Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively donate $200,000 to StFX’s Coady Institute

Today, St. Francis Xavier University’s Coady Institute is excited to announce the launch of the Circle of Abundance – Amplifying Indigenous Women’s Leadership with a goal of raising $1m to support Coady’s Institute’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership and the Centre’s Indigenous programming. The creation of the fund comes as Canada’s National Indigenous History Month concludes.

Movie stars, entrepreneurs, and activists Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, Green Lantern) and Blake Lively (Green Lantern, A Simple Favor) are kicking off the campaign, with a gift of $200,000 and are encouraging others to support Circle of Abundance – Amplifying Indigenous Women’s Leadership.

“We’re so happy to support the incredible work of the Coady Institute’s program with Indigenous Women,” Ryan and Blake say. “We’re blown away by the conversations we’ve had and the work they do and look forward to joining them on this journey.”

Coady has 60 years of experience in accompanying leaders who are creating economic and social change and for the past 10 years has developed and held its award winning Indigenous Women in Community Leadership (IWCL) program.

Coady Indigenous Program Lead and graduate Karri-Lynn Paul says an initial group of mentors and graduates from the past ten years is beginning to examine ways to journey forward together with the Coady and its partners. They have prepared a statement that accompanies this announcement.

“These Indigenous leaders are inspiring renewed energy on how to move forward with our work,” Karri-Lynn says. “Their insights and grounding of our work in the realities of grassroots Indigenous Women lives is an important piece in our journey. They also talked about how we are enough, and how we need to prioritize programs that are created by Indigenous women for Indigenous women. This funding offers the opportunity to make that happen.”

This funding will help Coady learn from its work over the last 10 years with Indigenous women leaders and pivot in a direction that reflects current realities and recent history.

What was most heartening from our conversation is that we are holding similar visions that include holding one another up, being inclusive, and grounding our work in indigeneity. And a recognition that many of us are cycle breakers and have been trailblazers in the healing process.

Karri-Lynn Paul

Indigenous Program Lead, Coady Institute

Ryan’s and Blake’s donation and additional monies raised for the fund will support:

  • Expanding Coady’s offerings of Indigenous women’s leadership programs across the country, for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women leaders, both in their community as well as on-campus at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia;
  • Connecting and creating exchanges for Indigenous women globally;
  • Support the incubation of a new Indigenous-led and Indigenous-run women’s initiative.

Eileen Alma, Director of Coady’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership, says Ryan’s and Blake’s commitment to learning more about Indigenous issues has been energizing to the Coady and StFX team.

“They have added a tremendous boost to our effort to amplify Indigenous women’s voices locally and globally.”

Dr. Marie Delorme, Advisor to Coady Institute and CEO of the Imagination Group of Companies says, “this is the start of a new decade of collaboration with amazing Indigenous women across the country and worldwide. I am delighted to be part of this incredible work.”

About Coady Institute

Established in 1959 by St. Francis Xavier University, Coady Institute is committed to accompanying generations of global leaders skilled in the application of citizen-led, asset-based, and community-driven leadership for economic and social change. Located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People, on the campus of St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Coady Institute includes a network of more than 9,000 leaders in 130 countries globally.

Learn more at coady.stfx.ca