Four community organizations will benefit from grants from the Gender and Women’s Studies (G&WS) program at Brandon University (BU) this year.

The G&WS program is providing $18,000 in funding through the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund. The Manitoba Harm Reduction Network and the Women’s Resource Centre will both benefit from $6,000 Work-Study Grants. Bear Clan Brandon and Inclusion Westman will receive $3,000 apiece in Program Grants.

“It’s extremely rewarding for our program, with the support of the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund, to be able to provide assistance to these organizations,” said Dr. Kelly Saunders, an Associate Professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program. “Their work benefits all of us in so many ways. The negative effects of the pandemic have been magnified in marginalized groups, and these organizations are playing a more vital role than ever in building stronger communities.”

The funding supports special projects, events such as speakers or workshops, and short-term programming. The Work-Study Grants also create student employment, with $3,000 of each of the two grants earmarked as stipends to pay students for summer jobs.

“The ability to support students in their summer employment is a significant aspect to this grant program,” said Dr. Etsuko Yasui, an Associate Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies.

“Brandon Bear Clan Patrol is a grassroots volunteer-based Indigenous program that aims to contribute to the safety and well-being of our community. We rely on community funding to be effective,” the Women’s Council of the Bear Clan Brandon said in a statement.

“These grants go out every year and we put out a call and work hard to distribute the funds each year and we’ve been very successful. It’s going to people in need and directly into their pockets and the organizations helping vulnerable people” said Dr. Kelly Saunders.