FROM OUR TEAM
We recognize that much of the language used in WYN's -- previously known as Indigo Girls Group -- programming is not inclusive to transgender and non-binary people. We are working to become a safer and more inclusive space for everyone who would like to be a part of a feminist-led organization that works to empower marginalized genders.
With the offer of inclusivity, we must also work to change our language and programming to include the experiences of transgender and non-binary people. We are currently undertaking a review of all programming to increase inclusivity for different gender identities.
If you see language or messaging on our website or social media, in our name or in our programming that does not reflect these values please know it is under review and it is our priority to do better.
Willow Youth Network
WYN is an organization run by young feminists for young feminists.
Through diverse mediums, we aim to educate and create discussion surrounding current societal themes for feminists, themes relevant in both local and global contexts. We foster a safer, non-judgemental, and supportive space to learn and grow together. We make mistakes and learn from them in order to become better global citizens.
At WYN, we're equipping young people with the tools to become change-makers in life.
Our programming focuses include youth engagement, discussion-based learning, and asking difficult questions about ourselves and others.
Our programming is constantly changing and evolving.
We focus on many topics, some include gender barriers, self-care, anti-oppression, the role of feminists globally (i.e. in developing countries), media and advertising, environment, mental well-being, women in STEM, power and pride, and much more.
Willow Youth Network wishes to build a network of youth who practice intersectionality and anti-oppression in their leadership as they build a better world. We would like to become community institutions, where youth come to learn about the world and themselves through discussion-based learning.
We have chosen to use the willow tree to represent our organization for 2 reasons:
It has a strong and adaptable root system that enables it to thrive in a variety of challenging environments. We seek to follow this example by being a strong adaptable organization firmly rooted in the needs of the communities we serve.
Willow trees also create a beautiful, welcoming and calming environment, and many members have fond memories of playing in and around willow trees as children. Likewise, we aim to create safe nurturing environments where people can learn and grow.
Our founder, Adele Heagle, comes from a family of inspiring women. The name Indigo comes from the folklore her mother shared with her as a young girl. Indigo children were supposedly put on Earth as wise beings that would create positive change around them.
During her undergrad in Guelph, Adele saw a clear gap in girl’s programming. There was limited opportunity for accessible spaces where all self-identifying young women were welcomed and a high need for peer-to-peer support. She worked to try and fill this gap with the Indigo Girls program. Soon the clubs themselves grew and a team of passionate women leaders helped to establish the program with a strong foundation. These leaders took the concept to their own communities and that was just the beginning of the Indigo Girls Group.
In 2021, Indigo Girls Group underwent organizational change in order to better represent the evolving community of Indigo Girls Group. The organization as a whole voted to rename IGG to Willow Youth Network. The mission and vision changed accordingly, ushering in a brand new era for the organization.