2015 CAS Leadership Award Winner: Marcie Summers

Marcie has been and continues to be a true leader in the Canadian HIV community. She is a leader, strategist, coalition builder, and eloquent spokesperson who has pushed for understanding of women’s issues. Marcie’s soft yet determined voice has sounded in local, provincial and national forums. Nationally as everywhere, Marcie speaks to the intersections of socially prescribed roles for women and HIV. Gender inequality, economic discrepancies, the continuum of violence and other social determinants of health lead to HIV risk and compromised health outcomes for women with HIV.

Marcie has gone well above and beyond in her 22 years as Executive Director at PWN to dedicate much of her professional career to working on gender and social justice issues, and making the links between violence against women and women’s health risks including HIV infection. She has worked tirelessly to keep women on the agenda in the national HIV arena. Her long term dedication to positive women- both those who are public with their status and those who aren’t – is exemplary.

She is exemplary in fostering partnerships at PWN and elsewhere. As former co-chair of the Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) she has helped bring about a provincial entity which works and contributes to all who work in the field of HIV. She balances voices from rural and urban communities, recognizing that some challenges of HIV differ through geography. She works to ensure everyone’s voices and contributions are acknowledged, even when seemingly competing concerns emerge. At the national level she is acknowledged as a leader by her peers for her numerous contributions including as a founding member of Blueprint for Action on Women and Girls and HIV.

While much of the focus of her work has been on women’s issues, Marcie has been tireless in her effort to promote social justice overall. She has brought an invaluable analysis and keen intellect to her work, when developing programs and services at PWN, but also when visioning a way forward for the entire sector: policy makers, government funders, academics and community based researchers.

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