A Student-Led, Student-Driven Human Rights Conference
Students, teachers, parents, community members, district leaders, and administrators came together this past January 10th for a powerful day of learning, knowledge building and social action at the Change the Way 2019, Human Rights Conference.
Students from Dundas Valley Secondary School in Dundas Valley, Ontario, took charge of every aspect of the event — from coming up with the conference concept, selecting and inviting speakers, securing and prepping the venue, and everything in between. The program featured contributions and presentations from guest speakers, as well as elementary and secondary students across the school district, who showcased their work on innovating solutions and ways to advance the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
“I really liked how students started off the conference. When you go to school conferences or any school event teachers or someone else who isn’t a student will usually start off. The 11th grade students definitely were responsible and were ready to speak in a confident voice. Really shows how much students can do when you give them an opportunity.” – Gr. 7 student
The conference was also an amazing example of students bringing the international KB community together. Classrooms from Mexico, Singapore, Canada, and Spain all contributed their outstanding work to the conference. The international scope of the project stands as a wonderful extension of partnerships and classrooms collaborations already taking place between KB classrooms across the globe.
“It was very interesting to see all the different ages. We were the youngest, but we saw elders and teenagers talk about the UN Sustainable Goals. I would recommend [this conference] because it teaches stuff you would learn when you are older, so you can explore it now so you can learn it earlier.” – Grade 6 student
“It was interesting to see students of all different ages and their projects including their experiments and research on Human Rights initiatives. One class got water from Flint, Michigan and compared it to Toronto’s water. Another group of students recycled pop can tabs to make wheel chairs. One parent made sleeping mats and pillows from recycled milk bags. It was nice to see many young students get together to save the environment.” -Grade 6 student
“It was wonderful to witness and be a part of the Change the Way conference. Gathering many students and teachers (as well as community members) from various school boards provided an opportunity for students to share and build off of one another’s research and knowledge. From this new knowledge, students are now able to move forward in developing and creating solutions to world issues such as Climate Change and Human Rights.” – Darlene Martin, Junior Division Teacher
Check out the article presented below, written by a Max Kaplan, a Grade 11 student and conference organizer (Notice his shout out to KF!)