Meet the interVivos Interns

The interVivos board has been working hard with four amazing interns in the past few months. This is your chance to get to know them better!

Eunice Doroni
Non-Profit Board Student Intern
University of Alberta

Eunice is in her final year of a BA in Political Science and Human Geography and is participating in the Non-Profit Board Student Internship Program as part of her certificate in Community Service-Learning. She is very interested in health policy and eventually wants to be a public health practitioner. When she’s not at school studying or out in the community volunteering, she loves going to improv shows, checking out new restaurants around the city and binge watching MasterChef.

Lebene Mawutor
Event Videographer Intern
Serving Communities Internship Program

Lebene is Ghanaian/Togolese-Canadian and aspiring visual artist, multimedia creative and content creator based in Edmonton. Lebene is currently a student at NAIT studying television. She is also a writer for One Tribe Magazine which is an online publication and creative platform geared towards the African diaspora. She is determined to be a digital content producer when she graduates.

Abby Mercader
#girlbossyeg Intern
Serving Communities Internship Program

Abby is completing her final year of studies at the University of Calgary. She will graduate this spring with dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in International Development. A volunteer with the Women’s Centre of Calgary since 2016, Abby is active in encouraging awareness and activism among young girls on topics surrounding female leadership, social justice and social change. She is fortunate to have been surrounded by girl bosses all her life, and wants to help inspire and encourage the next generation of future girl bosses!

Christy Seville
#girlbossyeg Intern
Serving Communities Internship Program

A recent graduate of the University of Alberta (2015 B.A. English), Christy is refining her communications skills in the Public Relations diploma program at MacEwan University.  She is also a communications intern at both Modern Muse Media, a social media, marketing and content creation company, and Aris M.D., a bio tech firm that produces augmented and virtual reality for use in surgery. Christy represented Aris M.D. in a consumer engagement role at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. When she’s not studying or working you can find her taking yoga very seriously.

Want to intern with us? We currently have two vacancies: Mentorship Program Intern and Blog and Website Intern.

Questions? Email

Meet Your Panelists: Grace Cleveland

Tonight’s the night for #girlbossyeg 2018! We have an incredible group of female leaders from the Edmonton community on our panel this year. Here’s a chance to get to know one of our awesome panelists a little bit better: Grace Cleveland!

Grace is a writer, educator, and soon-to-be lawyer. Grace presently serves as team lead of ReconciliAction YEG, an award-winning law blog focused on the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. She is also a teaching fellow at the Peter Lougheed Leadership College where she helps her students engage with diversity, power, and privilege in an interdisciplinary environment. Most recently, Grace brought the national initiative #LawNeedsFeminismBecause to Edmonton and organized a successful campaign featuring law students, professors and high profile legal professionals.

We asked Grace a few questions to gain more insight on her perspectives on these important issues.

interVivos: Why are you participating in #girlbossyeg 2018?

Grace Cleveland: I love the idea of communicating and collaborating with others to explore how we can all press for progress across our varying professions. I think when different perspectives come together, the possibilities are endless.  There are simply not enough forums where people can get together and talk about gender equality, so when I was offered a panelist position at this year’s #girlbossyeg, I jumped on it!


IV: This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Press for Progress.’ In one to two sentences, please describe what that means to you and how we can all be mobilized to ‘press for progress.’

GC: The law shapes all of our lives, but not necessarily in a positive way: in Canada’s judicial system, victims of sexual violence are still the ones put on trial, and in Canada’s legal profession, women make up 50% of law school graduates, but less than 15% of partners. This needs to change.


IV: How can we enable feminism in our careers?

GC: For me, feminism is all about empowerment. How do we empower women in the legal profession? For starters, we need to retain more female lawyers down the line. To make the practice of law more friendly to women (and especially those with children), firms should be considering initiatives like in-house daycare, or allowing for schedules that are flexible on when and where work gets done.

We also need to recognize that the legal profession is not immune to sexual harassment, and to find ways to empower victims to speak up when this happens instead of staying silent for fear that their careers will be jeopardized.


IV: Why do you think law needs feminism?

