Andrea Silverstone pushes the boundaries of inclusion and innovation in Calgary’s non-profit world. As the CEO of Sagesse, an organization committed to disrupting the structure of abuse for individuals, organizations and communities, she works tirelessly to address domestic and sexual abuse across Alberta.
Under her leadership, Sagesse has focused on the lofty goal to completely eradicate domestic abuse. She has created innovative program models and comprehensive structural policy that elevates untold experiences of domestic abuse. By starting difficult conversations about domestic abuse on a larger stage, Andrea has helped Albertans to start thinking collectively about what causes abuse, the attitudes and beliefs that contribute to it, and how to change it systemically.
Through this work at Sagesse, Andrea has implemented a collective impact initiative to address domestic and sexual abuse province-wide and has developed programming to address the systemic nature of abuse in under-studied communities such as women of affluence. She has also expanded the scope of Sagesse’s programming model to ensure that it meets the diverse needs of everyone impacted by domestic abuse, including a special focus on the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
Her innovative leadership has made large impacts in Alberta including implementing a primary prevention initiative to address domestic and sexual abuse across Alberta and playing an instrumental role in supporting the Alberta Government to bring the Domestic Violence Disclosure Act to Alberta.
Her innovative approach to abuse prevention has caught the attention of individuals and organizations beyond Calgary’s borders. Andrea has shared her thoughts and the Sagesse programming model around the world. As a presenter, she advocates for research, development, and innovation in the non-profit sector, and encourages other leaders to establish new ways of thinking and working. With this work in mind, Andrea supported the creation of ByDesign, a social enterprise dedicated to stimulating real change by challenging the status-quo and breaking down the barriers to greater awareness, productivity, and total satisfaction.
For her work as a collaborative leader, she was recognized with the 2015 Alberta Inspiration Award for leadership in Family Violence and the 2019 Soroptomist Women Making a Difference Award. Recognizing that domestic abuse is often overlooked, she leveraged her education and social work experience, developing a program for Jewish schools which led to her receiving the 2013 Association of Jewish Family and Child Agencies Goodman Award. Silverstone also initiated a study to examine ‘Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Communities of the Canadian Prairie Provinces’ and received the 2015 RESOLVE Excellence in Community Service and Research Award.
Andrea is a Registered Social Worker and Mediator with a background in Judaic/Talmudic Law, having attended Lindenbaum College in Jerusalem and York University in Toronto. She is currently completing a Masters in the psychology of coercive control from the University of Salford in England.
Beginning her career in Calgary at the Awo Taan Native Women’s Shelter, Andrea later transitioned into her role as the CEO of Sagesse.
At Sagesse, she has dedicated herself to ensuring that vulnerable individuals live in a society where they can reach their full potential, and believes she has an obligation to leave the world in a better place then she found it.