YWKW event hosts Sophie Gregoire Trudeau

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The Young Woman’s Christian Association Kitchener-Waterloo (YWKW) held their YW Rise Up Breakfast at Bingeman’s Conference Centre with guest speaker Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and interviewer Lisa LaFlamme.

The breakfast took place on May 23, with money raised at the event supporting women, children and gender diverse individuals in the Kitchener-Waterloo community. Individual tickets cost $250, while tickets for a table of eight cost $1,800.

Guests were seated at round tables throughout the room and were served breakfast by Bingemans staff while listening to a Q&A with local female entrepreneurs Francine Gall from Acapulco Pools, Erin Moraghan from Nutrition for Learning and Jenny De Cicco from Gina Studio Estético.

Following this, Gregoire Trudeau and LaFlamme took the stage.

“We are honored to have Sophie here today to share her personal stories of empowerment, many of which shechronicles in her new book Closer Together: Knowing Ourselves, Loving Each Other,” said Karen Coviello, President of YWKW.

LaFlamme is a journalist, broadcaster and the first women to host CTV National News. A Kitchener local, LaFlamme was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2022, following her 2019 role as an officer to the Order. She was also named a member of the Order of Ontario in 2017 for her role in promoting human rights, including her involvement in improving education for Afghan women.

In an introductory question to Grégoire Trudeau, LaFlamme asked about her mindset since the announcement of her separation, and what coping skills she employs to maintain a healthy state of mind.

Grégoire Trudeau is a speaker, ambassador for youth self-esteem, and the former spouse of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Her first book, Closer Together, was released on April 23 and leads readers on a “deeply personal journey toward self-knowledge, acceptance, and empowerment, drawing on the expertise of top psychologists, psychiatrists and thought leaders,” according to the title’s Penguin Random House Canada blurb.

For her novel, Grégoire Trudeau interviewed 20 different experts in multiple fields from neuroscientists to dehumanization experts. She explains how traumatic life events can contribute to body and brain stressors that reject the brain from undergoing a full mental analysis of these traumas after they have taken place.

“Everybody has their own challenges and obstacles in their lives, we all have a story. We’re all one trauma away from each other,” Grégoire Trudeau said. She shares that she wrote the book due to the “unexamined life” that exists within the mind and brain of each individual.

As the former spouse of the prime minister, Grégoire Trudeau has faced widespread criticism across social media due to the actions of the Prime Minister – something that LaFlamme pinpoints when asking how these traumas have impacted not only Grégoire Trudeau, but other members of the Trudeau family.

“You contend with constant judgement and retargeted, hurtful, hateful comments,” said Gregoire Trudeau. These comments have also impacted Gregoire Trudeau’s children.

Grégoire Trudeau and the prime minister share three children – Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien.

In her response, Grégoire Trudeau spoke on her experience observing how female ministers navigate the similar targeted comments that appear on their social media pages. “People are moving from an insecure place and hate stems from a deep need for connection,” she said.

When it comes to protecting her children, Grégoire Trudeau said she prioritizes maintaining a close and loving family that isn’t scared of having awkward conversations – even when it comes to addressing comments directed at the Prime Minister on social media.

“They see it. But they also see the quality of the man that he is,” Gregoire Trudeau said. “I can’t shield my kids, and I won’t. I refuse to do that. My kids are going to be freaking ready for the world. Does it mean without rules? No. They’ve seen a lot. They’ve heard a lot.”

To close the event, Grégoire Trudeau led the room in a guided meditation before sharing insight into what she wishes for her future having now released her book.

“I do think that I have enough love inside of me to nourish as much as I can. That’s what I intend to do until my last breath, so that when I take my last breath the question, ‘Will I have loved enough?’ will be answered naturally,” she said.

Established in 1905, YWKW was founded by Christian women who aimed to increase community and housing supports for young women in the region. Today, the organization provides programs and services for women that support physical and mental wellbeing and economic independence.


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