Women Talk Red Deer is empowering women one story at a time.
Red Deer’s Women Talk chapter was founded a year ago and has given Central Alberta women a platform to share their stories since.
The group holds an event every month where two women speak for 15-20 minutes.
“Our motto and mandate is ‘ordinary women sharing extraordinary stories,’” said Heidi Cabay, Women Talk Red Deer director. “Through our stories we can connect with and empower other women.”
Cabay said when she was younger, her father murdered her mother and “completely took away her voice.”
“I believe in sharing stories because in my personal life, violence has killed. Sharing stories is so important,” she said.
There is no criteria for speakers at Women Talk events, said Cabay.
“If you’re a woman and you have a heartbeat, you can come share your story.
“We have women from all walks of life: doctors, authors, moms, grandmothers, people who have been homeless, people who have experienced murder, successful business owners, and entrepreneurs,” she said.
Lacombe’s Amanda Burt and her mother Nicole Burt spoke at Tuesday’s Women Talk Red Deer at abc Country Restaurant.
A serious collision put Amanda Burt in the hospital for 13 months and left her without the use of the right side of her body.
The Red Deer chapter has been a big success since opening in October, 2016, said Cabay.
“It’s been amazing … and we’ve had a lot of surrounding support, but it would be nice to have more women from Red Deer to step in and join our tribe,” she said.
The events have anywhere between 10 and 45 people in attendance. The group wants to reach out to more women, Cabay said.
“Everyone has a story and sometimes people aren’t ready to share that story yet, but we encourage women to come to listen and support other stories,” she said.
The next Women Talk Red Deer is Feb. 27 at the abc Country Restaurant.
Shirleylee Shields and Nicole Michalski will be the speakers at the event.
More information can be found on the Women Talk Red Deer Facebook page.
There are 10 Women Talk chapters across Western Canada hosting monthly events. New chapters will open in Africa and Mexica later this year.