Thompson Rivers University

Lean In steps up to empower

  Posted on: March 3, 2017

Emiko Ohama

Emiko Ohama, president of the TRUSU Lean In – Leadership for Gender Equality Club, is an effervescent and enthusiastic figure on campus and in the community.

The Bachelor of Human Kinetics in Clinical Exercise Science and Health Promotion graduate is motivated to turn ideas into action. She also encourages others to become engaged in community efforts. “It’s really quite simple – extend yourself to help others.”

As the driving force behind the International Women’s Day Empower Conference on March 8, Emiko said, “Conversations about health, wellness, leadership and gender equality are our top focuses.”

Her vision of the event is to unify and inspire participants—including educators, professionals, athletes, student leaders and community representatives. The conference also benefits both employers and potential employees; the event offers numerous networking, recruitment and mentorship opportunities. “My goal is to empower attendees through successful skill building sessions. No matter how much life experience you have, you’ll learn something new to take away.”

The conference boasts three keynote speakers: United Nations Policy Advocate, Climate Change Activist and Global Speaker Steve S.J. Lee; Internationally Award Winning Speaker and Career Strategist Courtney Kirschbaum; and Psychic Medium, Michelle Morrison.

TRU students Madison Ellis, Chelsea Reith, Dana Prymak and Yasir Ali Khan will present on leadership and cover workplace strategies. Local high school student leaders will lead a presentation on gender equality. Emiko will also present on nutrition, portion distortion, proactive aging and goal setting with behaviour change theories.

Donations are welcome; proceeds will support the club’s overarching goal of empowering local underprivileged female youth and TRU students in financial distress with self-reliant income, work experience and physical activity. The club wants to strip the financial barriers from sports participation by sponsoring refereeing certification fees, uniforms, start-up equipment and shoes.

Vendors will also be on-hand: the TRU Education and Skills Training Program Retail Cart, Real Estate Network and Training Society, doTerra Wellness, Breath Integration Counselling & Training Centre, Carol Gourley, Cosmic Rocks, Oncore Seniors Society, Liberal Party of Canada Association, and Registered Acupuncturist Mike Lang.

Emiko recently received an invitation to attend the Commission on the Status of Women’s Youth Forum on Gender Equality and Sustainable Development at the UN Headquarters in New York. She will be leaving on March 10. She’s already in the planning stages for the Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Training Conference, which will take place in fall of 2017.

Tickets are $15 for students and $40 for community members. Businesses and community organizations can purchase a table for $170 to sponsor six students and two employees to attend.

Empower will be at the TRU Grand Hall from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, email or visit the Eventbrite page.


Lean In Committee