Meghan Chorney is the new Co-Chair of Equal Voice Manitoba and a community leader. In an interview with Equal Voice staff, she shares about her community engagement experience and offers words of encouragement to 2019 DoV delegates.
What led you to get involved with Equal Voice?
I went to university with the former Co-Chair of Equal Voice Manitoba. She let me know about Equal Voice’s work, and invited me to become involved. It has been an amazing opportunity to build connections across the political spectrum. I have long history of political involvement – I worked for a Member of Parliament, I worked at the Manitoba Legislature and I now sit on the board of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba.
DoV 2019 puts a strong focus on taking local action, an important part of any politician’s role. What community-building initiatives are you involved with?
I have extensive experience organizing and planning youth retreats for my church. Our retreats bring together youth from Manitoba and North Western Ontario. It is an opportunity for young people, ages 12 – 28, to learn from one another and about the world around them. Many youth come from small towns and they do not always have these opportunities.
What are some highlights and learnings from the events that you have planned?
At the recent retreat in Brandon, there was one youth who had never attended before. I took the time to sit with them, talk, and shepherded them around. Less than 24 hours later, they didn’t need me. they were immersed in the community. It’s a highlight because that is what retreats are about – making connections and growing.
We have also introduced nametags at retreats so youth can write their pronouns. We have also introduced mixed-gender dorm rooms. We are working to make our retreats inclusive for trans and gender non-conforming people.
Do you have any advice for DoV delegates who will be putting forward project under the engagement fund?
Take a leap now that you have this opportunity. If you believe something in your community is important – take action. You are an expert. And, when you attend the Ottawa summit, take the time to find people who have the same interests and aspirations. If you meet someone who right away feels like a friend, you should hang on to them, you will help each other along the way.