Ask Women Anything with Jewne Johnson


Media Action Media‘s Ask Women Anything series continues with Jewne Johnson, a dynamic community builder, CKCU media personality, and an ardent supporter of arts education for Ottawa youth. In 2014, Jewne received the Black History Ottawa Community Builder Award for Community Leadership in recognition for her involvement in the Art Child initiative in 2013. Come out to Pressed Cafe on Wednesday, May 25 for a lively and intimate talk with Jewne!

(Facebook event page)

Ask Women Anything with Ana Maria Cruz-Valderrama


Media Action Media’s most recent instalment of the Ask Women Anything series welcomed seniors’ advocate and community leader Ana Maria Cruz Valderrama to the Pressed Café stage on April 26th.

Ana Maria inspired the Ottawa audience with her long-standing commitment to immigrant seniors’ care and volunteerism. A tour de force in community building, Ana Maria discussed the joy of giving back, in “giving from the heart, soul, and brain” every day.


As a Spanish immigrant from Columbia, Ana Maria opened up about the thrills and challenges of living in a new city and learning a new language.

Making others feel welcome within the Ottawa community is a driving force for Ana Maria, who is also the Executive Director of Club Casa de Los Abuelos, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving Spanish-speaking seniors into the area.


Ana Maria spoke of the importance of communication, socializing, and medical care to seniors’ wellbeing. “Doing the best we can to help seniors be active and healthy” greatly benefits the community at large, in both social and economic terms, she said. She also candidly answered questions about media representations, noting there is much room for improvement in the way seniors and Columbians are depicted in news outlets and other popular media.


Many thanks to our venue Pressed Café, host Shari Graydon, Media Action’s many volunteers, photographer Felixe Denson of Wingd, and to all those who came out for this heart-warming and thought-provoking #AskWomenAnything!

Ask Women Anything with Ana Maria Cruz-Valderrama


Ana Maria Cruz Valderrama is a firebrand. It took us about six months to find time for her to do our Ask Women Anything because she is so busy helping seniors in our community. Ana Maria is the CEO of the Club Casa de los Abuelos, which is an entirely volunteer-based organization that has been operating since 2004 and was a pioneer of immigrant seniors’ services in Ottawa. Its services are limited to the Spanish-speaking population, and include help for seniors to connect and a variety of activities to maintain them active. Run with a minimum of funding thanks to the work of volunteers, the Club Casa de los Abuelos provides an extensive range of programs, including: assistance with housing, translation services, support for medical and hospital appointments, seminars on healthy eating for healthy living, recreational and socialization activities (outings, workshops, crafts, seasonal parties, a buddy system), 24 hours support and dedicated assistance to vulnerable seniors.

Ana Maria has decided her life to making people happy and serving others. She is a recent winner of the Leading Women, Leading Girls, Building Communities award and an incredible inspiration to hear. Come and chat with her on April 26th at 6 p.m. at Pressed Café in Ottawa.

Facebook event page

Ask Women Anything with Sabine Daniel


Media maven, French TV and radio host and producer Sabine Daniel captivated Ottawans with stories of her time in Russia, her experience working in Canadian media, and her life as a francophone woman of colour.


Talking about the importance of family, representation and diversity in media, and finding one’s own voice in social media, Sabine didn’t hold back as she shared anecdotes and experiences that were unique yet relatable. It was an evening of shared laughter and learning as the audience asked questions about what motivates her, her life’s philosophy, and advice she would give to young people today. Read more live-tweets from the night here (thanks to our volunteer Paroma Datta).


Sabine also shared her most recent project, #SheroesSelfiesQuotes, which asked real female heroes to share their favourite empowering quotes and their personal “sheroes.”

What a way to spend International Women’s Day. Thanks to Pressed Cafe for hosting the event, and to everyone who came by for a fantastic evening.

Communiqué de presse Media Action – Ottawa le 11 mars 2016
Diffusion: pour diffusion immédiate

La différence est une force

Media Action a reçu Sabine Daniel ce mardi 8 mai au Pressed Cafe à Ottawa dans le cadre de sa série Ask Women Anything. Sabine a évoqué, devant un public suspendu à ses lèvres, son parcours de femme issue de la minorité noire, et comment elle a réussi dans le milieu des médias.


Journée internationale de la femme
Media Action a voulu célébrer la journée internationale de la femme en grandes pompes en recevant Sabine Daniel. Animatrice télé et radio, chroniqueuse artistique, productrice, Sabine Daniel était l’ambassadrice idéale pour évoquer les difficultés auxquelles sont confrontées les femmes à Ottawa, mais aussi les opportunités à saisir dans la capitale du Canada.

Sabine Daniel, experte médias
Sabine Daniel a travaillé sur de nombreux programmes télévisés, des émissions de télé-réalité et des documentaires, au Québec et en Ontario. Son nom est lié à des émissions telles que Oui, je le veux, Mosaïque, et Parcours réussi. En experte des médias, Sabine Daniel a captivé les habitants d’Ottawa lorsqu’elle a retracé face à eux son expérience en Russie, ses premiers pas dans les médias, et sa vie en tant que femme noire francophone.


