Train-the-Trainers Sept. 25-27, 2009!

JHR’s third Train-the-Trainer conference at McGill was a huge success! The three-day conference gave students the opportunity to learn more about human rights and media education in order to plan their own workshops and human rights media campaigns. On Friday September 25th, conference participants went to one of three student-led workshops on human rights issues: Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Freedom of Expression and Access to Medicine. Friday’s workshops culminated with a guest lecture by Associate Professor Carrie Rentschler of the Communication Studies Department at McGill.

On Saturday September 26th, the day began with a discussion with the co-founder of Journalists for Human Rights, Ben Peterson. Conference participants learned about the process of starting up an NGO and the challenges and rewards of JHR’s expansion around the world. The rest of the day was dedicated to learning about different human rights legislation in Canada including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We also had a fantastic lunch provided by the Midnight Kitchen! The final activity was planning a workshop proposal to be presented to the rest of the group on Sunday.

On Sunday September 27th, conference participants presented a workshop proposal to the rest of the group on one of the topics discussed in the Friday workshops. Participants also learned about different aspects of human rights media, and did media analysis on existing media campaigns for human rights issues. Participants also analyzed human rights stories from prominent media outlets, and pitched their own ideas for human rights stories using specific media models.

With a core group of dedicated students, the conference ran smoothly and was a great learning experience for both the facilitators and participants. The next phase of the Train-the-Trainer program is for the conference participants to organize a smaller workshop at the high school level using the tools from the conference at McGill. After this phase is completed, the participants will receive full human rights training accreditation from JHR Canada. Thanks to everyone who came to the conference and made it such a great weekend!

If you are interested in organizing a Train-the-Trainer conference at the university or high school level, please email jhrmcgill@gmail.com.

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