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Andrew Swan, MLA Minto
May 25, 2016

Everybody Has the Right Program

Madam Speaker, the Winnipeg School Division is remarkably diverse in its students, staff and the communities it serves. For the past two years, Winnipeg School Division has been teaching students about Canada's human rights journey through the Everybody Has the Right program.

The program kicked off last October with a student summit address by Winnipeg's mayor, Brian Bowman. Mayor Bowman challenged students to find ways to celebrate the many wonderful cultures in Manitoba and work toward ending racism. Throughout the year, students shared their own stories of diversity and brainstormed how to promote acceptance within schools and society.

All this work and learning culminated in a day long celebrating diversity event at The Forks last week. More than 2,000 students marched in a circle around the Canadian museum of human rights as a symbolic tribute to everything they had shared and learned over the year. They carried silk banners painted with images of equity and diversity and watched performances from different school dance troupes and choirs.

If you visit the Winnipeg School Division website you can see pictures from the celebration taken by students from the photography program at Tech Voc High school.

Madam Speaker, it's never too early to teach young people about diversity. Education is the key to building citizens who respect their peers and consciously push for equality in their schools, workplaces and homes. I am proud that my children and the children of so many of my constituents attend schools in the Winnipeg School Division. Programs like Everybody Has the Right are, without question, key investments in Manitoba's future as we continue to pursue reconciliation, welcome newcomers and celebrate human rights and diversity.

I congratulate the Winnipeg School Division on its efforts to make its students the best citizens they can be.

Thank you.