Salvation Army’s Cornerstone Women’s residence celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women's Day 2021
by Alberta

On March 8, the world celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) by highlighting the social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women. Every year, a campaign theme is developed for IWD, and this year it’s #choosetochallenge.

The Salvation Army’s Cornerstone women’s residence in Edmonton celebrated IWD by completing their #choosetochallenge virtual walk to the Mount Everest base camp that began on February 15. The staff and women at Cornerstone completed their challenge two days ahead of schedule.

The Cornerstone residence is an independent, sober living transitional housing program for women experiencing mental health challenges. The one-year program allows a safe place for women to work on their wellness and recovery, whether that be addiction and/or mental health disorders.

“We kept track and lots of women at Cornerstone stepped up to the challenge and did their best,” said Suzanne Young, Cornerstone Facilitator. “All efforts were appreciated and celebrated – be it 10 minutes on a treadmill to one-hour weight training workouts. All levels of fitness joined in, and we made it!”

On the morning of March 8, the women of Cornerstone participated in a safety talk with local police officers over zoom that covered personal safety, online harassment, and how to report a crime.

The zoom meeting was followed by celebrations in the afternoon as certificates were given out to the #choosetochallenge participants.

“Thanks to the generosity of local women-owned businesses, we were able to supply participants with gifts, and everyone was included in a draw for the extra prizes that were gifted,” said Young. “Local women supporting and empowering the women of Cornerstone is such a blessing.”

A day celebrating women and fighting for gender equality encouraged staff at Cornerstone to share an inspiring short spoken word poetry clip called Make a ripple start a wave by Sharena Lee Satti, who developed this written work for this year’s IWD.

“This was used as a great segue into encouraging and supporting the women of Cornerstone, to foster and develop an awareness that we all can choose to challenge, as we continue our daily lives and implement positive change,” said Young.

In the evening, Cornerstone finished the celebration with a safety talk provided by Randy King, a self-defense instructor, who gave an inspiring and impactful talk on violence, what is self-defense, predatory attackers, strategies to stay safe, and common reactions to violence.

The Salvation Army strives to help women around the world achieve a better future by providing services to help empower them and will continue to celebrate their successes.