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1974 - 1996 (Creation)
- Port Coquitlam Area Women's Centre
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The Port Coquitlam Area Women's Centre Society was established as the result of efforts by a small group of women who met originally as a consciousness-raising group in 1974. They saw the need to establish a place for women to meet, give support, share their knowledge and experience, and to have a place that could provide a safe environment for women in crisis. With the support of the city councils of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody, the women were given an old concession stand to convert into the Port Coquitlam Area Women's Centre in 1975. The society itself incorporated under the British Columbia Societies Act in 1975, and ran the centre, which provides not only a meeting place, but also information, referrals and volunteer opportunities. The society also lobbies government, and is involved in community projects, such as the Coquitlam Women's Transition House.
The Port Coquitlam Area Women's Centre is run as a collective. Committees are formed as required. Each committee is responsible to the membership and gives a report at the general monthly meetings. A steering committee coordinates all activities. It consists of five women with a rotating membership; every three months one of its members is replaced in order to allow more women in the centre to be involved in the process of decision making. This structure ensures that there are experienced members on the steering committee at all times, but allows new (and inexperienced) members to participate and learn. The steering committee also ensures that decisions made at general meetings are carried out and brings issues forward to the general membership for action.
The Port Coquitlam Area Women's Centre continues to be active to this day, and operates under the guiding principles of feminism, including the idea that women have the right to be full and equal members of society. It is a member of the National Action Committee for the Status of Women; the BC/Yukon Association of Women's Centres; the Legal, Education, and Action Fund; and the BC Coalition for Abortion Clinics.
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Finding aid prepared by Krisztina Laszlo, Carolyn Casenas, Frances Fournier, Enid Britt (March 2000).
Updated by Richard Dancy (January 2006).