Project funded by:


Project funded by PEI Interministerial Women's Secretariat:


Organize to Lead: Provincial Symposium for Women
May 24 - 26, 2018

May 24, 2018

Confronting Gender-based Cyberviolence Against Women in Politics

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms allow for instant engagement and feedback from the public. While this provides numerous opportunities and benefits for public figures, it also presents new and continuously emerging challenges. Online engagement can open oneself to cyberviolence. Women leaders in particular may endure gender-based cyberviolence. This event will begin with a presentation defining cyberviolence and the ways in which it manifests, explaining how cyberviolence differs according to gender. The brief presentation will be followed by a panel discussion offering insights into the ever-evolving reality of dealing with gender-based cyberviolence. We will conclude with a talk about potential strategies to address cyberviolence at both systemic and personal levels. 

Moderator: Michelle Harris-Genge  

Presenter: Dr. Shanly Dixon, Digital Literacy Expert 

Panelists: Dr. Shanly Dixon, Digital Literacy Expert, Joanne Bernard, Former NS MLA and Cabinet Minister, and Becka Viau, Former Provincial and Federal Candidate.

Presented with the support of the PEI Interministerial Women's Secretariat.

May 25, 2018

Making the Decision to Run

The decision to enter public life is highly personal, based very much on your individual circumstances. Join current women members of the Legislative Assembly of PEI for insight into their own process in deciding to run for public office.

Moderator: Kirstin Lund

Panelists: Sitting PEI MLAs Hon. Paula Biggar, Hon. Tina Mundy, Deputy Speaker, Kathleen Casey, Opposition Party House Leader, Darlene Compton, and Third Party House Leader, Hannah Bell 

Navigating the Nomination Process

Getting women's names on the ballot is one of the biggest barriers to increasing the number of women in government. In this workshop, participants will learn more about the nuts and bolts of the nomination process from the perspective of women who have sought a nomination in each of the four provincial political parties. This candid look at how the nomination process works will provide information on how to secure party nomination.

Moderator: Karolyn Godfrey, Winding Path Inc. 

Panelists: Experienced Candidates in Nominations and Elections Marcia Carroll, Leah-Jane Hayward, Lynne Lund, and Mary Ellen McInnis

Building Your Team (concurrent session)

Identifying the right people to fill crucial positions on your campaign team may be the most critical element of election readiness. No one wins an election on their own. Candidates need team members who believe in their vision and are committed to the campaign. In this workshop, participants will learn more about the key roles and responsibilities to fill and how to identify and recruit talented members to the team.

Facilitator: Karolyn Godfrey

Addressing Gender-based Cyberviolence: Beyond Victim-blaming (concurrent session)

Gender-based cyberviolence increasingly targets women in politics. How can political parties and institutions respond effectively? Whether at the party level or the individual campaign level, building policies that address gender-based cyberviolence is one way political institutions can shift culture and practices and to de-normalize gender-based cyberviolence. During the workshop, participants will collectively brainstorm ways to accomplish these objectives through policy that is living, evolving, and accessible.

Facilitators: Dr. Shanly Dixon, Digital Literacy Expert and Becka Viau, Former Provincial and Federal Candidate

Issue-based Campaign Strategy (concurrent session)

You don't need to run as a candidate to drive change in your community. This workshop is for people who got into politics because they want to see tangible change on specific issues. And it will be especially relevant for those people who want to take responsibility for leading effective, community-based campaigns.

Bring your issue to the workshop - whether it's a basic income guarantee, proportional representation, renewable energy, land use, mental health, education reform, or something else. After our 75-min workshop, you'll leave with the basics of a campaign plan: clear goals, a power-building strategy, and a timeline of initial tactics to try out.

