With the support of the Atwater Library, a girl-led conference committee was formed, predominantly of CEGEP students, to organize a fun and innovative conference that would bring young artists, activists, entrepreneurs and inspirational girls and young women together to present their creative work, network, form partnerships and collaborations and plan future strategies and projects. The CEGEP students were joined in their activities by young women from the project’s partner organizations, who contributed their vision for the conference.

The Girls of the Hood conference showcased neighbourhood projects with the goal of helping girls and young women overcome barriers to economic prosperity. Mélanie Joly gave the keynote address on “Dare to be yourself” and there were panel discussions on entrepreneurial women, re-envisioning the world through activism and art, community groups fostering economic empowerment, and women in alternative or non-traditional careers.

In addition to planning the conference, this awesome committee both facilitated and participated in a range of workshops designed to address barriers to economic success as identified in a needs assessment conducted by the Atwater Library. In collaboration with partner organizations, new workshops were continuously imagined and created as the need and interests arise.

Workshops address topics suggested by the girls from partner organizations and range from developing computer search skills, digital photography and animation, zine making, photo voice, coding, using social media to find employment, digital citizenship, privacy, strategic management of digital identity, gender in media and non-traditional employment opportunities – to name a few.

A special congratulations to the Girls of the Hood team: Sophia, Cassie Jones, Olivia Gaulin, Rana, Georgia Therriault, Nicole Sibthorpe and Stenia Down, for pulling off a fantastic conference!

Girls in the hood Poster