GC: There is no doubt that sexism is a reality faced by countless women in courtrooms across the country. Female lawyers are referred to as ‘little lady’ and constantly spoken over. Female rape victims are asked why they couldn’t keep their legs together. These are not just one-offs or bad apples, far too many judges and lawyers hold similar biases. For this reason, a response that individualizes the problem is a missed opportunity to address the systemic nature of misogyny.

We should be exploring how and why Canadian society is cultured to hold harmful beliefs as unchallenged truths. We need to graduate law students with a better understanding of how oppression exists within, and is continually reinforced by, certain laws and processes and how these effects are made worse for those positioned at the intersections of gender, sexual orientation, race, class, and ability.

Because judges start as lawyers, and lawyers start as law students, we need to be mandating feminist legal theory and methodology as a graduation requirement for every law student if we want to effectively intervene in the transmission of the socio-cultural norms that have brought us to where we are today.


IV: How can we bring social justice alive in the workplace?

GC: I think social justice can be an intimidating phrase. The good news is that little, everyday actions can add up! In the workplace, it starts with kindness and inclusion. We need to make space for marginalized voices and we need to take their words seriously. We need to realize that injustice for one really is injustice for all. Finally, we need to always be asking ourselves what kind of a future we want. After all, our children deserve equality.


You can find Grace on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Setting an Example for the Next Generation of Trailblazers: Evelina Mannarino’s Vision of Progress

Evelina Mannarino is a real estate developer, mother and author who has spent most of her life studying real estate. She is currently working toward her Bachelor’s degree in the Business of Real Estate while running her own business, Evelina Developments. She dreams of changing Edmonton’s skyline by developing skyscrapers.

Evelina is the sole developer of London Villas Hub, the unique event space donated to interVivos for the 2018 #girlbossyeg event on March 8, 2018 – International Women’s Day. The space, which opened on March 5, aims to revitalize Edmonton’s McCauley area. As a woman in a primarily male industry, Evelina understands the struggle of gender inequality in her line of work. “The roadblock is the men in the industry. I mean, it is obviously male dominated and they’re actually not that much help,” Evelina explained. “I don’t know if it’s my looks, but I get a lot of stupid emails and text messages so it’s hard to filter anybody that’s going to actually help me. At the end of the day, as opposed to just looking for help, I decided I’m just going to do it myself without expecting anybody to help me along the way.”

Evelina strives to make real estate development a more accessible career choice for women in Edmonton by helping women whenever she can. Starting out in the industry, Evelina wasn’t able to seek out mentorship. “From my marriage that I’m just getting out of now, I wasn’t allowed to have any mentors that weren’t women,” she said. “When I look around, I don’t really see a lot of female developers in Edmonton that are building skyscrapers so there really was nobody that I was allowed to talk to.” As the only female developer that she knows, Evelina is thrilled to be able to offer mentorship to ambitious young women who share her work values. Moving forward Evelina aims to do whatever she can at whatever cost to make sure that women behind her have an easier time.

Along with running a successful business and working on her degree, Evelina is also a constant inspiration to her children. With all that she does, Evelina is a confident parent. “Am I a good mother? For me, it’s about being a good role model,” she explains. Her advice for mothers working to achieve their dreams? “As long as we’re pushing forward and taking it one step at a time going in the right direction, we’re going to make it.” Every person attending #girlbossyeg should keep this image in mind. Pressing for progress means moving forward together into a better future.

interVivos thanks Evelina and London Villas Hub for their generous sponsorship of #girlbossyeg 2018.

To book London Villas Hub for an event, send Evelina an email.
For tickets to #girlbossyeg, click here

International Women’s Day

This blog was written by Stephanie Enders and was originally posted at

The City of Edmonton describes International Women’s Day as “a global celebration of the inspirational economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future.” For us, it’s an opportunity to spark conversations around the unique challenges and opportunities that face women in our startup and technology communities.

Last year, we introduced you to some of the incredible women that play vital roles in our community, from founders to volunteer organizers, students to scientists. This year, we want to showcase some of the opportunities in town where you can engage in conversations around the experience of women in our city, in tech and beyond.

