Dedicated students explore the human rights ‘Univercity’
*Note: The following article is from the University of Winnipeg website.
WINNIPEG, MB – In partnership with the national Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), the 5th annual human rights summer institute at The University of Winnipeg Global College will allow students to explore “the city as a human rights campus” with multiple hands-on learning experiences from a range of local experts. Beginning on August 4 with Folklorama pavilions via their ‘class on the bus’ and running full days until August 14, students will experience immersive learning on Indigenous human rights at Ka Ni Kanichihk, attend classes at the new National Research Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, tour and learn about food security at Winnipeg Harvest, ponder disability rights through a movement class at the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art and have full access to CMHR galleries with five CMHR curatorial experts as guest faculty.
The course, entitled Emerging Issues in Human Rights, attracts a diverse range of students, supported through bursaries provided by Rotary World Peace Partners, and was created by Marilou McPhedran, Director of the Global College Institute for International Women’s Rights.
Angeline Rivard and Jaron Hart are both CMHR student interns at Global College and course assistants. Rivard is in her final year of a double major in Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at UWinnipeg. “I fell in love with the material in this program and learning how I can be part of change,” says Rivard, who wants to pursue law and women’s rights to education. “I was able to research and create a module on children’s rights that will be used at the CMHR, so that is exciting.”
Jaron Hart, a second-year political science major who is the LGBTQ representative on the University of Manitoba Arts Student Body Council, sees the CMHR paid internship at Global College “as a great opportunity for me, as an Indigenous gay man, to prepare for a career in law and politics by working with a human rights expert like Prof. McPhedran.”
They are joined by high school student Vanessa McKay, who is entering grade 12 at St. James Collegiate and will be the student president. The 16-year-old intern is sponsored by the Winnipeg Foundation. “I have always been interested in human rights,” she says. “I hope to attend university next year and explore education, human rights and politics.”
And in collaboration with neighbour, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, a promising young Aboriginal filmmaker, Kane Kirton, will be shooting a video that captures the students’ learning journey throughout the course. Kirton is also a Winnipeg Foundation intern and recent graduate of Argyle Alternative High School. “I will be attending the classes and events and interviewing participants to explore human rights,” says Kirton, whose film “Blood Memory” won Best Student Film and Best Short Film at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival.
The University of Winnipeg and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights signed a memorandum of understanding in 2011 and reaffirmed it in 2015 to ensure their organizations work jointly to fulfill their common goals of promoting human rights education and encouraging people to take action for human rights.