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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

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As an Oxfam Canada member you are part of a powerful movement for change.

A Powerful Movement
For Change

Our members use their voices and their expertise to advance women's rights and work to end poverty.

As a member of Oxfam Canada, you will learn more about international issues, engage in supporting meaningful change, take action to end poverty and use your voice to help determine our direction.

Being a member gives you a voice in our work, and the tools to advocate for our programs and campaigns to end the injustice of poverty.

If you are not a member, join today.


To Active Oxfam Canada Members:

At the Annual General Meeting in September, Oxfam Canada will elect a new Board. Here’s your chance to make a difference in charting Oxfam’s future!

Members are invited to nominate candidates – or stand as candidates – for a three-year term (2019 – 2022). Submit your nominations to the Nominating Committee at ac.ma1563835441fxo@s1563835441noita1563835441nimon1563835441.

Nominations close July 14, 2019.

A job description for Directors can be found here, the nomination form can be found here, and the candidate profile form is available here. Note that both forms must be completed in order to nominate or self-nominate.

Remember that to nominate a candidate, stand for election or vote, you need to renew your membership. You can register at https://www.oxfam.ca/join.

If you have questions, please contact ac.ma1563835441fxo@p1563835441ihsre1563835441bmem1563835441 or 613-627-8601.

Below are the bios for each of the 13 nominees in the proposed slate:

Rita Parikh, BC
Rita brings to the board table a long and abiding commitment to community development, and to supporting local aspirations for safe, just and sustainable livelihoods. After graduating from Carleton’s School of Journalism, Rita worked as a feature writer for The London Free Press before completing a Masters in International Affairs, which launched her career in the field of international development. She spent two decades working alongside women and refugees, Indigenous peoples and farmers, unions and students in Asia, Latin America, and the South Pacific. Her work for groups like Inter Pares and Pacific Peoples’ Partnership – where she served as Executive Director – helped her gain a deep appreciation for the creative and determined efforts of communities, activists and social movements working in solidarity around the world to create viable and sustainable economic alternatives. Rita is the Director of the Nursing Community Assessment Service for the BC College of Nursing Professionals. Rita lives and works in Victoria, BC.

Paulette Senior, ON
Paulette Senior has devoted her career to empowering women and girls to overcome barriers and reach their full potential. She faced her own set of barriers when she immigrated to Canada from Jamaica as a young girl – an experience that ignited her interest in justice and activism. Paulette began her career on the front lines of social service organizations in some of Toronto’s most economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. She saw first-hand the urgent need for social resources and systemic change to transform women’s lives. Through her work and advocacy with shelters, as well as employment and housing programs, she has earned numerous awards and become one of the most respected women leaders in Canada. Paulette joined the Canadian Women’s Foundation in 2016, after 10 years as CEO of YWCA Canada. She is a sought-after speaker and commentator on issues including gender equity, gender-based violence, women’s poverty and the wage gap, girls’ empowerment and leadership.

Leilani Farha, ON
Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, the world’s top watchdog on housing, has set out to reignite the idea that housing is a social good not an asset or commodity. In the role since 2014, Farha has presented reports to the UN on homelessness, the connection between housing and life itself, and the treatment of housing as a commodity and its consequences for people who are poor as well as the middle class. She has traveled to India, Chile, Egypt, and Portugal among other places to investigate whether governments are meeting their human rights obligations with respect to housing. In 2017, Leilani launched a new initiative called The Shift, a global movement which calls for everyone to approach housing as a human right, not a commodity – now gaining traction in every part of the world. A lawyer by training, Farha has worked to advance the rights of poor and marginalized groups throughout her career. She is the Executive Director of the NGO Canada Without Poverty and was instrumental in launching a historic constitutional challenge to government inaction in the face of rising homelessness in Canada. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by a Canadian university in recognition of her work, the Barbra Schlifer Award for her commitment to advancing women’s rights, and most recently the Jack Layton Social Progress Award for Leadership.

Robert (Bob) Van Den Berg, ON
Robert is a credentialed program evaluator with more than 10-years of professional experience conducting evaluations. He has 30-years’ experience as a senior-level manager, and as an international management consultant with bilateral donors, non-governmental organizations, and multilateral organizations, and has led numerous contracts for the United Nations: WFP, FAO, OCHA, PAHO, UNICEF and UNDP. Robert has advised clients in 23 countries on a full range of program and management issues. His experience includes practical, front-line work managing humanitarian and development projects while based in Africa and Asia. Robert is an accredited adult educator and is experienced designing and delivering directly applied experiential learning activities. His strong adult training and facilitation skills come from direct experience leading face-to-face working sessions for small and large groups in diverse cultural contexts.

