For Immediate Release
April 21, 2008

Youth Conference in Winnipeg

Students get involved in the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Youth Conference

Inmates at Headingley Tailor Shop and COR Enterprises in Brandon help with banner project

Dr. Samantha Nutt of War Child Canada is keynote speaker

With a little help from Headingley Correctional Centre’s Tailor Shop and COR Enterprises in Brandon, Manitoba students are embarking on a project in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The project, called Peace by Piece is part of the Manitoba Human Rights “Our World, Your World, My World” Youth Conference to be held on April 24 in Winnipeg and April 25 in Brandon.

The “Peace by Piece” session, which challenges students to take on the values and goals of the Universal Declaration is one of the highlights of this year’s conference. The students will be given one hour to work on a piece of material and design a personal message. Their message will be part of a larger banner. When assembled, the banner will be approximately a 24 by 24 foot circle, and delivered to the Manitoba Legislature on International Human Rights Day December 10, 2008. Students in the North, who attended a similar conference in The Pas during March, have completed their sections.

A picture of one of the pieces from the northern conference is attached.

Inmates at the Headingley Correctional Centre Tailor Shop will be sewing the pieces together. Trades Instructor Polly Cook says that this type of project is a gift for both the giver and receiver. “The inmates that work in the shop are learning a useful skill that they take with them when they leave. Many have gone into their own business making star blankets,” she says.

Also helping with this project is COR Enterprises in Brandon, which is a vocational training center for developmentally challenged adults.

Another highlight of this year’s youth conference is keynote speaker Dr. Samantha Nutt, founder and executive director of War Child Canada. Dr. Nutt will not only be speaking about her personal experiences with war affected children, she will also talk to the high school students about how they can have an impact on human rights around the world. Dr. Nutt will be speaking at 1:30 p.m. in Winnipeg, and 9:30 a.m. in Brandon.

War Child Canada is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance to war-affected children around the world. War Child Canada helps generate awareness, support and advocacy for children's rights everywhere.

This year’s conference workshops include: “Scenes from a Hat,” a skit based workshop dealing with discrimination and harassment and the rights and responsibilities of students; “Are You Smarter than a Human Rights officer,” a quiz based on human rights; “Taking Chances/Creating Change,” a presentation by Michael Champagne about negative stereotypes and turning them into personal challenges; and “Welcome to Friendly Manitoba,” an enlightening session with guest speakers about the issues faced by immigrant and refugee students.

Thursday April 24, Franco Manitobaine Cultural Centre
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

For more information please contact:

Patricia Knipe
Communications Director
Manitoba Human Rights Commission