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March 2 , 2010  


Stephanie Nolen


Canada’s premier women’s university celebrates International Women’s Day in March

The Circle Women’s Centre at Brescia University College is pleased to welcome award-winning reporter and author Stephanie Nolen, South Asia correspondent for the Globe & Mail, to present the International Women’s Day (IWD) lecture of the Sophia Series.

Nolen’s address titled, “Courage in the Darkness: Women, Hope & the Power for Change,” will be presented in the Brescia Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 11 on the eve of the second Women Making Change Conference, which will be held on Friday, March 12.

Nolen has reported from more than 40 countries around the world. She is a four-time winner of the National Newspaper Award for coverage that has taken her from war zones to AIDS clinics to camel races. In 2008, she ended a six-year assignment based in Johannesburg, in which she had a particular mandate to cover the impact of the HIV-AIDS pandemic across Africa – one of only two reporters in the world media with that assignment. Some of her experiences are captured in her best-selling book 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa.

“Being in Canada there’s this ability to live in the cocoon of our comfortable life here and think there’s nothing I can do, or I’m not connected to it, or it’s not my responsibility or my fault. I’ve seen first-hand how we’re all connected. I’ve been in the factory in Ethiopia where they process the coffee, making 70 cents a day, and working six days a week. If they make fair trade coffee, it’s 96 cents a day. What’s your responsibility as a consumer? If you have an iPod, you’re connected to the slave labour used in the Congo to build the gadgets. I think we all recognize the way that we’re connected and need to ask what our responsibilities are and what we can easily do. I don’t like to be too prescriptive about what people can do. I hope that by hearing about it is enough to make people feel that they want to engage,” Nolen said.

In addition to hearing Nolen’s inspiring words, guests will see a display by Art for AIDS International, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for those most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

In a second IWD event at Brescia on Friday, March 12 from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the St. James Building, students and community members will present on the subject of change individually and collectively, locally and globally at the second annual Women Making Change Conference. The event is being organized by Kim Young-Milani, director of The Circle and the Institute for Women in Leadership (iWIL) and Rebecca Coulter of The University of Western Ontario.

A third event at Brescia looks at women choosing to lead in Canadian government. Dr. Paul Barker and Professor Colleen Sharen will speak about how “Canada will be a better place when 40 per cent of MPs in Parliament are female” at an Empowering Canadian Voters session on Monday, Mar. 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 135 in the St. James Building.

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Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as either full or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Kim Young Milani
Director of The Circle Women’s Centre
519.432.8353, ext. 28385