Amelia Martin, BC
Amelia is a feminist lawyer with a commitment to achieving long-term social change by ensuring that women and other equity-seeking groups achieve justice. Beginning with her commitment to social justice as a director of her university’s women’s centre, Amelia has continued her work on women´s issues with legal organizations, including the Ontario Bar Association. Amelia relies on her unique view-point as a bi-racial woman to assist her in her understanding and analysis of social justice issues. In her work with METRAC, Amelia was instrumental in developing a three-year strategic plan, as well as assisting in the planning and execution of a large-scale fundraising gala in 2015. Since relocating to the interior of British Columbia in 2016, Amelia has developed her understanding of the challenges facing women in rural and small urban settings, especially indigenous women. In her capacity as Board member with the Vernon Women´s Transition House, Amelia reviewed and revised the organization´s by-laws to ensure compliance with new provincial legislation concerning charitable organizations. She also assisted in the planning and execution of a gala fundraising event, including securing sponsors and reviewing financial documents. After becoming a mother in January 2019, Amelia´s commitment to social justice for women has deepened considerably.

Dudley Thompson, MB
Dudley is Principle in Dudley Thompson Consultancy – a consulting firm focusing on Sustainable Community, Regenerative Architecture, Advocacy, Stakeholder Engagement and Climate Change Mitigation. He works in Winnipeg for a variety of Corporate and Not-for-Profit clients. He was the founding principal of Prairie Architects Inc. in 1981 and has practiced as an architect in Manitoba since 1976. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Manitoba and a graduate degree in Architecture from the University of Toronto. He transferred Prairie Architects in 2017 to four employees. Dudley nurtured Prairie as an architectural firm that was committed at its roots to sustainability, stakeholder participation in design and building community. Prairie demonstrated this commitment to Sustainable Buildings with an integrated staff of building scientists and 90% of staff members that are LEED accredited. Prairie certified over 30 LEED buildings under Dudley’s leadership including Manitoba’s first LEED GOLD Building, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and several LEED Platinum projects including Manitoba Hydro Place and Amber Trails School. In his 35 years of practice, Dudley guided Prairie Architects Inc. as an Integrated Design Process Facilitator on numerous projects, in the regeneration of dozens of historic buildings, the renewal of many urban sites, the creation of many First Nation projects as well as a wide variety of residential, community and educational projects. Mr. Thompson recently served on the Board of Directors of Manitoba Hydro and was chairperson of the non-profit Winnipeg Housing and Rehab Corporation.

Larry Swatuk, ON
Larry Swatuk is a Professor at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development and is also a Faculty Member of the Water Institute, the Balsillie School of International Affairs and is cross-appointed to the School of Planning and the Department of Geography and Environmental Management. Dr. Swatuk's research focuses on the political economy of natural resources with a particular focus on freshwater governance and management in the Global South. He teaches courses in global political economy, theories of international development, and water security. Larry is also Associate Editor of the open access journal Water Alternatives and a founding member of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association.

Ricardo Acuña, AB
Ricardo has spent over 25 years as a staff member, consultant, volunteer, and board member for numerous community, non-profit, labour, and political organizations. He has managed and monitored overseas development projects and provincial funding organizations, and built strong relationships with overseas communities. As Executive Director of a university-based think tank, he has extensive experience in financial management, fundraising and governance. Ricardo has been a Board member since 2013.

Karen Sander, BC
Karen has deep global experience building charitable initiatives that scaled rapidly from zero to millions of dollars in funding and had massive impacts. A serial philanthro-preneur, Karen has played leading roles in the launch of multiple groundbreaking charitable foundations that used business and entrepreneurship as key components.Her experience ranges from executive work with the World Bank (Washington, DC) to a private foundation that drilled 300 clean water wells in South Sudan over the course of two years, to building all the funding and partnerships for The Next Big Thing a charity co-founded by Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite. She has over 15 years of experience in building cross-sector partnerships and is a strong believer in the power of women, technology and entrepreneurs to be nation builders and drivers of social change.

Bilan Arte, ON
An experienced social justice advocate, Bilan is currently a National Women’s & Human Rights Representative for the Canadian Labour Congress. Previously, Bilan was the Chair and Manitoba Representative for the Canadian Federation of Students. As an activist within Canada’s labour and student movement, she brings a wealth of experience on educating and agitating young people on issues of social concern. This is Bilan’s first term on the Board of Directors and she is excited to contribute to a team that is committed to advancing a progressive agenda for our world.

Jessica McCormick, NL
Jessica is the Communications Officer for Fish, Food and Allied Workers, Unifor. She has served on various non-profit boards over the past six years, including as the Student Representative on the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and as a regional representative and national chair of the Canadian Federation of Students. These experiences have provided her with extensive experience in governance, accountability and strategic planning. Jessica is looking forward to extending her activism and experience to the global fight to end poverty and injustice. This will be Jessica’s first term on the Board of Directors.

