Member Spotlight: An Inspiring 93-Year-Old Activist

Dee Stapleton, an inspiring NYWC member

If you’re curious about what it’s like to be an NYWC member, talk to Dee Stapleton. After all, she was one of many who supported the creation of North York Women’s Centre in 1988, and has been connected with it ever since.

“We wanted to help women and girls, and it’s been so worthwhile,” says Dee. “I want to keep encouraging NYWC’s important work. I have so much admiration for how they’ve managed, especially during the pandemic.”

“I give full marks to NYWC.”

Dee’s also a member of the Toronto Raging Grannies, a group of women who sing at events to protest and raise awareness about issues such as peace, health care, the environment, social justice and more. This activism and her support of NYWC reflects her passion for feminism, women’s empowerment, equality and wage equity.

“It’s still very, very necessary to support women and girls’ education and help them start work and businesses,” she says. “I give full marks to North York Women’s Centre and how they’ve helped so many women, immigrants, trans women and other people who have been left behind. Some of them are running businesses of their own now!”

Dee likes to give back, but she’s also aware of what she gains from NYWC membership. “It’s helped keep me in touch with the younger generation, made me more aware of politicians and policies, and kept my brain sharp,” she says.

“Follow your passion.”

As a 93-year-old activist, Dee revels in seeing change unfold. “You slowly see some progress,” she says. “Like having a woman mayor again: it’s the kind of thing that lifts all women and racialized people up, particularly now. I’m really, really excited about how things are going.”

Dee encourages women of all ages to support the causes and activities that mean the most to them. “Follow your passion,” she says. “If you can’t do it in your work, do it on the side. It’s so important to stay engaged and connected.”

Are you curious about NYWC membership? Find out how you can make a difference, even with a minimal time commitment. Plus, read about our organization, guiding principles and team members, bookmark our jobs page or connect with us!

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