There’s no shortage of dedicated, talented women living in Trinity-Spadina, as evidenced by the multitude of awards handed out by MPP Rosario Marchese at a celebration of International Women’s Day.
Marchese recognized the leadership skills, volunteer efforts and advocacy work of more than 20 women in the community at the event, which took place at Scadding Court Community Centre on Thursday, March 6.
Many of the women honoured have been active in steering the Alexandra Park Revitalization, while others have worked to empower girls, provide vital services for families and otherwise make the community – and the world – a better place.
“It’s wonderful to not only congratulate you for the great work you do, but celebrate what you do,” Marchese told the women at event.
The women came from all walks of life, but all shared a deep commitment to improving their community, particularly for women and girls.
Latoya Dell, one of the evening’s recipients, was recognized for her work with Toronto Community Housing, the Alexandra Park Community Centre and the Alexandra Park Revitalization.
“I’m very proud and honoured to get this award,” she said. “All the nominees here have done a lot of great work at home and internationally and I’m just starting out.”
Those attending the event were treated to food prepared by Market 707 vendors and live performances by singer Dominique Grant and spoken word artist Shukri Dualeh.
Grant spoke of the power that women have in today’s world.
“We all have the opportunity (to make a difference) regardless of age, gender or where you’re from,” she said. “It’s all about finding your voice.”
While the event was a celebration of women and their contributions to the Trinity-Spadina community, Marchese pointed out there was still work to be done in ensuring gender equality.
He pointed to pay gaps between men and women, the fact that men still hold the lion’s share of high-profile positions with boards, agencies and commissions and the growing concern over poverty.
“Women are overrepresented when we talk about poverty,” he said. “The fact is, 15,000 women are turned away from shelters in one year alone.”
The women recognized at the ceremony were all nominated by peers within the community.