Making History: One School Division, One United Cause
At Pembina Trails, we aim to foster compassionate, socially aware young people. During the 2014/15 school year, each one of our 33 schools focused on learning more about human rights. Though our educators work towards creating a true sense of community and belonging in our schools daily, we also understand we must extend these lessons beyond the classroom.
The mission of the Pembina Trails Human Rights Project was to create a catalyst for change. Since the generation of students in our schools were already interested in and thinking intelligently about social justice and human rights, we wanted to provide them with an exciting opportunity to partake in some community-wide social action.
On May 20 and 21, 2015, 15,000 Pembina Trails students and staff transformed Investors Group Field into a massive mosaic highlighting the human rights of children. Each person created a single 8x10” panel depicting what human rights means to them.
This innovative project was a first in Canada and was made possible through partnerships with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Investors Group Field. Our students were given access to construct this mosaic at the stadium without cost.
In the hopes of inspiring our students long past the event itself, a number of guest speakers also shared their own human rights stories. Gail Asper, Michael Champagne and Éloge Butera, a survivor of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, were just some of the many gracious individuals who took centre stage and helped make the event memorable for all involved.
As a way to honour the May event, 99 panels, three from each of our 33 schools, were proudly displayed at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The student art exhibit took place over two days in June and attracted quite a crowd of community members and parents, all of whom were impressed by the project. An online student gallery was also created, giving every Pembina Trails student a space to share a digital version of their panel and discuss the art they created with others across the globe in the true spirit of community.