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Inaugural Joy MacPhail Women’s Leadership Showcase to inspire the next generation of trailblazers

University News | 02.14.23

Adler University is hosting its inaugural Joy MacPhail Women’s Leadership Showcase on March 8 to support and promote the next generation of women leaders.  

Photo of Clare Beckton

Keynote speaker Clare Beckton is an esteemed, award-winning advocate, author, and former senior government official for the advancement of women.

Supported by the Adler University Vancouver Foundation, the event will be held from 9-11 a.m. PST on International Women’s Day and will include an inspiring keynote address by Clare Beckton, a panel discussion of influential leaders and Adler students, and remarks from Joy MacPhail, who served as the first Vancouver-based chair of the Adler University Board of Trustees from 2018-22. Registration is open through March 1. 

“Inspired by Joy’s leadership and her commitment to social justice, this showcase will provide a forum where we can share our collective experience, for attendees to each begin to see themselves in their own leadership journey,” said Sandra Song, Ph.D., department chair of the Public Policy and Administration Programs at Adler University.  

Keynote speaker Beckton is an esteemed, award-winning advocate, author, and former senior government official for the advancement of women. She is the author of “Own-it Your Success,” “Your Future Your Life,” “The Media and the Law in Canada,” and many articles on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A former law professor, she is also the founder of the Carleton Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership and a 2022 inductee into the WXN Canada’s 100 most powerful women hall of fame. 

Photo of Oluwabunmi Oni

Oluwabunmi Oni

Beckton will join a panel that includes Si Sityaawks (Jessica Wood), associate deputy minister of the Declaration Act Secretariat Province of British Columbia; Krista Thompson, former CEO of Covenant House Vancouver; and Tara Brown, diversity and inclusion director for Royal Bank of Canada’s B.C. region. They will be joined by two MPPA students, Sofio Fotskhverashvili and Oluwabunmi Oni, for a morning conversation on their personal experiences and provide tools for the next generation of women in leadership roles. 

“The showcase will be an opportunity to network with each other, to learn from each other, and to highlight the important role of Adler University in training our future public policymakers and social justice warriors,” Dr. Song said.  

In addition, one female-identifying student in the Joy MacPhail Master of Public Policy and Administration Program will be awarded the first MPPA Leadership Scholarship, totaling $10,000. 

Photo of Sofio Fotskhverashvili

Sofio Fotskhverashvili

The showcase and scholarship are first-of-its-kind initiatives by the Adler University Vancouver Foundation following the creation of the Joy MacPhail Fund, which is designed to support students of the Joy MacPhail Master of Public Policy and Administration Program. The master’s program was renamed in 2022 in honor of MacPhail for her nine years of dedication to the institution as a board member and her contributions to community health and wellness as a longtime member of the British Columbia New Democratic Party. 

Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, MacPhail first rose to prominence as a member of Premier Mike Harcourt’s cabinet in British Columbia and served in the cabinet of Premier Glen Clark. She has served in various roles, including Minister of Health, Minister of Finance, Deputy Premier, and Leader of the Opposition. In 2021, she was appointed the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors, for her political contributions and advocacy of underserved and marginalized communities. 

MacPhail will provide welcoming remarks and moderate the showcase.  

RSVPs are required by March 1 to attend the event either in person at the Terminal City Club or virtually via Zoom. 

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