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University of Manitoba
Celebrating Canada’s 150th
25th Anniversary of Manitoba Multiculturalism Act
At the Heart of Human Rights is Human Dignity
March 21 & 22, 2017- 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Canadian history informs us with lessons in what happens when we do not honour human dignity and uphold human rights under trying conditions. The question is - Have we learned from this history or are we repeating the same mistakes? On this 150th anniversary of Canada, let us have some honest and difficult conversations so we can move beyond political slogans to real and tangible results.
Today’s Canada is struggling with Islamophobia/homophobia/anti-Semitism/xenophobia and the ongoing anti-indigenous stereotyping, while little attention is being given to what impact this is having on the psycho/social health of individuals and on our cohesion as a nation. We know that societies can be torn apart when hate goes unchallenged, ignorance becomes excuse for racism and fear is allowed to promote ‘othering’ of groups of people.
This is the moment when our consciousness must be awakened, not later when our national soul has been damaged and the only course left is to apologize to the victims of our inaction. Let us foster reconciliation as a proactive strategy rather than reactive.
Speakers will inform on how to balance rights when they seem to be in “conflict”, how to preserve human dignity even when we disagree with each other, and how to build bridges of mutual respect when values are at odds.
This forum it is not to present academic papers, but to have conversations among civil society stakeholders. The objective is to educate not shame, inspire not judge, motivate response not reaction, inform not proselytize, encourage empathy not just tolerance. To foster social cohesion is a civic responsibility. Let us come together to fulfill it with mutual consultations.