Doing What’s Best for Kids

News Release: Empowering FMPSD Youth to Advocate for Human Rights

Posted on: General News

(Fort McMurray, AB - December 20th, 2023) The Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo (MCA) recently hosted a powerful and insightful Human Rights Day Conversation Café. This event, held on Sunday, December 10, featured a captivating panel of five esteemed community members and Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) student youth ambassadors who engaged in thought-provoking discussions revolving around this year's all-important theme - "Youth Standing for Human Rights."

The MCA's Human Rights Day Conversation Café was a vital platform for local community members and youth ambassadors to come together, learn, and engage in meaningful dialogue regarding human rights. Participants had the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, share their perspectives, and challenge how we think about human rights.

FMPSD students played a crucial role in the Human Rights Day Conversation Café, contributing their perspectives on the importance of youth activism in the struggle for human rights. The students shared how they have made significant strides in advocating for their rights and those of their peers and the challenges they have encountered.

Grade 9 Westwood Community High School student Tanishka Chouhan reflected on the diverse opinions and eye-opening discussions.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the event; I got to hear a lot of diverse opinions and views on topics that I otherwise take for granted. It was eye-opening just how varying the topic of human rights can be, the challenges some groups still have in attaining and reinforcing their rights and the active goal of strengthening communal human rights.”

During this event, the panel of five esteemed community members shared their wisdom and experiences on various topics such as human rights and children, the effects of racism on society, and gender equality. The conversations challenged deep-rooted societal norms and encouraged youth ambassadors to advocate for fundamental human rights actively.

One of the youth advocates, Grade 8 Westwood Community High School student Aarya Patel, highlighted the importance of breaking down language barriers to ensure that newcomers to the community have access to essential services and fully understand their rights.

“I wanted to attend the Conversation Café because we have a lot of immigrants in the community who rely on family members for translation or services; the only issue is when new services are made available, they might not be fully known to non-English speakers. We must tear down language barriers to ensure everyone knows services available and human rights.”

The Multi-Cultural Association of Wood Buffalo's Human Rights Day Conversation Café was a resounding success, providing valuable insights and a platform for hearty conversations around human rights. This event served as a powerful reminder that our young people are both aware and engaged in issues revolving around human rights and that collective action is needed to institute meaningful and lasting change. FMPSD students benefited greatly from the hosted event, gaining insight into the nuanced challenges and potential solutions surrounding human rights advocacy issues.

For additional information, contact:

Momin Syed                                                           
Communications Coordinator
Fort McMurray Public School Division