Celebrating Katie Gingerich as a voice of women for peace

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

On May 8, 2021, Founder and Executive Director of The Ripple Effect Education, Katie Gingerich, was recognized as an outstanding representation of the incredible peace work of Canadian women. Gingerich received the 2021 Kim Phúc Award for Youth Peace Leadership for her work supporting youth through conflict resolution. Following the award ceremony, staff from the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement caught up with Gingerich to discuss what the award means to her.


In 2014, The Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) launched their Peace Awards to honour the contributions of Canadian women who spend their lives working to make the world a better place. These awards foreground the legacy of Canadian women peacebuilders, commemorating the stories of Muriel Duckworth, Tshaukuesh Elizabeth Penashue, Shirley Farlinger, Anne Goodman, Kim Phúc, and Ursula Franklin. Nominated by people in their community, each year’s award recipients are recognized for their ongoing commitment to peace through education and advocacy.

Visit the VOW Peace Awards webpage to learn more about the legacies behind each award.

On May 8th, 2021, award winners from 2020 and 2021 were presented with their own VOW awards, and Katie Gingerich, Founder and Executive Director of The Ripple Effect Education (TREE) received the 2021 Kim Phúc Award for Youth Peace Leadership. Phúc dedicated her life to restoring hope and happiness to the lives of children affected by war around the world. The Award for Youth Peace Leadership is dedicated to her peacebuilding story, and honours a woman committed to supporting youth between the ages of 18 and 30 years old.

Katie Gingerich discusses conflict resolution outdoors with a group of youth

Katie Gingerich discusses conflict resolution outdoors with a group of youth

 

For her work with Canadian youth, Katie Gingerich was nominated for the 2021 Kim Phúc award by TREE board member, Dennis Gingerich. Katie Gingerich founded TREE with support from the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement, first as a member of the Peace Incubator program and presently as one of the Centre’s Core Collaborators. VOW reflected that TREE’s “holistic approach to conflict resolution is extraordinary because it invites youth and community members to engage in peace work in practical and exciting ways.”

“It is an honour to be recognized amongst a group of accomplished, focused and persistent women. It's humbling to be acknowledged by my peers, and alongside Nikou Salamat [the 2020 Youth Peace Award Recipient] for this award," shares Gingerich.

It feels like my work and journey is just starting, and this is continuous, life-long work.

Katie Gingerich, 2021

When asked to name three inspirational women she has turned to throughout her peacebuilding journey, Gingerich lists scholars Kathy Bickmore, Reina Neufeldt, and Christina Parker, whose research has guided her own practice. These leading peacemakers alongside a robust group of colleagues and friends have inspired Gingerich in her activism and peace work since the very beginning.

Finally, when asked what advice she would give to future social entrepreneurs and Canadian peacebuilders, Gingerich emphasized the importance of good storytelling. “As leaders and stewards of [peace] work, we hold responsibility for sharing the stories of our work and the impact generated.”

Thank you VOW for sharing this story. Congratulations once again to Katie Gingerich and TREE!


Watch the 2021 Peace Awards ceremony on YouTube, to discover other outstanding recipients from 2020 and 2021.