Une soirée d’échanges
Sabine Daniel n’a pas hésité à partager des anecdotes et des expériences personnelles ce qui a permis de créer un moment unique de connexion avec son auditoire. Elle a également évoqué en avant-première son tout premier projet complètement anglophone, #SheroesSelfiesQuotes, qui met en avant l’importance des réseaux féminins. Pour en savoir plus, c’est ici.

Tant de choses restent à faire
Sabine Daniel a réussi à transmettre son énergie et sa spontanéité au public ainsi qu’à tous les membres de Media Action. Nous sommes très heureux de l’avoir accueillie pour cet événement exceptionnel. Parmi les précieux conseils et pensées partagés lors de cette soirée, nous retiendrons particulièreent que tous les obstacles de la vie quotidienne sont la base d’idées nouvelles.

Pressed Cafe
Le Pressed Cafe était notre hôte pour la troisième fois cette année. C’est un endroit cosy et accueillant, doté d’un personnel agréable et efficace. La configuration du lieu facilite la discussion, on s’y sent comme à la maison. N’hésitez pas à faire un tour au Pressed Ottawa.

Ask Women Anything with Sabine Daniel


March 8th Ask Women Anything with Sabine Daniel

Media Action Média is thrilled to present our second AWA of 2016 with Sabine Daniel! Sabine has an unparalleled love for communications and has been immersed in that world since she first moved to Ottawa at 14 years of age. She has evolved into an accomplished media personality.

Sabine is multi-talented and has worn many hats over the years: TV and radio host, entertainment reporter, zealous researcher, and so on. Armed with those skills, she has worked on many television shows, reality television shows and documentaries, both in Québec and in Ontario. Her name is attached to such shows as Oui, je le veux, Mosaïque, and Parcours réussi.

Sabine produces and stars in her current Radio Show Métissage, on Unique FM in Ottawa. She also has a talk show, Suivez-moi, on TV1 where she interviews social media stars from Ottawa. This time, she will agree to play the question-answer game. During this next Ask Women Anything, you can chat with her up close and personal in English and French, and without a media filter. Sabine will be at Pressed Café on March 8th at 7 p.m. Come and ask her anything!


Media Action est heureux de vous présenter la deuxième édition de sa série Ask Women Anything de l’année 2016 avec Sabine Daniel ! L’amour que Sabine porte à la communication est sans égal depuis qu’elle a été immergée dans ce monde à son arrivée à Ottawa à 14 ans. Elle est aujourd’hui une personnalité médiatique accomplie.

Sabine a de nombreux talents et a porté plusieurs casquettes au cours des années : animatrice télé et radio, chroniqueuse artistique, productrice, et tant d’autres choses encore. Armée de ses multiples compétences, elle a travaillé sur de nombreux programmes télévisés, des émissions de télé-réalité et des documentaires, au Québec et en Ontario. Son nom est lié à des émissions telles que Oui, je le veux, Mosaïque, et Parcours réussi.

Sabine est à la fois productrice et animatrice vedette de l’émission Métissage actuellement sur les ondes de la radio Unique FM à Ottawa. Elle anime également le talk show Suivez-moi sur TV1 où elle reçoit en entretien les stars des réseaux sociaux qui sont établis à Ottawa. Cette fois-ci, c’est elle qui se prêtera au jeu des questions-réponses. Lors de ce prochain Ask Women Anything, vous pourrez échanger avec elle, en anglais et en français, de manière intimiste et sans filtre médiatique. Sabine sera au Pressed Café le 8 mars à 19h00. Venez nous rejoindre et posez lui toutes les questions que vous voulez !

Ask Women Anything with Amanda Jette Knox

Amanda interview smallMedia Action Media started off this year’s Ask Women Anything Series with a bang on Thursday January 28th with Amanda Jette Knox @mavenofmayhem.  In front of a packed, warm, and engaged audience, Amanda took us through her story of resilience and courage.

Over the years, Amanda has had to overcome many obstacles to be the person she is now. She dealt with bullying, addictions, and homelessness before she began the journey she is on now with her daughter Alexis, an amazing and courageous girl who recently came out, by telling her mother that she is a girl trapped in a boy’s body.

Ottawans were transfixed by Amanda’s story.  They asked questions about her feelings on being an advocate for transgender children, her thoughts on research in the area, and her daughter’s school experiences.  They also cheered on her recent high school graduation, and laughed and laughed (Amanda’s really very witty.)

It was an incredible evening.  Thanks to Pressed Café for hosting the event, for worthashot for taking the amazing pictures, and for helping with promotion and to all the dedicated volunteers.


Ask Women Anything 2016 – Starting with Amanda Jette Knox


The Ask Women Anything series is re-launching this year with a new look and a new suite of incredible women!   These AWA events are an opportunity for us to have community conversations with amazing Ottawa women, up-close and personal and without a media filter.  These events are becoming more and more popular and this year will be no exception.

