What We Do

Our Training

Women Speak Out is a 12 week (3 days a week, 5 hours a day) leadership training program for  women who have been marginalized by histories of poverty, homelessness, mental health issues, domestic violence, or refugee/immigration challenges.  The goal of the program is to encourage women to become active in their communities on a range of social justice issues and to pursue their personal goals in education and employment.  The program encourages the participants to reflect on, appreciate and share their own knowledge and skills, as well as to learn from a range of experts and community activists on policy issues so that they will learn how to impact public policy and take on leadership roles in their communities.  To date, we have had five graduating classes with a total of approximately 70 graduates (14 in each 12 week session).

Over the course of 12 weeks, we provide training on a wide range of issues including: public speaking (how to tell one’s story in a way that is safe and empowering), diversity issues, communication and conflict resolution, how government works, how to write a deputation and depute, how to impact public policy, a history of women’s rights, women and the law, women and health, violence against women, and training for women who are interested in becoming involved in community boards or advisory groups.

Once the training period is over, women who are interested in becoming members of our Voices from the Street speaker’s bureau take on various public education and training opportunities—speaking to students, social service workers, nurses and community groups on issues related to poverty, domestic violence and mental health.

Women Speak Out

I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.

– Malala Yousafzai