News Release: The Manitoba Human Rights Commission

April 10, 2014

Students travel from across Manitoba to hear compelling singer/song writer/speaker Keith Macpherson at "DREAM" Human Rights Conference.

This year, the Manitoba Human Rights Youth Conference Team will be inspiring middle year students to dream of a world where equality exists and struggles against discrimination are over.

And what better motivation is there than through music. Heading up the 2014 Manitoba Human Rights Commission's DREAM Youth Conference in Shilo (April 15) and Winnipeg (April 16) is singer/songwriter/author and speaker Keith Macpherson.

Keith has been connecting and inspiring thousands of people around the world in his own unique way for several years. As a member of the popular country/pop duo, "Keith and Renee", Keith has spent over ten years performing music and volunteering around the world including Dubai, Kenya, throughout Europe, the United States and across Canada.

"Everyone can make a difference in their own way and we all need to learn how to be more compassionate to one another," he says. "Music can be used to connect and bring people together whether it is at a concert or at a market in Kenya."

The annual conference held in Shilo and in Winnipeg, is attracting students and teachers from around the province, some of whom are travelling hundreds of miles. For example, junior high students from Juniper School will be travelling from Thompson to attend the Winnipeg event. Also making the trip to Winnipeg are students and teachers from Little Saskatchewan School, Gypsumville and Sagkeeng Junior High, Fort Alexander.

The popularity of the human rights conferences is a great success for the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. There are 26 schools sending students to the Winnipeg Conference and 18 schools from all over rural Manitoba sending students to Shilo.

"We have reached capacity in both venues" says Pam Roberts, one of the conference team leaders and a human rights officer. "We like to keep our numbers under control so that the students can enjoy the workshops in smaller groups."

Some parts of the day have been referred to as organized chaos as students learn about their human rights by participating in smaller interactive workshops and the full group activities. These activities include a human sized board game and everyone's favourite, the Get Up, Get Moving.   

There is also something for the teachers – a "Human Rights Teacher's Kit."

The Human Rights DREAM Youth Conference doors open at 8:00 am for registration and close at 3:00 pm.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - C.F.B. Shilo General Strange Hall
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - Winnipeg Sunova Centre - 48 Holland Rd (West St Paul)

For more information about the conference, or to arrange an interview with Keith Macpherson or students attending the conference, please contact

Patricia Knipe
Communications Director
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
204-945-5112
Patricia.knipe@gov.mb.ca

Manitoba Human Rights Dream Youth Conference Program

DISCOVER your rights and responsibilities
REALIZE the power of one

EXPRESS yourself
ACT - speak up

MOTIVATE - encourage others

8:00 – 8:55 a.m.   Registration
9:00 – 9:10 a.m.   Opening Remarks by Azim Jiwa, Executive Director of Manitoba Human Rights Commission
9:10 – 9:25 a.m.   Fast Facts: Manitoba's human Rights Code
9:25 –10:30 a.m.   Keynote Address: Keith Macpherson
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.   Lifestyle Break
10:45 – 11:30 a.m.   Workshop 1 or DREAM Panel
11:35 – 12:20 p.m.   Workshop 2 or DREAM Panel
12:20 – 12:50 p.m.   Lunch
12:50 – 1:10 p.m.   Entertainment: Keith Macpherson
1:15 – 1:30 p.m.   Get Up, Get Moving Games
1:30 – 2:15 p.m.   T-shirt project
2:15 – 3:00 p.m.   The Rights Race (Teachers – this game requires your active participation too!)
3:00 p.m.   Closing

Workshops:

Scenes from a Hat – improvisation with human rights scenarios

What About Now – bullying, harassment and "drama'

DREAM Panel:
Shilo guests are: Grace Kang, Corey Cook and Bowen Wallis.
Winnipeg guests are: Grace Kang, Corey Cook and Megan Fultz