December 3, 2007

Recipients of the Manitoba Human Rights Commitment Award and the Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award to be honoured on December 10, 2007

WINNIPEG – On Monday December 10, 2007 the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, and the Manitoba Human Rights Commission will jointly present the Manitoba Human Rights Commitment Award and the Sybil Shack Memorial Human Rights Youth Award at a luncheon celebrating International Human Rights Day.

The awards recognize a group or person in Manitoba who has significantly promoted respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. This year’s Commitment Award recognizes activities which have advanced human rights by overcoming discrimination based on mental disability. The Sybil Shack Memorial Human Rights Youth Award acknowledges work that has an impact on the advancement of human rights as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom and human rights legislation.

The 2007 recipients of Annual Manitoba Human Rights Commitment Award are the teachers, principal, and students involved in the The Bridges FASD Intermediate Program at David Livingstone Community School. Teacher Deb Thordarson, says that “through the students’ perseverance and courage in speaking out about their disability, they demonstrate to everyone what incredible gifts they are. They are living proof that individuals with FASD are so much more than how they are portrayed, or how they are valued by society.”

The 2007 recipient of the Sybil Shack Memorial Manitoba Human Rights Youth Award is Krupa Kotecha, a grade 12 student at Balmoral Hall School. Krupa was nominated by her teachers because they “believe that she deserves to be recognized for her unwavering persistence in promoting human rights and anti-racism in Manitoba.” Krupa initially learned about the consequences of racism through her mother, a former Ugandan who lived through the dictatorship of Idi Amin. Krupa, along with two friends, produced a national award winning video about a young girl being bullied because of her race. She also wrote and performed a monologue about the prejudice faced by a teenage Indian immigrant to Canada. Krupa writes about barriers to equality and continues to work towards raising awareness of multiculturalism and diversity.

The keynote speaker at the International Human Rights Day luncheon is Jane Burpee, who is the education coordinator for the Schizophrenia Society and a wonderful actress. Jane will perform two monologues about women dealing with issues related to mental disability.

The luncheon and award ceremony will take place on Monday, December 10, 2007 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, at Radisson Hotel, 280 Portage Avenue.

Tickets are on sale now at a cost of $25.00 per person and $200.00 for a table of 8.

December 10th is International Human Rights Day, which marks the anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Universal Declaration is the basis of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

For tickets to honour these recipients on December 10, contact: The Manitoba Human Rights Commission 945-3007 and ask for Beatrice Watson .

For more information about the Manitoba Human Rights Commitment Award and Sybil Shack Memorial Human Rights Youth Award, contact:

Patricia Knipe
Communications Director