On January 28th, Amanda Jetté Knox (also known as “The Maven of Mayhem”) will be kick-starting the series. In 2011, when Amanda’s daughter came out as transgender, she decided to use her exquisite writing skills and her passion on the subject to stand up for transgender men and women all around the world. She is now the recipient of the Joan Gullen Award for Media Excellence, which she won shortly after she published her article “The Road Less Traveled: Raising Transgender and Gender Creative Kids in Ottawa”.

Join us at Pressed Cafe and share the #AWA experience with us!


Venue: Pressed Cafe, 750 Gladstone

Date: Thursday, January 28th

Time: 7pm


(Facebook event page)

Ask Women Anything with #CorneredInOttawa

#CorneredInOttawa is deeply committed to identifying the damaging/violent/lawless behaviour of Luke Howard in an honest, authentic and balanced way.  This was the message that the audience at Media Action’s latest Ask Women Anything event heard right away as the event started.


Kira-Lynn Ferderber (L) and Rosella Chibambo of #CorneredInOttawa

As the discussion continued (about 30 minutes over with not a person in the room moving to leave) Rosella Chibambo and Kira-Lynn Ferderber detailed how they came to be part of creating #CorneredInOttawa (It was very organic and born from a group of people who came together in the wake of a perceived biased CBC story on Luke Howard), how #CorneredInOttawa has changed the media conversation around Luke Howard (giving balance to the story rather than salacious details, correcting the narrative and shifting the focus) and discussing how they would like to see men and women continue to engage on this and similar issues going forward.


Attendees were completely engaged and took part in healthy debate on how men could better support this issue, how Luke Howard is bad for men as well as women and why the media might have responded as they did.  Seeing as how Luke Howard’s actions affect the entire society as a whole, it was a general consensus at the event that we need to see more men taking action and actively rejecting Howard’s philosophy.


Kira-Lynn Ferderber is a feminist rapper who teachers anti-racist bystander intervention to prevention sexual violence.  Rosella Chibambo is a coordinator for the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict.  They hosted last night’s Ask Women Anything as part of #CorneredInOttawa. Media Action would like to thank the manager Kelsey Burns and staff at Artissimo for hosting the AWA with #CorneredInOttawa. A special thanks also goes to for interviewing the speakers and partnering with Media Action for promotion.


Ask Women Anything with Jenna and Kayla Spagnoli


Jenna and Kayla Spagnoli are in charge — that’s how we should have introduced them at the beginning of Tuesday night’s Ask Women Anything event. These feminists lit up Artissimo, claimed it for their own and held a truly inspiring dialogue with the numerous Ottawa community members gathered to chat with them.

Jenna and Kayla are self-described feminists who came to the term through different paths. Jenna learned about this term in high school and passed much of her learnings on to Kayla. Kayla’s lived experiences led her down this path where she made a conscious decision to become a feminist.


While chatting with each other and the audience, the twins each credited the other with coming up with the label “The Feminist Twins”. They told stories about being an undertaker (“it was misogynistic and sexist”, “I feel I really helped people” and “you have to go through a lot of interviews to screen the sick people out”) and about high school (“you are told not to question authority or you can be sent to the office”).


The twins chatted with audience members about the new Ontario sex education curriculum and how it is a step in the right direction. Jenna and Kayla also gave their views on being fetishized as twins, on how they handle rape jokes, and how they feel about various men’s movements. And they did so with incredibly funny and engaging bantering. What a night!

DSC00780  DSC00778-1


Ottawa loves you, Jenna and Kayla.



Thanks again to the amazing staff at Artissimo for keeping it going, and to the fantastic Wingd staff who make us look good — Tony Li took all the lovely photos above — and read their interview with the twins, as well as their follow-up review (in French) on the event! And of course to all the Ottawans who came out to take part in our event!

Ask Women Anything with Jenna and Kayla Spagnoli aka The Feminist Twins!

July_Black final copy

In case your summer is a bit slower than you had expected, don’t worry – help is on the way!  Media Action Media is hosting another of our award-winning Ask Women Anything events on July 14th at 6:00 p.m. at Artissimo Cafe. We will be featuring the Feminist Twins, Jenna and Kayla!

Here’s what you need to know about Jenna and Kayla.

  • These ladies are fierce! They are all about helping others gain profile so that they can do more work and make a larger impact in the Ottawa community. They help organizations set up events. They don’t get paid for the events they help host and promote.
  • Jenna and Kayla were born and raised in Ottawa. They started volunteering at a young age.
  • These women focus on queer and feminist events and are interested in social justice and human rights.
  • Jenna is on the board for “Kind” previously known as Pink Triangle Services and she helps run an ACE/ARO support group which is open to people of all genders and orientations who identify or are questioning their identity as asexual, aromantic, demisexual, demiromantic, greysexual, or elsewhere within the spectrum.
  • Jenna’s a social work student.
  • Kayla runs a borderline personality disorder support group.
    • And one of them used to be a mortician!
  • Jenna and Kayla are 26 years old and are “actual twins”.
  • When they are not volunteering you can find them watching Law and Order.

Amazing, huh? Do  you have a question for them?  Then come down to Artissimo on July 14th at 6:00 pm.  Ask your questions, have some of Artissimo’s great iced teas, take part in a fun raffle to raise money for Media Action and spice up your summer!