Equitas > EquiTalks: Voices of Human Rights Education
On March 22, 2022, Equitas hosted the EquiTalks, an annual series of events which seeks to bring together people committed to human rights and to stir conversations on how to build connected communities. This spring’s EquiTalks focused on human rights defenders and the challenges and opportunities they are facing in the current context. The panel discussion involved changemakers such as Mary Lawlor, the UN Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. A theme which emerged in discussion was the dehumanization that is often targeted at people who are disrupting the status quo for a more inclusive and just world. This series aims to counter this and to focus on the humanity and values of individuals working to defend human rights. We will be holding conversations with members of the Equitas team about their human rights journeys and showing how anyone can be a human rights defender.
Amrita is passionate about anti-racist pedagogy and social justice education, she has pursued these interests through studying anthropology, teaching, and developing curriculum and workshops such as on culturally responsive teaching practices. During our conversation, we discussed themes such as inclusive education, respecting youth voices, teaching during the pandemic, and her involvement in the British Columbia Ministry of Education’s K-12 Anti-Racism Action Plan.
“…The core of human rights education begins with empathy and really seeing, honouring, and accepting people.”
Elom is a strong advocate for justice and equality. Growing up in Togo in West Africa, Nelson Mandela’s story motivated his interest in human rights from a very young age. He studied development economics, always keeping in mind a link with human rights, because it was a way for him to participate in changing dynamics. In this episode, we learn more about his journey, the reasons and inspirations that led him to work for the promotion and defense of human rights as well as his conception of human rights.
“What human rights defenders do is simply natural and nothing extraordinary: it is simply the basis of life itself. ”
Libertad is a firm believer in social justice and gender equality. She applies these beliefs in her role as a Gender Advisor at Equitas, working towards to supporting Equitas in implementing gender mainstreaming and intersectional perspectives in not only our external projects but also within our internal structures. In this episode, we discussed her human rights journey which includes themes such as inclusive feminisms, recognizing power dynamics within social movements, and the role of her childhood in inspiring her to dismantle structural gender inequalities.
“Social injustices are always going to be there, and if you’re there for the long run, you need to take care of yourself.”
”People are starting to become agents of change, especially youth. They are challenged and passionate about becoming agents of change in their communities to defend human rights through concrete action.”