My name is Lea Martin, I am a student at the University of Winnipeg pursuing a double honours degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. I hope to one day become a forensic psychologist or work as a university professor. My original career plan for 90% of my life was to be a neurosurgeon. I decided my major based off spinning a wheel, decided to double major based off a coin flip. I started to volunteer as part of my teenager rebellion phase because volunteering was viewed as something that was not worth my time, I heavily disagreed with this. My introduction is structured this way because I do not want to be perceived as the perfect student who always knew what they were doing, that is not me. I’m a perfectly imperfect person who just wants to make the world a better place.
Sara Gibson (Children's Program)
Sara Gibson graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Social Science in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. She is currently pursuing her Master of Human Rights degree at the University of Manitoba. Even long before her post-secondary education career began, Sara had always been passionate about children’s rights. She has always been keen to empower those younger than her with the spirit to make change. Sara has worked for the federal government in numerous capacities over the last four years, and she is excited to embark on a new adventure in the world of non-profit. As MARL’s Children’s Program Coordinator, Sara will work on the promotion of children’s rights through the creation and implementation of various workshops. In her free time, Sara loves to hang out with her dog and try new restaurants around Ottawa.
Cameron FranzmannMy name is Cameron Franzmann, and I am in the midst of completing a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Criminal Justice at the University of Winnipeg. In my post-secondary academic career, I have written a thesis paper regarding the decriminalization of drug laws with the central focus being on the Cannabis Act and am working towards getting it published. I am passionate about work in the legal field and deciphering how individuals are affected by it, adversely or not. I am a huge fan of the outdoors, especially fishing at my cabin as well as a big fan of the NHL and NFL.
Alvena Ali Wasim (Editor & Communications)
My Name is Alvena, and I am currently completing my Bachelor in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication from the University of Winnipeg. I also have a Bachelor of Commerce from my home country, Pakistan. After moving to Canada, I started my professional career in the banking industry where I learned many valuable skills and built personal and professional connections. However, I was more interested in exploring ideas that can be implemented to improve the lives of people. My degree in Communications has taught me how to contribute to conversations that are necessary in today’s increasingly polarized environment. I believe there is a need to acknowledge the nuances of cultural relativism while defending the universality of human rights in a manner that does not hurt people’s sentiments. Which is why I am excited to work with an organization like MARL that is doing the important work of advocating and creating awareness of these fundamental human rights in the community.
Damhat Zagros (Youth Program Developer)
Damhat Zagros is a Kurdish, Syrian human rights advocate. Born in Afrin City, Aleppo, he left Syria in 2011 and lived as a refugee in Lebanon for more than six years where he was unable to finish his schooling. He resettled in Manitoba in 2017 through UNHCR. After taking English classes and graduating from adult high school in Winnipeg, he is now proudly in his third year at the University of Winnipeg pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights and is currently a Group Facilitator with the ‘Be That Leader’ youth program with Aurora Family Therapy Centre. Damhat has been active in the Kurdish and Syrian community in Manitoba, spending many of his past summers supervising summer youth programs and supporting sponsored refugees settle in their new home. Damhat is still an active member of MARL’s BIPOC Advisory Committee.
My name is Prince Osei Asibia Duodu, and I am currently a second-year student in the Joint Master's Program in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba. I hold a Master of Arts in International Studies from Ohio University, USA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. My interest is in education and advocacy on how communities can be informed and engaged regarding human rights issues and how human rights can help bring about sustainable peace through education and advocacy. I believe that human rights advocacy and community engagement toward sustainable peace can be effective if there is an informed and engaged community, which will help protect people's human rights and civil liberties and ensure social justice.
Vanessa graduated from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) with a Bachelor of Law (LLB). She is currently pursuing a Joint Masters Program for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba and her interests are in children’s rights, family violence and sexual trafficking. Her passion to advocate for the vulnerable was birthed in law school and she has done numerous internships with law firms in Ghana, 2/3 of which did their work on a pro-bono basis. Vanessa has experience working with children as a CCA and has served on the board of a non-profit youth organization. She is also an executive member of the Peace and Conflict Studies Student Association. It is her hope that working with MARL will help her reach out to and advocate for vulnerable persons in Winnipeg through the creation of awareness to their rights.