Winnipeg advocate to appear on Hershey’s chocolate bar wrapper for International Women’s Day

An advocate in the Winnipeg community is being recognized by a chocolate bar company for International Women’s Day.

Marion Willis, the founder and executive director of St. Boniface Street Links, is being recognized by Hershey’s as one of five women in Canada who will have their likeness on the wrapper of a chocolate bar.

This is part of the ‘Her For She’ campaign that Hershey’s has launched, “as part of a global initiative to drive conversation and shine a light on women’s voices and impact in communities across Canada.”

“To achieve a sustainable tomorrow, it’s imperative to tell the often untold stories of women who are forging change today,” Hershey’s said in a news release.

Willis said she was first told about the campaign when she was part of a list of 20 to feature. This was whittled down to five and Willis was one of those five women.

“Nobody could be more surprised than I was,” said Willis. “In fact, when I read the initial email from the Hershey’s team, I kind of smiled. I thought, ‘Is this for real?'”

While she was blown away by the recognition, she noted that the team at St. Boniface Street Links deserves as much attention for the work they have done to be able to get the national attention.

On top of being recognized, Willis said it is humbling to be grouped with so many other great women and she hopes recognition like this continues in the future.

“Women are the givers of life and beyond that women are also the sustainers of many things, not just life. But, you know, women actually do not receive the recognition they should.”

She said the time is long overdue to celebrate and give a voice to women.

Willis said since she has received this recognition, it is now her responsibility to share other women who deserve praise and she plans on submitting a long list to Hershey’s to use in the future.

The chocolate bars aren’t being made for sale, but Willis said she will be receiving a box featuring all five unique wrappers and then another box of 20 all with her wrapper.

“I’ll be able to hand those out to my children and grandchildren and maybe a few special friends,” said Willis.

“Maybe I’ll frame it and be sure not to hang it somewhere in the sunlight,” she laughed.

The other four Canadian women being recognized are Natalya Amres, Fitriya Mohamed, Yasmeen Persad and Erica Jacobs.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8.

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