Delvina Bernard, NS
Delvina has spent the past 20 years working for not-for-profit organizations and has been involved in women’s rights and gender issues for the past three decades. Currently a doctoral student in the faculty of International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, her area of study examines the political economy of globalization which focuses on promoting a clearer understanding of how local development and global factors interact; alternative development paradigms; new forms of social agency in the global south which move beyond mainstream concepts of human development; a critical analysis of global development institutions; and an understanding of local responses – in particular, civil society organizations and social movements – to the activities of transnational capital and global enterprise. Delvina is starting her second term on the Board of Directors.

Mary Ellen MacCallum, BC
Mary Ellen worked for many years on international development projects and has been an Oxfam supporter for all of her adult life. Her work, first with First Nations people and Inuit, and subsequently overseas, has underscored the value of diversity and increased her awareness of the injustices experienced on a daily basis by people who are marginalized. To be effective as a board member, she believes it’s essential to recognize the role of equity and inclusiveness in counteracting injustice, to be respectful of all and know how to listen. Mary Ellen is returning for her second term on the Board and is Chair of the Policy Committee.

Membership in Action

At the Oxfam Gender Justice Summit.

The Benefits of Membership

A powerful community for change

Join a network of Oxfam supporters and advocates who connect online and at Oxfam events across the country.

A seat at
the table

Have the opportunity to participate in governance activities and Board of Directors’ nominations and elections.

A digital connection

Receive updates to keep you in the know on Oxfam’s programs, campaigns, and events.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why a membership fee?

Oxfam Canada is committed to an open and inclusive membership, encouraging its supporters to play an active role in support of its mission and its governance.

At the same time, we recognize that under the Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, members have significant authority and powers. For that reason, we have a membership fee and members are required to renew their membership on an annual basis to ensure we have up-to-date contact information for effective communication with all members.

2. Who is eligible to be a member?

An Oxfam Canada member is any supporter, 13 years of age or older, who supports Oxfam’s vision and mission, has signed the Code of Conduct has completed the registration process and is approved by the Board for membership.

All members are encouraged to contribute to Oxfam's work by voting on governance matters including elections for the Board, taking action in campaigns, volunteering, and donating as they are able.

3. How do I renew my membership?

Renewal is fast and easy. Members are invited to renew their membership online or by submitting the required information in writing to:

Oxfam Canada
39 McArthur Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1L 8L7

Multi-year membership options are not being offered at this time.

4. How long will it take for my membership renewal to be approved?

Oxfam Canada will confirm your membership within two (2) weeks of receipt of payment and application.

5. How will I know when to renew my membership next year?

Your annual renewal date will be one year after the date of your application. We will send you a renewal reminder by email (or by mail where email is unavailable) one month in advance of the renewal date.

If membership is not renewed before the renewal date, members will receive a further reminder two weeks after their renewal date. Membership status will end one month after the renewal date has passed if membership is not renewed.

6. What does the $25 membership fee contribute to?

Most grassroots organizations – service clubs, political parties, unions – levy dues or a membership fee that provides revenues to support the work of the organization and defray the costs of maintaining and engaging the membership. Participation in governance is restricted to ‘members in good standing’: those who have paid a fee and kept the organization abreast of changes in contact information.

7. Do I get a tax receipt for the $25 membership fee?

No. The Canada Revenue Agency stipulates that tax receipts cannot be issued for membership fees in this case. For more information, reference the CRA’s guidance for registered charities online.)

8. I’m a donor. Do I still have to pay the $25 membership fee?

Members who donate $25 or more each month to SharePlan may have their membership fee waived on an annual basis as long as they continue to donate at or above that rate.

9. What if I cannot afford the membership fee?

Prospective members who cannot afford the $25 membership fee can ask that it be waived.

10. What does it mean to be member of Oxfam Canada?

Oxfam Canada recognizes that it is through the joint effort of the organization’s members, Board and staff that the governance needs of the organization are met. Oxfam Canada engages and works with members to ensure effective governing of the organization.

Oxfam Canada commits to ensure that its members receive the appropriate information in a timely manner in order to be able to effectively participate in its governance.

Members participate in the organization’s governance by:

  • Nominating, contesting, and voting for elected positions. Members must be 18 years of age to be eligible for election to the Board of Directors.
  • Participating in regional and national summits
  • Providing feedback to the Board of Directors on policies and priorities

and through approving:

  • Bylaws
  • Special Resolutions
  • Appointment of auditors

Read Oxfam Canada’s Member Policy.

11. What happens if I don’t renew my membership?

Membership status will end one month after the renewal date has passed if membership is not renewed.

If you are not an Oxfam Canada member, you can still be a supporter! A supporter is a person who works in support of Oxfam programs, campaigns, outreach, fundraising, or administration on an unpaid basis. Supporters may be engaged in a community or campus-based group; as part of an Oxfam event or activity; online; in a volunteer position based in an Oxfam office; in a specialized role working directly with staff; on a project committee; or in other ways. Visit our Get Involved pages to find out how

Help Build the Movement

As a member, your support is an essential part in the fight against poverty and social injustice. Still have questions? Contact: ac.ma1563835441fxo@p1563835441ihsre1563835441bmem1563835441

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