Facilitator: Anna Keenan, Local and International Community Organizer 

Campaign Fundraising (concurrent session)

Women in PEI continue to experience a gender wage gap, which is even wider for women from diverse backgrounds. Although gender roles are changing, women are still more likely to perform unpaid work, such as caregiving, within Island homes. Research shows that women are also more likely to struggle to fundraise for political campaigns. This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to learn more about financing rules and fundraising strategies to achieve success.

Presenters: Stephanie Roberts, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Elections PEI and Valerie Docherty, Former MLA and Cabinet Minister

Reimagining Campaigning (concurrent session)

Traditional campaign approaches have not always reflected the realities of women's lives. Just because campaigning has always been done a certain way doesn't mean it can't change! New voices and technologies are creating exciting opportunities for innovation in the political arena. In this thought-provoking workhsop, explore new ways of campaigning to positively effect change.

Facilitator: Jillian Kilfoil, Executive Director, Women's Network PEI

Getting Out the Vote (concurrent session)

Although issues matter during an election campaign, winning an election usually hinges on what party does a better job of getting out their vote. As the saying goes, policies don't vote, people do. This session briefly outlines the various voting options offered by Elections PEI as well as ways to ensure you "get out your vote."

Facilitator: Olive Crane, Former MLA and Leader of the Official Opposition

May 26, 2018

Honouring Our Differences

This plenary session will explore the importance of gender parity and diversity in leadership and how to approach your work using a gender and diversity lens. Increasingly, policy makers and community leaders are being encouraged to consider gender and other diversities when creating programs and policies to ensure the differences and needs of our Island population are accommodated and clients are better served. In this session participants will learn how to use the “Honouring Our Differences” gender and diversity guide from the Interministerial Women's Secretariat.

Presenter: Michelle Harris-Genge, Director, PEI Interministerial Women's Secretariat

The Future of Leadership in PEI

How are young people shaping the leadership landscape in PEI? What does the future of leadership in PEI look like? Join some of PEIs leading community builders and activists for a lively panel discussion on the impact young adults can and do have in the Island community.

Moderator: Jesse Hitchcock, Co-founder, Young Voters of PEI

Panelists: Claire Byrne, Payton Jadis, Ellie Langston, and Taya Nabuurs

Kairos Blanket Exercise

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that shares the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples—which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation, the Blanket Exercise covers over 500 years of history in a participatory workshop.

Facilitator: Dawne Knockwood and team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous animators

Electoral Systems

Democracies around the world do democracy differently. Around the world, women and under-represented groups have achieved better results under some electoral systems than others. PEI has a long history of electoral change, including two plebiscites on electoral reform. During the next provincial election, Islanders will also have another option to vote on electoral reform. In this session, participants will learn more about the gender and diversity effects of the two electoral systems on the ballot: the current first-past-the-post system and mixed-member proportional representation.

Presenter: Jane Ledwell, Executive Director, PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women 

Canvassing for Success (concurrent session)

Canvassing is one of the most important parts of any campaign because it creates a direct connection between the candidate and the voter! With door-to-door contact, especially on political campaigns and organizing on issues, one good conversation can be enough to make a difference. In this workshop, participants will learn the do's and don'ts of canvassing and practice door-knocking techniques with an experienced campaigner.

Facilitator: Kim Devine, Former Charlottetown City Councillor 

Communicating Your Message (concurrent session)

The ability to clearly articulate your message is a vital political skill. Many politicians will tell you that this skill is honed through practice. This workshop is for people who want to learn more about key communication strategies to effectively share messages clearly and coherently. 

Facilitator: Melissa Handrahan, Communications Expert

Social Media: Bringing Your Leadership Online (concurrent session)

In today's connected world, there are more opportunities than ever for online conversations, knowledge gathering and sharing, and, ultimately, relationship-building through social media. For leaders that embrace it, social media can be a toolbox for improving the practice of leadership and sharing their message. Bring your questions for an informative workshop with a politically savvy social media expert.

Facilitator: Chelsey Rogerson, Executive Assistant to Charlottetown MP Sean Casey