Meet 2021 Global Health Scholar Catherine Dillman

McGill Global Health Scholar Catherine Dillman is a Geography student with an Environment minor working with Dr. Claudia Mitchell of the Department of Integrated Studies in Education

McGill Global Health Scholar Catherine Dillman is a Geography student with a minor in Environment and a McGill Global Health Scholar supported by the Soe-Lin-Hecht Global Health Scholar Undergraduate Award. She is working with Dr. Claudia Mitchell on the Networks for Change and Well-being project.

"Through having the privilege of being able to work with Networks for Change and Well-Being, I have been able to not only amplify the voices of women and girls but aid in their ability to be empowered and empower others. As this is the end of a 7 year-long project, we have recently completed our Imbizo [Zulu for “meeting or “call”] ceremony honouring the girls' work and providing a space for them to come together and meet, as the sites are located in both South Africa and Indigenous communities in Canada. Much of the work involved in this project was preparing for this event and included the creation of a book, podcast, and biographies of different sites. In my role I have been able to aid in the publication of the book; Circle Back: Stories of Reflection, Connection and Transformation. Beyond attending meetings with the editors and ensuring their visions were able to come to light within the first publication to include pieces from both South Africa and Canada, I provided my own input and completed editing tasks for the pieces. As well, through working with girls in both South Africa and Canada, we have created a podcast series to provide an accessible platform for the girls to share their work from the book. This was done by collecting recordings of girls reading their powerful pieces and discussing their art, in order to ensure all members of Network for Change are able to participate with the digital divide in mind. Many of the responsibilities involved in this position require dedication to helping the women within Networks for Change through supporting them and their decisions and acting as constant foundational support.

While this internship has provided numerous exciting opportunities, I find one that I am so incredibly grateful for is the ability to meet and work with so many wonderful women who are constantly fighting against gender-based violence, sexual violence, and constantly empowering others. With this project being located in both South Africa and Canada, the perspectives and voices are so diverse, yet show so many commonalities between the two groups. I have loved the (online) workplace structure in ensuring that the women whom we are working with, their visions, and their voices will always come first and how this project is the definition of collaborative. The participants range in age from young elementary school girls to women who are well into their careers, yet the opinions and ideas shared are always mature and extremely thoughtful, which I have found to only reinforce the meaning and value that Networks for Change has."

Learn more about the McGill Global Health Scholars Undergraduate Program.

    McGill GHP Logo (McGill crest separated by a vertical bar from a purple globe and a partial arc with "McGill Global health Programs" in English & French)

McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous Peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg Nations. McGill honours, recognizes, and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which peoples of the world now gather. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Learn more about Indigenous Initiatives at McGill.

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