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Feminist twins


  • Jenna Spagnoli

  • Kayla Spagnoli


Feminist twins Q&A

Event Summary

Dear Ottawa, take a look back on our September panel. Yes we are already reminiscing!


This month, AWA hosted the Feminist Twins, a sibling partnership that promotes feminist organizations and causes. In this event, the discussion revolved around how to engage in activism and promote feminist values while living through Covid 19.


The feminist twins are Jenna and Kayla Spagnoli. Jenna has a Master’s in Social Work from Carleton University. She inspired her sister Kayla to work in social justice and feminism. Kayla works at Minwaashin Lodge and loves her work advocating for Indigenous women and working against human trafficking.


The idea behind the feminist twins was to create more spaces for feminists and feminist organizations. Both Jenna and Kayla were inspired through their volunteer work at Planned Parenthood Ottawa to become involved in feminist issues affecting Ottawa.


First question: What is the best way to support the Feminist Twins during Covid?

The pandemic has impacted all social events, including the biggest one that the Feminist Twins put on annually, called the Feminist Fair, which promotes feminist organizations and strives toward inclusion.


While there are no in person events, the best way to support them right now is by interacting and sharing on social media and increasing community support. They also love being invited to speak at community events, even though these events are now virtual.


How and why did you start this organization?

It all started by visiting a Tumblr page; this ignited questioning of systems of oppression and inequality in society and in the Ottawa community.


How do you channel your efforts?

It is crucial to think critically and produce meaningful and engaging events which have a feel-good outcome and emotional response and we must ask ourselves how to make events as inclusive as possible.


How do you remain energized?

It’s important to take breaks from social media and engage in self-care in order to avoid burnout and we have a planning schedule.


What gives you hope?

Both Jenna and Kayla said that the engagement and activism of the younger generation is what inspires them and gives them hope for the future, that feminism is in capable hands.  The fact that young people care about feminist issues is the most optimistic thing.


What is your legacy?

In their own words, “We would be happy knowing that our events have left a positive impact on folks in Ottawa, and that years from now people will think back on one of our events and remember it for having a positive or meaningful experience.”


How do you take care of your mental health while still engaging in activism?

They said that it is a marathon rather than a race so pacing is very important, attending to things, but also enjoying the moments in between and remaining positive. Crucially, it is a conscious decision to see the good, the effort and the continuous learning for the betterment of the community.


For future events, they aspired to more community involvement and collaboration with other people and organizations and searching for creative ways to help the community through the pandemic.


People can contact and get involved in projects by sending them an email, engaging on social media.


The feminist twins have a website and would like to focus on antiracism and policing of BIPOC, and homelessness. Self-care makes them more effective activists.


A great big thank you to the Feminist Twins and to all of our amazing volunteers for this epic community conversation!

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