“Our team is predominately female, and we’re proud to be of service to our community and demonstrate on a daily basis the benefits of greater gender inclusion on teams.”

Last week, Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, hosted a lunch on the Economics of Inclusion and I encourage you to pop over to the archived live-stream for more insight on how inclusion, in all its forms, can bolster our economy.

Here is a small sampling of events taking place in March that can help spark your conversations and deepen your commitment to inclusion in your own work.



Inspired by recent social media movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, the focus for #girlbossyeg 2018 will be on mitigating gender inequality in the workplace.

This year’s #girlbossyeg will bring together community leaders with young professionals to discuss the challenges faced in the workplace by women (e.g., sexual harassment, sexual assault, pay inequity, discrimination etc.) and how we can collectively work towards overcoming them.

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Erin Leonty, Global Manager of Organizational Development at Finning International, Inc.
  • Grace Cleveland, Law Student at the University of Alberta and organizer of #LawNeedsFeminismBecause campaign in Edmonton
  • Dr. Kisha Supernant, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta
  • Kristin Raworth, Senior Policy Advisor for the Government of Alberta
  • Paula Kirman, Co-organizer with the March On Edmonton Collective and freelance communications professional and digital content strategist
  • Trisha Estabrooks, Edmonton Public School Board Trustee and co-host of The Broadcast: podcast on women & politics



Edmonton’s Women’s Initiative has planned an exciting, informative and interesting program to help celebrate girls and women and International Women’s Day. The theme this year is Press for Progress.


  • Address by Mayor Don Iveson
  • The Women’s Initiative Leadership Award
  • Artistic performances and displays showcasing many women’s initiatives and resources



Presented by the Iranian Student’s Association of University of Alberta and the Iranian Heritage Society of Edmonton.

An evening of lectures, socializing and a workshop at the Cameron Science & Technology Library at the University of Alberta.


  • Dr. Elaheh Dehnavi, Ph.D. in Adaptive Literature
  • Samira Torabi, an anthropology student
  • Dr. Zohreh Bayatzizi, Faculty of Sociology


  • Literature: Amir Hossein Yazdanband, author
  • Field of science: Dr. Narges Hosseini, researcher and lecturer in chemistry
  • Sports field: Elham Parnian Heidari, radio station director and reporter
  • Cinema: Reza Basirzadeh, a drama student



What I Wish I Knew offers practical workplace advice for young professionals. They are using their own experience, research, and years in the trenches to help lift you up.

Research points to an ongoing trend that men are more likely to benefit from coaching and advice than women are, even for issues that are common to both. Overwhelmingly, the evidence says that mentors seek out younger versions of themselves, and so it’s still common for capable young women to find themselves advancing less quickly because they are battling even the smallest issues without a guide.

WIWIK wants to help build that roadmap in a world that is quickly evolving, highly ambiguous, but still rooted in traditional approaches to work.

How do I know if I am ready for entrepreneurship? Do I have the skills I need to succeed? Do I even know what skills I need? Taking the leap into self-employment can be overwhelming, daunting, and confusing, but we got you.

At this What I Wish I Knew, we’re talking about starting your own business. Maybe you’re just about to graduate, or perhaps you’ve done a stint in a company and know you want your own. They’re bringing in savvy business owners to answer these questions and share their business journeys—from concept to planning to action. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of self-employment and if this path is for you.

  • Shannon Neighbour
  • Brandy Burdeniuk
  • Elizabeth Hanlis
  • Collen Nuc


Inform Yo’Self: What We Heard

On September 18, 2017, interVivos hosted a non-partisan event to better inform Edmonton’s young professionals on the issues that matter to them in the upcoming municipal election. The event featured small groups and expert panel members discussing transit, homelessness and housing, residential infill, diversity on council and safe injection sites.

What matters to Edmonton’s young professionals?

When interVivos first started brainstorming for this year’s issues awareness event (Inform Yo’self), we discussed as a board what that would look like and how we would make it relevant to the upcoming municipal election.