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Youth Tackle Human Rights Issues - 8 schools, 8 projects, 1 goal: better communities!
On May 12, 2010 high school students from Winnipeg showed us all how to become more aware and active in our communities. A workshop series in youth leadership in Human Rights provided 65 students with a forum to create projects to improve their communities. They targeted pressing issues such as the homeless, refugee integration and food security. These youth presented their projects to invited guests at the University of Winnipeg earlier this month, showing what can be accomplished and sharing their vision of a more just society.
The 2010 MARL Youth Leadership in Human Rights Project had a very successful launch on November 4 at the Collège Universitaire de Saint-Boniface. There are nine schools participating in this year’s program. They are : Collège Jeanne Sauvé, Kildonan East Collegiate, Munroe Junior High, Pinawa Secondary School, Collège Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau, Gimli High School, Garden City Collegiate, St.Norbert Collegiate and Argyle Alternative School.
MARL is welcoming Nadine McCaughan as the new Program Developer for the Human Rights Education Program. Nadine has a bachelors of Education from the University of Manitoba. She also holds a degree in International Relations from the University of British Columbia. Currently Nadine is studying for a Master’s degree in Library Sciences and is also working part-time for the Winnipeg Public Libraries.
"...how about our humanity? What was it like living before we thought of human rights? What was it like before we thought of responsibilities, and moral function and compassion?" - Zane Zalis, music teacher and internationally recognized composer, discusses the background to his "I Believe" concert and demonstrates the power of music in teaching for human rights.
The Bio –
Zane Zalis is an internationally recognized composer and producer, as well as the music teacher at Miles Macdonell Collegiate. Zane graduated from Murdoch MacKay Collegiate and completed a Bachelor of Education at the University of Manitoba, majoring in music and history. Zane is the founder of the music production program at Miles Mac, and has been involved in the development of music education curriculum in Manitoba. Zane also developed the Prodigy vocal program, which has had radio and television performances with CBC and extensive radio play with recording stations in both Canada and Mexico. The students in Prodigy have performed in Austria, the US, Mexico and Scotland, and were guest performers along with Loreena McKennitt, Tom Jackson and others in a gala co-conducted by Zane as part of The Queen’s Jubilee tour.
"...when I think of a global citizen, it's someone who appreciates the significant challenges we are facing as a planetary society; in the area of human rights, environmental degradation, issues of community and social development, globally as well as locally."
The Organization –
Global College is an action-oriented, multi-disciplinary forum for Canadian and International students which brings students and community members together with local faculty, visiting scholars and speakers from around the world and engages them in sharing their diverse perspectives about issues of global citizenship, human rights, and issues affecting the planet. The goal of this dialogue is for people to discover their role within the local and global community, and to better recognize and understand the rights and responsibilities of individuals in a changing world.
One of MARL’s raison d’être is to educate. The power of education is to provide our citizens with the necessary tools and information to enter into critical dialogue on issues that impact on our rights and liberties. One of our roles is to educate the youth of today to be the future human rights guardians of tomorrow. G.K. Chesterton expressed it so well – “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” MARL has taken this to heart.
The mandate of the Education Committee is obvious – it is to educate. As a committee we needed to answer who, how and what in order to give direction and substance to our goal. We are very fortunate to have received funding from the Winnipeg Foundation to support the development of a program and resources for senior high school students. Due to their commitment to educating youth, MARL has had the good fortune of hiring Debra Chorney, a qualified teacher, as our program developer.
In February, Debra Chorney joined MARL as the Program Developer for the new Human Rights Education Program. Debra brings with her a wealth of valuable experience.
Over the past few years, MARL has offered a workshop called Hate - What Have I Got to Do With It? which has been offered to hundreds of students in Winnipeg high schools. In response to requests from students and teachers, we have developed a companion workshop called Responding to Hate. Following successful field testing of the new workshop, we are launching both workshops as the Youth Against Hate human rights education program.
The program consists of workshops designed to help students deal with an increasingly intolerant school environment: the racial, homophobic and sexist jokes, hate graffiti and casual put-downs that have become a part of their daily experience. The Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties (MARL) believes students can take a leading role in responding to hate. It is the everyday actions of students that will prevent hate from flourishing. These workshops focus on empowering students to be responsive bystanders.