Meet Breese McIlvaine!
You have likely seen her face across the Resource Exchange highlighting funding opportunities, fellowships, toolkits, and jobs. Or she may have welcomed you to the community, encouraged you to participate in an initiative, or helped you navigate our platform. Breese McIlvaine joined the World Pulse team in January as our new Online Community Assistant and she's the new go-to gal for your PulseWire community needs!
World Pulse: What brought you to World Pulse?
Breese McIlvaine: World Pulse's potential to dramatically change the world is what first caught my attention. In my studies and work in the field of international development, the problem of people's—and especially women's—lack of voice comes up repeatedly. Large communities of people around the world are marginalized by society and politics, and denied the opportunity to express themselves, their concerns, and their ideas. When I came upon World Pulse, I was excited to see the work it is doing to empower women around the world to share their voice. I'm excited to be part of the team!
WP: What is your background and how has it led you to this role in managing PulseWire?
Breese: I grew up living in Africa, the States, and Latin America which has lead me to be passionate about international and community development at an early age. Throughout my life, women in particular have inspired me to follow this passion—whether it was while working with Mayan women in rural Guatemala building vegetable gardens to feed their families and earn an income to send their children to school; hearing about Somali women risking their lives to establish a formal voice in their male and clan-dominated society to advocate for their needs; or listening to a young Canadian woman use her voice in a male-dominated genre of music—Hip Hop—to shed light on the issues facing women and girls, such as gender-based violence. I've seen first-hand some of the hardships women face around the world, and am repeatedly amazed at how brave, powerful, and compassionate they can be, and what they can accomplish despite incredible odds.
WP: What excites you most about the PulseWire platform?
Breese: The way PulseWire provides a forum for women to tell our stories, share our experiences, and connect with others in a safe and supportive environment makes it a powerful tool that fills a void for so many. From the Resource Exchange and Sharing Solutions sections to Global Events, PulseWire can be used to provide so many great resources.
WP: What has been the most personally empowering moment for you so far in the community?
Breese: Reading the vivid and personal testimonies that PulseWire members shared during the recent My Story program was a moving experience for me. Throughout the program, I learned about women from all over the world, the challenges they've overcome, the strength and courage they have, and what it means to share our stories.
WP: What is your vision for the future?
Breese: A world where women don't hesitate to take the lead to bring about positive change in our communities and the world, and are supported by others when we do so, instead of being held back on account of our gender.
WP: What do you want to tell the PulseWire community about yourself?
Breese: I am not only excited, but honoured to be a member of this community, and support you in any way that I can!