Meet our team
The Gender Equity Learning and Knowledge Exchange team is made up of dynamic leaders from BWSS Battered Women’s Support Services.
Angela Marie MacDougall
Through her community-based organizing, frontline work and activism over three decades, Angela Marie MacDougall has been deeply involved in movements for social justice.
Since the nineties, Angela has developed training curricula from an intersectional and anti-oppression framework while her work as a trainer with community-based organizations, systems players, universities and in the larger public sphere has always emphasized the influence of a community-based response toward gender, racial, economic justice. Angela’s impact includes development of empowerment and advocacy-based program and service delivery models that address gender-based violence and violence against women that are grounded in strong theoretical frameworks that include feminist trauma-informed analysis that integrate the role substance use and mental wellness.
Angela Marie MacDougall has edited and/or written ten manuals on addressing gender-based violence and violence against women from an intersectional anti-oppression feminist framework and has spoken to hundreds of groups throughout Canada, the United States and in China. An ever present theme and focus of her work has been the range of social inequities and environmental problems associated with colonialization and the generalized criminalization of communities of colour that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. Her parents met in the Black community known as Hogan’s Alley that in the seventies was razed by Vancouver City Hall, so her work grows directly from her own experiences as a bi-racial Black woman who grew up amongst violent racist misogyny both at home, at school and in the larger community while and she became politicized to end violence against women after her high school friend was raped and murdered while on a date. She also has conducted extensive participatory action research on numerous aspects relating to gender, race and violence.
Angela Marie MacDougall is a founding member of Feminists Deliver a provincial organization dedicated to shedding a light on the urgent issues facing marginalized communities in British Columbia and the grassroots struggles leading the way for transformative change while build transnational connections between grassroots intersectional feminist movements; and re-envisioning the global women’s agenda as one that centers a diversity of grassroots intersectional feminist voices. She is a long standing member of Vancouver’s February 14th Women’s Memorial March, the first women’s memorial march was held in 1992 in response to the murder of a woman in the Vancouver neighbourhood named the Downtown Eastside. Angela is founding member of Intersectional Feminist Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative that brings together researchers, academics, data and policy analysts, students and community organizers to provide critical research, data, policy and strategic support for the ending violence, gender equity and social justice movements. Ms. MacDougall was named a Remarkable Woman by the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Magazine named her one of Vancouver’s most powerful people.
Rosa Elena Arteaga
Rosa Elena Arteaga (she/her), Manager of Direct Service and Clinical Practice, Battered Women’s Support Services
Rosa Elena Arteaga has been working in the anti-violence field for over twenty years delivering workshops on violence against self-identified girls and women and providing training to service providers at the national and international level.
In her role as Manager of Direct Services and Clinical Practice, she oversees a number of programs within BWSS. Since 2008, Rosa Elena has researched and addressed the issue of battered women being wrongfully arrested and has been successful with a number of police complaints.
Rosa Elena holds a Master’s degree on Narrative Therapy and Community Work and she works from a decolonizing, feminist, anti-oppression, practice.
Since 2010, Rona has worked in various roles towards ending gender based violence.
She is a strong advocate for violence prevention and worked as facilitator for youth led workshops on dating violence and believes in the importance of raising awareness about the intersections of gender-based violence and equity. The power of social media as a tool is not lost on her and in her current role she works as part of the communications and resource development teams at Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) and is currently the Manager of Human Resources at BWSS.
Rona is excited to be part of the Gender Equity Learning and Knowledge Exchange working towards making resources and information more accessible.
Harsha Walia is the Manager of Research and Policy at BWSS.
She has organized in feminist, anti-racist, migrant justice, anti-capitalist, abolitionist, and anti-colonial movements for the past two decades, including through movements such as No One Is Illegal, Defenders of the Land, and February 14 Women’s Memorial March. Harsha is the award-winning author of Undoing Border Imperialism (2013, AK Press) and Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist nationalism (2021, Haymarket Books). She is also the co-author of the participatory and community-engaged work of Never Home: Legislating Discrimination in Canadian Immigration as well as Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women in Vancouver Downtown Eastside. Trained in the law, Harsha has made numerous presentations locally, provincial, federally and internationally on justice issues. She is the former Project Coordinator of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and past Executive Director of the BCCLA.
Kirstin is a Research and Policy Analyst for BWSS.
Kirstin is a Woods Cree woman and a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band in northern Saskatchewan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria. Kirstin is passionate about serving Indigenous women, families and communities and has spent her career thus far in program development and coordination roles, health and environmental policy research and youth and student support services. Kirstin is committed to learning traditional Cree skills and land-based knowledges, and enjoys fishing, berry, mushroom and medicine picking with her family in northern Saskatchewan, as well as hiking, cycling and snowshoeing.
Melody is a Research and Policy Analyst for BWSS.
She brings multiple years of experience working as a Research Assistant on the Indigenous Women in Renewable Energy Project, and is knowledgeable in conducting and analyzing community-based research from a critical, decolonial, feminist perspective, including methods for collecting and analyzing research material, qualitative interviewing, and analysis and research ethics. Previously, she has worked at the international feminist knowledge network Gender at Work, as well as the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.
Currently, Melody sits on the Board of Directors for 世代同行會 Yarrow Intergenerational Society for Justice in Vancouver’s Chinatown.