWT) is a Waterloo campus student service that strives to build a community of people and ideas that challenges and examines gender-based inequalities. Everyone should have equal access to education in a positive learning environment. In an effort to instigate change, this woman- and trans-positive space offers an extensive collection of academic, community and informational resources and referral services, as well as opportunities to actively engage in awareness campaigns.

Our Programs

The events and campaigns that the Women’s Centre puts on throughout the year are just one way that we reach out to the Laurier community, and may be what we are best known for. If you don’t have time to volunteer with the Women’s Centre, but would like to join us in learning about and taking a stand against gender inequalities, come participate in one of our events or programs.

  • Radical Bodies (performance art event)
  • Errata (zine)
  • Shattering the Silver Screen (movie night)

Previous programming has included events such as:

  • Open mic nights;
  • Sexual health awareness campaigns;
  • “I am a Feminist” campaign;
  • The Vagina Monologues (show).

Volunteering with CWT

Our volunteers are our most valuable resource. Without them, our centre could not be open to the public and we wouldn’t function as a collective. We are always looking for new volunteers, no matter what time of year. Interested in volunteering? Simply contact us at cwt@wlu.ca.

We have initial volunteer training at the beginning of each semester, but we also train volunteers throughout the year.

I Got Trained as a Volunteer... Now What?

Once you’ve undergone our training process, there are a few responsibilities that you have as a volunteer.

  • Volunteers are required to hold one office hour a week.
  • During your office hour, you keep the space open, greet visitors, shelve returned books, etc.
  • Volunteers are also required to attend the weekly CWT meeting, held on Sundays at 7 p.m. If you are unable to attend meetings, you are responsible for keeping up-to-date with meeting minutes, collective emails and for voicing your opinions on collective decisions in other ways.

As a new volunteer, this means that when you come to your first meeting, you have a say in what goes on. No matter how long you’ve been with the CWT, your major, academic year, gender identity, or political stance, every person has something unique to bring to the table. 

By the same token, as was once said on Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. In a structure that empowers each person with the ability to have a large influence, each individual member is also necessarily given a greater share of responsibility to regularly attend meetings and actively use the voice they’ve been given. Because the power is put into "the people," rather than a governing body, each person holds a significant share of the power that’s needed to get things done.

Get Involved

The Centre for Women and Trans People uses a collective structure that values the voices and input of each member of the group. This model establishes a non-hierarchical relationship amongst its members by providing each individual with equal amounts of decision-making power. Everyone has equal value and equal authority so no one person or group of people is privileged. Because women’s voices have historically been marginalized, our use of a consensus-building decision-making process aspires to bring a variety of voices out of the margins.

Coordinators within the collective structure of the CWT possess no more authority or decision-making power than any other collective member.  For each coordinator position, the collective elects a member to oversee specific facets of the centre’s operations. All coordinators can be reached at cwt@wlu.ca

The Laurier Brantford Women’s Centre (LBWC) is a designated as a safer space for self-identified women on the Brantford campus. The LBWC aims to raise awareness of gender-related issues on campus, engage in intersectionality, and foster growth and solidarity among self-identified women on campus. We do this through providing space, hosting events and running awareness campaigns throughout the year.

The events can include guest speakers, workshops, discussion groups, peer support groups, film series, and book clubs. We envision a safer space on campus for self-identified women that honours the intersections of our identities. We recognize that all individuals experience intersecting oppression that manifests itself in complex and overlapping ways. We challenge all forms of oppression and encourage everyone to engage in allyship including recognizing, deconstructing, and confronting their privilege.

We are committed to encouraging change through action, critical discourse, and personal growth. We provide a woman-positive space and connections to community resources. We engage in activism, education and advocacy in an effort to make every space on our campus safer and more supportive.

In the spirit of constant growth and development, we recognize that historically feminism has primarily served the needs of white, heterosexual, cisgender, non-intersex, able-bodied women. We hereby commit to broadening our perspective through anti-oppressive training, allyship, actively seeking out marginalized perspectives, and creating space for disenfranchised voices to be heard. This is a continuous process, and we welcome suggestions, advice, and critiques.

Values

The Women’s Centre recognizes that all individuals experience intersecting oppression that manifests itself in complex and overlapping ways. We challenge all forms of oppression and encourage everyone to engage in allyship including recognizing, deconstructing, and confronting their privilege. Our values:

  • safety
  • support
  • growth through dialogue
  • anti-oppressive decision-making
  • action and social change

Ways to Get Involved

If you identify with our cause, you should become a member. To become a member of Laurier Brantford Women’s Centre you must commit to attending a predetermined number of events and/or meetings throughout the year. Membership in LBWC is beneficial to you as it lets you get involved in leadership roles and you will be able to list involvement with Laurier Brantford Women’s Centre on your Co-Curricular Record.

Simply get involved by attending one of our meetings or email thewomenscentre@wlu.ca for more information.

Resources

The CWT and LWBC serve as a resource to the Laurier campus and everyone on it. This section provides a brief overview of some relevant community and informational resources.

  • Library: Information on how to use the CWT's library and what’s in it.
  • Community Resources: General information about organizations and services in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford communities, including information about CWT's extensive Waterloo Region services referrals binder.
  • Informational Resources and Blogs: Some interesting websites to learn from.

For questions about the resources please email us at cwt@wlu.ca or thewomenscentre@wlu.ca.

Herstory (A History of the Centre for Women and Trans People in Waterloo)

Contact Us:

The Centre for Women and Trans People (Waterloo)

E: cwt@wlu.ca

Laurier Brantford Women’s Centre

E: thewomenscentre@wlu.ca
T: 519.865.6706