The INSPIRE Interviews
Inspire: The Women's Portrait Project founder Heather Doughty sits down (virtually) with Inspire Women for some informal coffee conversations.
Prepare to be inspired.
The INSPIRE InterviewsSep 27, 2021
Dr. Sonya Richmond: The INSPIRE Interviews
Dr. Sonya Richmond was recognized as part of the inaugural #SheInspiresMe Campaign in 2021. Nominated by Sean, here is her story:
Dr. Sonya Richmond (PhD Forestry), worked for almost a decade as a GIS Analyst assisting in the development of award winning Provincial Birding Atlases and publishing her research as a professional Ornithologist. In 2019 she sold her home and donated her possessions to fund a planned 4 year, 24,000 km trek across Canada on the world’s longest pathway – The Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail). While very few people have made this trek in its entirety, none have done so for a cause and with the primary purpose of promoting diversity, accessibility and multiculturalism in the outdoors while striving to get youth engaged with and connected to nature through Citizen Science.
Increasingly concerned about the influence of screen time on youth, her goal is to get young Canadians to spend more time in nature and interested in exploration toward becoming engaged leaders in their communities as well as lifelong environmental stewards. So far, in 330 days on the trail she has trekked more than 7000 km, given more than 100 presentations, and been featured in more than 75 articles, interviews, and podcasts across Canada and around the world. Her undertaking has been supported and featured by Nature Newfoundland, Parks Canada, the Island Nature Trust, Nature New Brunswick, the Boreal Legacy Project, and Ontario Nature. While hiking she provides daily updates through her blog (www.comewalkwithus.online), facebook page, and instagram feed – all of which are freely available to be followed by anyone. Her hike has been sponsored by Bird Studies Canada, and is advised by members of Canada’s Explorer’s Club. In addition she has been named a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, honoured as Great Trail Pathfinder, and recently been funded as an RCGS Expedition.
She and her dedication are inspirational.
Malaika Collette: The INSPIRE Interviews
My name is Malaika Collette and I am 17 years old. The climate crisis is an issue I both worry about and fight for. As a young person living in such an uncertain world, I see the news of climate related disasters, extremely high carbon dioxide levels and corporations continuing to favour profit over our one and only planet. I will no longer sit back and watch all of this unfold before my eyes. It is time for action and I am going to do everything I can to make a difference.
In May of 2019, I attended my first climate strike, I knew this was just the beginning. Since then, I have begun taking action in more ways and learning more indepthly about the climate crisis, why it is happening and what I can do. Much of my activism and who I am was formed in the Youth Leadership in Sustainability program. This program gave me the knowledge, skills, confidence and connections to take action. Since then I have continued learning and speaking out in a variety of ways including organizing events, presenting to the media and politicians and joining local, national and global groups to collaborate with like-minded youth.
As a youth who will feel the impacts of climate change in my life, this issue worries me. Will I make a difference? What can I do, I’m only one person?
As youth we know that there is no one else to do it for us, so we must act. I know that I would feel immensely guilty if I did not act and use my voice to raise awareness on the climate crisis. I would not know what to tell future generations. My generation can and will make the change necessary if we act quick enough.
I never imagined that I would consider myself a climate activist but you never know what you can accomplish if you step outside your comfort zone and do what you know is right.
Kate Suhr: The INSPIRE Interviews
Heather Doughty sits down with Kate Suhr, signer-songwriter.
Here is her story: I have never really thought of myself as an “inspiration”. I am the kind of gal who flies by the seat of her pants, rarely in one residence for more than a few years, who quite literally lives paycheck to paycheck – all in the pursuit of singing and acting. Inspiring? I wasn’t so sure about that. However, after taking some time to reflect upon my journey (and opening up to a few very dear friends who talked me out of my insecurities), I reminded myself that I am absolutely brimming with one particular feeling – gratitude. Gratitude for the beautiful soul who thought me fit enough for a nomination, for my family and tribe, for Heather and this project, for the incredible women in our community who are paving the way each and every day, and for our village that works hard to lift one another up through adversity and hardship no matter the cost. I know there is always room to grow, but from where I stand, all I can see is love and perseverance. With all of that being said, I do not think I would be where I am today (9:07 pm in my bed on my laptop in St Jacob’s ON on a Sunday night) if it were not for the borough I grew up in. The love and
support I have been given from this town makes me feel quite emotional to be honest. The Inspire Project is an exciting one and I am truly humbled and grateful to be included in such a heartening and impressive group of women.
Read Kate's full story at https://inspirethewomensportraitproject.com/projects/peterborough/kate-suhr/