News Release: The Manitoba Human Rights Commission
November 28, 2011

Student from Mennonite Community receives human rights award
for initiating a Gay-Straight Alliance group

The Commitment Award goes to a Union reflecting the diversity of its membership

The Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Manitoba Human Rights Commission proudly announce the recipients of the 2011 Human Rights Awards.

The Annual Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award recognizes a person or group of people under 25 years old who has promoted respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms within Manitoba. The recipient of the Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth award for 2011 is Rebekah Enns of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate in Winnipeg.  Rebekah initiated a gay-straight alliance group at her school.

In her nomination papers Donna Peters-Small wrote that setting up this group “took a great deal of courage as the topic of homosexuality is a controversial one in our community and Rebekah knew she was opening herself up to possible criticism and judgement.”

This year's Commitment Award recognizes those employers and unions who have demonstrated a commitment to human rights resulting in an inclusive and diverse workplace.

The Recipient of the 2011 Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba is the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 832 Training Centre.  The UFWC provides and promotes an inclusive union that reflects the diversity of its membership and their families.  It was nominated by Carrie Walker Jones and Semhar Ekubamichael who say that the union`s work includes the right to be free from discrimination, the rights to be free from harassment the right to be treated with respect and dignity and the right to opportunities that allow individuals to succeed. 

Everyone is encouraged to attend the award reception to congratulate this year's recipients at an after work reception on December 8, which will also acknowledge and celebrate International Human Rights Day. A reception at Kum Koon Garden, 257 King Street, Winnipeg, will take place between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Tickets are $20.00 and available by contacting the Manitoba Human Rights Commission at 204-945-3007.

For more information please contact

Patricia Knipe
Communications Director
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
204-945-5112