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International Woman’s Day: “Which woman inspires you?”

By Kaitlyn Balkovec

March 8, 2018



OISE staff and students share which woman inspires them and why.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, OISE News asked you – students, professors, staff and various members of the OISE community – “Which woman inspires you?”

From teachers to family members to celebrities, your responses helped highlight incredible women making a difference. 


Yetunde Banja, a PhD Student in the Department of Social Justice Education: 

“My mom is a woman who has endured so much adversity and has always been able to come through, especially when it comes to getting a degree. She was 40 when she decided that she wanted to go back to school and she did. She’s always been very strong and resilient.”

Priyanka Chandran, a U of T Masters in Aerospace Engineering grad who spoke with OISE News while visiting a friend who’s studying at OISE: 

“Beyoncé inspires me. The thing I love about her is that she’s a feminist. She’s not very outspoken but she puts on a persona of being bold and fierce and courageous when she performs. This is something I want to translate into my job as an engineer. I intend on being kind but assertive, polite and humble but firm.”



Lindsay Dupre, OISE Indigenous Education Liaison:

“Brittany Whitford is a Cree woman from Edmonton who is a social worker and a mom. She inspires me because she reminds me of the importance of family and taking care of ourselves and our communities. She approaches difficult conversations with kindness and love.”

Zahra Al-Amer, an English teacher from Saudi Arabia visiting OISE as part of a collaborative teaching program:

“My first English teacher was unique in all aspects and devoted to her career. She inspired me to follow her path and become an English teacher myself.”



Diane Giang, Business Officer in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development:

“Audrey Evans, a pediatric oncologist who co-founded the Ronald McDonald house inspires me. She’s always been very devoted to her profession and helping children with terminal diseases, especially during a time when there weren’t many females in the medical field.”

Justin Holloway, OISE Student Success Advisor:

“OISE Professor Bonnie Burstow inspires me because she’s a radical feminist who is fearless in standing up and speaking out for the most marginalized persons in society. She’s done that for decades.”

Kaanshika Mittal, OISE staff member and U of T Economics and Human Geography student:

“Oprah Winfrey inspires me because she does a lot of good work. It’s like a chain reaction, she does good things and inspires people which makes everyone else want to be inspiring too.”