Girl Up Alberta, political organization, creates new club at U of A


Connecting with other University of Alberta students can seem intimidating in a zoom class of 300, let alone organizing together for social change.

Enter Girl Up, a newly formed club at U of A designed to help students come together in pursuit of political and social action around women’s issues. Although Girl Up is new to Alberta – a club opened just a year ago in MacEwan – Girl Up was established in 2010 by the United Nations Foundation and has branches in over 125 countries. Although the scope of the organization is global, the specific goals of each club are determined by the interests and passions of its members.

Although the club focuses primarily on women’s issues, Elaine Tran, Girl Up Alberta outreach coordinator and sociology student at MacEwan, shares that this goal is flexible and inclusive.

“We still have the ability to focus on and embody a variety of issues,” Tran said. “There is room for non-binary people within Girl Up – one of our events team member is non-binary – so we include a wide range of different experiences. men who wanted to join us, we are quite open and accept everyone.

Tran says she received over 40 applications for new members after making the initial social media appeal.

“I see a lot of excitement,” Tran said. “I think it’s important for young people to come together to discuss the types of issues they are passionate about, to share what they can do to effectively contribute or add to these issues, or even to find solutions for them. “

To join the U of A’s new Girl Up club, interested students can fill out a Google Doc form.

For Tran, the Girl Up Alberta coalition (which encompasses all college clubs) has focused on providing access to accurate information through social media. A quick scroll from their Instagram shows links to mental health resources in Alberta, COVID-19 updates, and the promotion of a book club that currently reads Billy-Ray Belcourt, a local poet.

Tran herself first became interested in the organization after becoming involved in social issues while studying at MacEwan.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve been very involved in terms of women’s and gender issues over the past few years,” Tran said. “Watching how race and gender intersect is something that I really got into in an academic sense, and I feel like Girl Up has been a great opportunity for me to get involved and get involved. involve more. “

“Girl Up gives me a place to meet both like-minded people who have different opinions from mine, who have different lived experiences.”

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