Good news comes as a fellow woman in healthcare leadership is appointed to the Order of Canada. The well-deserved honour was given to Lucille Harper among other Nova Scotians, highlighting the meaningful progression of the 71-year-old throughout her lifetime of service. Since 1988, Lucille has been the Executive Director of the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and is known for her lifetime work in caring and sharing. The type of caring and sharing Harper has dedicated her life to is in organizing and fighting for a more equitable and compassionate society.
Lucille commented, “Yes it is ‘nice,’ but it is also radical, deep and profound and absolutely necessary.” She argues that caring and sharing are not to be thought of as simple as it sounds.
Lucille has advocated for social justice for women since her university years in the early 1980s. Speaking about that time, Lucille recalled that previously unaddressed issues of pay inequities and violence against women, including sexual harassment in the workplace, hidden sexual assault and abuse against children, intimate partner violence, racism, and neglected women’s mental health issues. From her connections came the Antigonish Women’s Resources Centre, which expanded and became the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services.
Harper still envisions a society where single mothers get a chance to provide the lives they want for themselves and their children. A society where victims of sexualized violence get protection, justice and the support needed to heal. Where everyone not only gets the help they need to live with dignity but also knows how to treat those around them with respect.
“When we talk about caring and sharing in those profound ways, it means we need to interrupt and disrupt all the systems of inequality. And that includes capitalism.”