Empower conference marks International Women’s Day

Event offers empowerment and a whole lot more, from wellness to equality

Emiko Ohama organized the Empower conference, and will herself be speaking on March 8. (Diana Igumnova/The Omega)

International Women’s Day is globally celebrated on March 8 every year and promotes discussions on things like gender equality, equal rights and roles of women in modern society.

On Wednesday, March 8, the TRUSU Gender Equality Club headed by its president Emiko Ohama, will host the Empower conference. The conference will reveal the topics of gender equality, wellness and more.

The conference will feature guest speakers who are known internationally, including entrepreneur Courtney Kirschbaum, who is known for her rebelling career strategies and who empowers people to take actions that will lead to success.

Those in attendance will have an opportunity to ask Kirschbaum academic or professional career questions.

“Kirschbaum specializes in clarifying ‘I’m not sure’ situations, provides the know-how to get your version of success, and can give you the confidence to make tough choices,” Ohama said.

Kirschbaum is a former leader with KPMG and her presentation is titled, “Rebellion, Rule-Breaking and Respect: A How-To Guide to Unconventional Success.”

The Empower conference will also feature Steve S.J. Lee, who is a United Nations policy advocate, climate change activist and global speaker.

Students of all genders, ethnicities and backgrounds are welcome to attend the conference and get inspiration on topics that concern them most. Such an inclusive conference will give all attendees an opportunity to highlight vital topics.

“Empower is a community event for men and women that brings business professionals, community organizations, retired community members, educators, WolfPack athletes, and both university and high school student leaders together,” Ohama said.

Ohama has put in a lot of work organizing the conference and establishing her club. Some of the factors that drove her to organize the conference were incidents she experienced last year, including once being assaulted by three men, and also being bullied by an older male colleague she had.

“It affected me on a hormonal level and I spent the majority of August in bed sick. I only got up in the evenings for a couple hours to work because I still had to make a little bit of income. Fall semester was extremely challenging. This event was planned while I lay in bed feeling unwell,” Ohama said.

Ohama said that her attack and subsequent events changed her perspective on everything. She could remain strong enough and implement ideas for establishing a conference that would address gender equality issues.

Ohama herself will be leading a presentation on proactive aging, as well as behaviour change theories. Additionally, Ohama will touch on wellness aspects like nutrition and portion distortion.

“Everything that we are going to talk about has been created to be presented very innovatively, so everything is novel. Everyone will learn a lot from coming. It is not just regurgitated information – it is stuff that people do not know about that we have researched to present,” she said.

The Empower Conference will be held on March 8 in the Grand Hall and will run from 8:30 a.m. till 3:30 p.m. Those interested can purchase tickets on Eventbrite.ca or contact trusuleanin@gmail.com.