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Registration open for Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition presented by TD

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: December 2, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Registration opened today along with the launch of the new website for the Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition presented by TD.
Registration opened today along with the launch of the new website for the Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition presented by TD. University of Regina

Mark your calendars! The 12th annual University of Regina Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition presented by TD is just around the corner, on March 3, 2021. Registration opened today along with the launch of the new Inspiring Leadership Forum website, which has been designed to support the event’s transition for 2021 from an in-person forum to a virtual experience. Organizers plan to return to an in-person event for 2022, if possible.

“With each Inspiring Leadership Forum, we look head on at challenges and inequities that sometimes seem insurmountable,” says Pam Klein, Chair of the Forum and Chancellor of the University of Regina. “Yet, we learn through our courage within that we can thrive. This year we all live the pandemic. But through it all, we know that together we are stronger. The Inspiring Leadership Forum is that moment in time when we are inspired to draw on each other’s experiences and strengths. We need that now. Virtually is how we’ll do it!”

Regina’s premier leadership event will look and feel a little different in 2021, but it promises to deliver the same high-calibre speakers and networking opportunities that attendees have come to expect from and appreciate about the Forum.

“Attendees and sponsors can expect to see interactive virtual networking and engagement opportunities,” says Lisa Mitchell, Associate Vice-President, University Advancement & Communications. “As well, each attendee will receive a virtual swag bag – an online goody bag of special offerings and discounts from sponsors and businesses that attendees can use after the Forum. And, given the virtual format, we hope the event will attract an even greater number of participants from across Saskatchewan and beyond – wherever the internet can take us!”

The theme chosen for this year’s event is “The Courage Within”.

“Each event I have participated in whether as an attendee, emcee or panelist has moved me profoundly,” says Klein. “Moved me to reflect on our resilience amidst challenging circumstances. Moved me to share the Inspiring Leadership Forum experience with others. The committee chose the theme ‘The Courage Within’ and speakers who epitomize courage, because every day we call upon our courage to be and to do.”

With the transition to a virtual forum, organizers have changed the program from a full-day to a half-day event, helping to prevent screen fatigue and increase participant interaction. The Forum will feature three 30-minute live keynote presentations from three greatly anticipated and highly courageous women, each followed by a Q&A session:

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Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition presented by TD features keynote presentations from three greatly anticipated and highly courageous women who will speak to the theme “The Courage Within”.
Photos provided by (from l to r) Holly Austin Gibbs, Suki Kim, and Dr. Jen Welter.


Holly Austin Gibbs
is a survivor of child sex trafficking and an advocate against all forms of human trafficking. Her book, Walking Prey: How America’s Youth are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery, provides insight based on Gibbs’ own experience of commercial sexual exploitation at the age of 14 in 1992, in the hope that such insight will enable professionals to offer all victims compassion and appropriate care.

Suki Kim is an investigative journalist, award-winning author, and the only writer ever to have lived undercover in North Korea for immersive journalism. With unprecedented access, Kim’s work sheds new light on a place that has been, for the past 70 years, completely shrouded from the eyes of the word.

Dr. Jen Welter has been called a trailblazer and a pioneer. Etched in the record books as the first female coach in the U.S. National Football League, Welter broke a nearly impossible physical barrier in the history of modern day sports, when she became the first woman to play running back in a men’s professional football season.

“Each speaker was thoughtfully selected,” says Klein. “I am in awe of how they each found the courage to do what mattered most. It is the collective of their experiences that I look forward to hearing.”

“All three speakers have such different and interesting stories to share about facing and overcoming adversity by tapping into the courage they found within themselves,” says Mitchell. “No matter your area of interest, this year’s speakers are guaranteed to inspire you!”

In addition to creating a great speaker line up, event organizers have also been able to lower individual ticket prices to $75, allocating 100 per cent of the proceeds to support a new four-year $30,000 scholarship at the U of R – the Inspiring Leadership Academic Entrance Award. This undergraduate scholarship recognizes students who, through their commitment to academic success, volunteer activities, and community leadership, have demonstrated the potential to lead. The first scholarship will be awarded in the 2021 Fall semester. 

“The Inspiring Leadership Forum is all about women, and those who identify as women. It’s about leadership – the challenges we face, the strengths we possess, our resilience and compassion, and the common experiences that tie us together,” says Mitchell. “As leaders today, we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and so, we felt that there was no better way to honour our predecessors than to create an opportunity for a future leader. We believe in the power of education to change lives and so we are leveraging this forum to lift up the promising young leaders of tomorrow.”

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