Meet the organizing group

Nancy Adamson became active in the Toronto area women’s movement in the mid-1970s, involved with the Lesbian Organization of Toronto (LOOT), the International Women’s Day Committee (IWDC), the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics (OCAC) and the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.  She was active in the Canadian Women’s Movement Archives/Archives canadiennes des movement des femmes (CWMA/ACMF) from 1982-1991 and was a member of its Advisory Board once it moved to the University of Ottawa Archives and Special Collections.  She taught women’s studies at the University of Toronto and Carleton University.  In 1988 she co-authored Feminist Organizing for Change: The Contemporary Women’s Movement in Canada with Linda Briskin and Margaret McPhail.  She currently works in international higher education and lives in Belize.

Linda Briskin has been a feminist and union activist for more than fifty years, first in Montreal and then in Toronto. She is passionate about making visible, documenting and archiving women’s organizing. She is recently retired from teaching women’s studies at York University where her commitment to social justice inspired her teaching and framed her scholarship. In addition to her ongoing interest in feminist pedagogies, continuing research areas include equality bargaining; gendering worker militancies; women’s organizing inside trade unions; leadership and representation (see http://womenunions.apps01.yorku.ca/); and the impact of austerity measures on equality. She is an enthusiastic photographer, and actively involved in Gallery 44 and the Heliconian Club in Toronto.

Alana Cattapan is a CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) postdoctoral fellow at Novel Tech Ethics in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. She has been a feminist researcher and activist as long as she can remember. She currently works with a number of Canadian feminist organizations including Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes (formerly the Canadian Women’s Studies Association) and the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW). Her research focuses on women’s reproductive health and public policy, identifying links between the state, biotechnology, and the creation of a neoliberal citizen-subject. Her postdoctoral research examines the role of patient groups in policy making related to the public funding of in vitro fertilization in Canada.

Tara Cleveland has been a part of the Canadian Women’s Movement since she was in her mother’s womb – and she’s still being a pain in the ass! Tara has been a web designer and developer for over 20 years. She is currently employed as Technology Lead at SheEO, an organization raising investment in female entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Sue Colley has been active in the Canadian Women’s Movement since the early 70s.  She was active in the abortion rights movement and the child care movement in Toronto and across Canada.  Sue was one of the founding members of the International Women’s Day Committee in Toronto, a founding member and Executive Coordinator of both Action Day Care and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.  During the 80’s, Sue was very active in the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and was NAC Treasurer from 1988-1990. In more recent years, Sue has focused her efforts on early childhood education and care research internationally.

Maureen FitzGerald was an activist in the 70s and 80s in the women’s movement in Toronto and for a short time in Vancouver. In Toronto she was active in International Women’s Day Committee, and Campus Co-op Daycare. She is still active in Lesbians Making History oral history project. She taught in various departments and programmes at the University of Toronto where all her teaching was infused with a consideration of gender along with race, class and sexuality. She was a member of the Women’s Press collective and managing editor from 1985-1990 where she co-edited Still Ain’t Satisfied. Most recently she co-edited Queerly Canadian: An Introductory Reader in Sexuality Studies.

Amy Gottlieb has been a feminist, socialist and social justice activist since the 1960s. In Toronto she was active in the International Women’s Day Committee, Lesbian Organization of Toronto and more recently, the Sexual Diversity Studies Schools Committee. She was a founding member of Lesbians Against the Right, Lesbians Making History and the Jewish Women’s Committee to End the Occupation. She was editor of Healthsharing Magazine from 1987-1990. She now teaches photography, art and social sciences in a Toronto high school and is engaged in a range of equity and social justice issues within schools. She is a photo-based artist whose work explores family histories and the intersection of personal and historical memory.

Franca Iacovetta is feminist historian of immigrant women and workers in Canada and of left women exiles from Fascist Italy who mounted radical transnational movements. In the late 1970s, she was involved in protest theatre; in the 1980s, in anti-poverty work and in socialist feminist reading groups and other forms of organized feminism. With other unionists, educators, and labour artists, she co-founded the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton. At the University of Toronto since 1990, she is committed to social justice scholarship and to diversifying the ranks of Canada’s feminist historians. As president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, she hosted the global, multi-generational, and activist 2014 Toronto Berkshire Conference.

Meg Luxton has been active in the women’s movement in Toronto and Central Ontario since the 1960s. She has been involved in The Women’s Press, Campus Community Co-operative Day Care Centre, The National Action Committee on the Status of Women and a variety of community organising activities. One of the founders of Women’s Studies in Canada, she has been a university professor since the 1970s and is currently a professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University.  Her research focuses on feminist theory, women’s work paid and unpaid, and on the women’s movement in Canada and internationally.  She has been involved in the international efforts to get women’s unpaid work measured and valued in relation to the United Nations National System of Accounts.

Margaret McPhail has been a feminist activist for forty-five years, most of them in Toronto. In the 1970s, she helped found the International Women’s Day Committee and Organized Working Women. Over the years, she has been involved in many women’s equality issues, including union organizing, childcare, equal pay, and abortion. As a secondary school teacher, inequality, discrimination and violence were a major focus, particularly relating to racialized young women. Later, as union staff at the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO), she continued organizing on women’s equality issues in the labour movement and community. After retiring in 2012, she pursued this work with the project Leadership, Feminism and Equality in Unions in Canada with Linda Briskin, Sue Genge and Marion Pollack.