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Amnesty International Partners with UCalgary for Annual Conference

Human rights, reconciliation, inclusion at top of agenda for free event


May 17, 2017

Each year, Amnesty International Canada hosts a conference to focus on human rights issues, and this year that free, one day conference will be held on the University of Calgary campus.

The conference is part of the organization’s annual general meeting, which will be held from June 2-4 at the Hotel Alma.

On June 3, Living Together: Understanding human rights, appreciating diversity and working towards reconciliation will take place in the Social Sciences complex. The event will be co-hosted and coordinated by the Faculty of Arts.

"We are thrilled for the opportunity to open a solution-oriented conversation with esteemed leaders, activists and experts on these and other critical human rights issues of our time in partnership with the University of Calgary," says Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada.

 “As a faculty that places great emphasis on the humanities and social sciences, the issues at the heart of this conference speak to matters we address every day, both as teachers and researchers,” says Richard Sigurdson, dean of the Faculty of Arts. “It was important to the Faculty of Arts to play a key role in hosting this event, which seems more relevant in today’s society than ever before.” 

The program kicks off with a keynote address by Tareq Hadad, a recent newcomer to Canada from Syria and the founder of the family business Peace by Chocolate. 

Throughout the day, panel sessions will be held, hosted by the Werklund School of Education and the Faculties of Arts, Social Work and Law and will focus on resource development and Indigenous rights, literature and human rights, peaceful activism, and responding to global security threats.

Five concurrent workshops will also be offered in the early afternoon; participants can choose to learn more about the rights of refugees, transgender people, and the Indigenous community; business and human rights (corporate responsibility), being an ally, and activism skills.
"Whether it is the unprecedented global refugee crisis, the urgent need for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada, or the fight for equality of LGBTI communities in Canada and abroad,” says Neve, “it is abundantly clear that Canada must champion a vision for human rights and inclusion in all aspects of public policy and international diplomacy.”
While the conference, which includes a boxed lunch for attendees, is no cost, registration is requested to ensure adequate seating and refreshments throughout the day long event.  The registration table opens at 8 a.m. in the Science Theatres Atrium, and the conference begins at 9 a.m.