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Posted: November 26, 2014

Famous humanitarians touring SD5 schools

Beginning this week, School District No. 5 (SD5) is proud to partner with the East Kootenay Humanity Network (EKHN) to promote the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Day of December 10 by ‘touring’ six famous humanitarians through SD5 schools.

Human Rights Day was proclaimed by the UN in 1950 following the December 10th adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, authored by Canada’s John Peters Humphrey, past Director of Human Rights for the UN.

“It’s an important day to celebrate,” says Amy Cross, consultant for the EKHN. “This is a declaration that recognizes a broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights. It’s also led to the addition of other protections over the years including that of children, women, victims of torture and persons with disabilities.”

Trustee Trina Ayling
Trustee Trina Ayling

Trustee Trina Ayling, SD5 representative on the EKHN, agrees with its importance and explains that the tour consists of life-size cut-out of famous humanitarians.

“We’re encouraging students to take photographs, or ‘selfies,’ with the celebrity cut-outs and hashtag or post them to the Humanity Network website along with a short message about what human rights mean to them. We want to build awareness around what these important individuals did, how his/her efforts impact the freedoms we enjoy today and what it means for tomorrow. But we also want it to be fun, interactive and relevant to how kids communicate today,” Ayling said.

Short bios will accompany each of the ‘celebrities’ and the road show will complete its Cranbrook leg of the tour at the Key City Theatre (KCT) on the evening of December 9.

Tomson Highway
Tomson Highway

The peak of the tour is a free presentation by award-winning author and lecturer, Tomson Highway, who will be speaking on racial diversity and harmony in Canada at the KCT on December 9 at 7 p.m.

According to Cross, the focus of the annual EKHN keynote speaker this year is about raising awareness of issues related to ‘humanity’ and the exploration of these issues to create harmony, generate conversations and build welcoming and inclusive communities in the Kootenays.

“We enjoyed a lot of participation last year, especially from students, when we asked what mountains mean to our communities. We wanted to do something along the same vein but make it fresh and new. Thus, the travelling road show was born,” Cross said.

The six “celebrities” of the road show include Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Canadian born John Peters Humphrey, Nellie McClung and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

The road show began on Tuesday, November 25 at Amy Woodland School and continues into the Elk Valley following the December 9 Tomson Highway presentation at the KCT. It will also make appearances along the way at various East Kootenay community locations.
For school tour dates and times and for a link to the EKHN website to view their list of community appearances, please check the SD5 homepage at www.sd5.b.ca.

Tickets to the Tomson Highway presentation are available at the Key City Theatre and are free of charge. Presentation begins at 7 p.m.

For inquiries into the Humanity Network, please contact Amy Cross at [email protected].

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