HDSB Human Rights Symposium 2021 - Identity and Human Rights
The Halton District School Board hosted the
Human Rights Symposium on Thursday, Dec. 9 (1 - 2 p.m.) and Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 (9:30 - 10:30 a.m.) to engage in vital conversations and challenge thinking. The theme of this year’s event was Identity and Human Rights to explore how intersecting identities impact one’s access to and enjoyment of Human Rights. This year’s Symposium was a virtual event for HDSB students and staff.
Thank you to the staff and students who joined the Human Rights Symposium and participated in Identity & Human Rights Week in the HDSB in the days leading up to the Symposium. Thousands of HDSB staff and students spent time listening and learning about identity, indigenous rights and human rights at this year’s virtual Symposium with keynote speakers Janice Makokis and Spencer West.
Janice Makokis shared her journey to break down stereotypes and address colonial systems of oppression for First Nations communities. In a riveting, informative and heartfelt presentation, Spencer West shared his experiences and knowledge of the intersectionality of identity and how it is critical in ensuring we are seen and that we feel worthy and welcome in all spaces.
Human Rights Symposium Postcard (PDF)
Legal Scholar, Lawyer, Mother, Indigenous Consultant
Janice Makokis is a legal scholar, lawyer, mother and Indigenous consultant from Saddle Lake Cree Nation located in Treaty 6 territory. Through her work, Janice assists both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to break down stereotypes and identify colonial systems of the past that are still in place today that have shaped the outcomes for First Nation communities. She has dedicated her career and her life to her people. She focuses on educating others on the Truth of our history, to guide us all to take the right steps towards Reconciliation for racial, gender and social prosperity.
International Speaker, Content Creator, Bestselling Author, World Change Warrior/Activist, Social Media Influencer
After losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five, Spencer entered a world that might have easily defeated him. Instead, he tackled challenge after challenge, learning to navigate in a world set against those with disabilities. His many accomplishments and lessons learned along the way, led him to discover techniques business leaders, professionals, educators and young people can use to
redefine possible in their own lives and careers.
Infused with humour and humility, Spencer’s thought provoking and genuinely enlightening experiences offer lessons on how to find opportunity in every challenge, while instilling hope and empowering leaders to motivate others to create positive change.
Identity & Human Rights Week in the HDSB (Dec. 6-10)
HDSB Trustees declared the week of Dec. 6-10 as
Identity & Human Rights Week in the HDSB for schools and staff to spend time learning about the importance of identity.
Identity & Human Rights Week in the HDSB, students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 were engaged in learning about the importance of identity and how it shapes our world views and how we experience the world around us. Students and teachers spent time examining important issues and driving actionable change in focused learning about identity, Indigenous rights and human rights.
Students and staff are encouraged to share what they are learning on social media with the hashtag:
What is the Human Rights Symposium?
Human rights is the work and responsibility of all members of society. The HDSB recognizes the importance of bringing education and community partners together to engage in vital conversations to challenge our thinking. The Human Rights Symposium provides an opportunity for educators and community partners to examine important issues impacted by equality and the human condition.
To learn more about the Human Rights Symposium, email firstname.lastname@example.org, follow the hashtag
#HDSBsym on Twitter.
View recaps of previous Human Rights Symposium events: