On Friday, Sept. 20, author Lindy West will speak at Knox United Church as a fundraiser for the Women’s Health Clinic (WHC).
West is the author of a New York Times bestselling memoir, Shrill, which was adapted into a comedy show for Hulu (streaming on Crave in Canada). She is also an opinion writer for the New York Times, the founder of I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens, and a co-founder of the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign.
The event, which is co-sponsored by the Women-Trans Spectrum Centre and the Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg, comes in advance of Wests’ forthcoming book of essays The Witches Are Coming and a second season of Shrill.
Amy Tuckett-McGimpsey, the communications team leader at WHC, says they have set admission at a more accessible price point, with student tickets at $25. Regular tickets are $35. There are also a limited amount of tickets to a reception after the event, listed at $100 each.
According to Nadine Sookermany, executive director of the WHC, West is the perfect speaker for this event.
“Lindy is an outspoken advocate around choice and women’s bodies,” Sookermany says. “(She’s) outspoken in a political and also entertaining and accessible way.”
West’s talk will not only cover abortion issues, but also feminism in general and body positivity, which the WHC terms “body peace,” Tuckett-McGimpsey says.
With the abortion issue reopened south of the border, Spookermany says that “in 2019, we’re facing the most interesting times when it comes to access to abortion and choice and women’s reproductive health. It’s not what I would have imagined. I’ve been doing this work for 20-plus years, (and) if you asked me 20 years ago ‘would you be dealing with this issue in 2019,’ I would have laughed.”
WHC is publicly funded, but this fundraising supplements the extra work they do. WHC gives out $20,000 a year of free birth control and safer sex supplies. This program is largely funded by donations, including an annual food and wine fundraiser and a supportive donor base.
Built more than 35 years ago, the WHC building is due for renovations, as they continue to work to enhance their services.
“Transformation is key, and we want to stay in the game,” Sookermany says.
The WHC continues to work with organizations outside of Winnipeg to “ensure that women across the province have equitable access (to health care),” Sookermany says. “We want midwives and other people that support birth to be available to everyone.”
Lindy West will speak at the WHC fundraiser on Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. at Knox United Church (400 Edmonton St.). Tickets are available on EventBrite.
Published in Volume 74, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 19, 2019)