Adrienne Clarkson with pink, orange and yellow floral pattern in the background
Adrienne Clarkson

Former Canadian governor general, bestselling author and journalist Adrienne Clarkson will headline U of G’s HeForShe virtual celebration on March 10, an event that recognizes gender equality initiatives of students and community supporters.

Clarkson will share her varied life experiences, education and career and discuss how resilience helps develop the mental, spiritual and emotional muscles to deal with life’s challenges.

“Resilience is all about having the ability to form and re-form your own particular sets of talents and abilities to meet new challenges,” said Clarkson. “And meeting new challenges throughout your life is what resilience is all about.”

Clarkson arrived in Canada from Hong Kong with her family in 1942 and made the journey from a poor child refugee to accomplished broadcaster, journalist and distinguished public servant. She was Canada’s 26th governor general from 1999 to 2005 and later co-founded the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, which helps involve new citizens in Canadian life.

She is the bestselling author of Heart Matters: A Memoir, a biography of Dr. Norman Bethune for the Extraordinary Canadians series; Room for All of Us; and Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship.

Initiated by the United Nations, the HeForShe movement is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality by standing against negative stereotypes and behaviours.

In addition to Clarkson’s talk, the U of G event will celebrate students and businesses championing gender equality.

The following awards will be announced:

  • Resilience award: Two $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to women students in business and in engineering who have shown leadership and resilience through adversity. This scholarship is renamed each year to celebrate the leadership of the keynote speaker of the annual HeForShe event at U of G.
  • Ally Award: This $2,500 scholarship recognizes a U of G undergraduate student who has demonstrated through actions and support that they are an ally to gender equality.
  • Impact Award: This award recognizes a business or organization in Guelph-Wellington region that champions or supports initiatives to promote and improve gender equity in the organization and the community. The winner receives a plaque and a $2,500 donation to a local charity made in their name.

To date, U of G has awarded $40,000 to students that champion gender equality.

The HeForShe at U of G event is a collaboration among the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, Gryphon Football and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Previous events have included keynote speakers from a variety of industries, including Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada, and business news reporter Amanda Lang.

Register for the event via HopIn.