Sister Susan Gapka is a tireless champion for equity in and outside of our union. She is this year’s recipient of the Grace Hartman Award. Susan has spent years advocating for women and the LGBTQ2+ community, and demanding more affordable housing and better mental health care.
Like Grace, Susan Gapka has had to blaze her own trail. She is the founder and chair of the Trans Lobby Group in Ontario. She has campaigned to re-list Gender-Affirming Surgeries in Ontario’s public health plan and to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to include gender identity and gender expression. Susan has served on the CUPE Ontario and the National Pink Triangle Committees, and on CUPE Ontario’s Women’s Committee. She is the first trans woman to serve on CUPE Ontario’s Executive Board.
“I continue to feel driven to ensure the most disadvantaged – especially equity seekers, trans and non-binary folks, racialized and Indigenous people, and women – have a seat at the table. There is room for you in feminism, in your local, in your workplace, in your union, and your community,” said Gapka.
Grace Hartman was CUPE’s first woman president and a fierce, trailblazing advocate. The Grace Hartman Award is presented to a CUPE sister who has a long record of outstanding work on women’s issues, in the struggle for equity and social justice.