About Us

Speakingrights.ca is a component of the Speaking Rights Program, a Human Rights Education program that aims at developing the capacity of youth to engage in actions that support respect for human rights. Speaking Rights is a program of Equitas-International Centre for Human Rights Education.

About Equitas

Equitas is a non-profit organization working in Canada and globally to advance equality, social justice and respect for human dignity through human rights education. In the last 50 years, Equitas has reached over 2 million people worldwide. We currently work in 45 communities across Canada and 15 countries globally. In Canada, our programs focus on building children’s and youth’s knowledge, skills and aptitudes for being changemakers in their communities. Our programs equip children and youth who may face exclusion or discrimination with the skills and opportunities to address issues that are important to them in their lives and communities, enabling and supporting children and youth so they can succeed and reach their full potential. Learn more about Equitas at www.equitas.org

About the Speaking Rights Program

Speaking Rights is an HRE program that aims at developing the capacity of youth to engage in actions that support respect for human rights. Through participatory activities and CAPs, youth are increasing their understanding of human rights and human rights values (such as equality, respect) and building life skills (such as self-awareness, critical thinking, empathy) while increasing resilience, building positive relationships and having a stronger voice in promoting respect for human rights in their communities. Other Speaking Rights Program components include: basic and advanced-level training for youth workers; a comprehensive youth human rights education toolkit, follow-up coaching and support mechanisms for organizations; and organizational support for youth-led Community Action Projects (CAPs).

About the Speaking Rights National Project

Between 2016-2018, we are working with 15 Speaking Rights partner organizations from across Canada to build more inclusive communities through youth participation, dialogue and respect for diversity. Our organizational partners engage youth (12-25) from their programs in the project. The project included a national training with youth workers and youth members of the 15 partner organizations, a follow-up youth forum, and the implementation of local community action projects by the partners. Through these projects, over 2000 youth are engaged nationally and leading positive change towards more inclusive communities across Canada. Our partners have contributed to creating speakingrights.ca, by identifying important topics that they would like to see addressed on the site, and by contributing to the creative direction and utility of this online space.

The youth involved in the project reflect the broad diversity of young people in Canada. They differ in terms of their experiences, backgrounds, and contexts in which they have grown up in but share a common desire to make positive change in their community. Participating youth describe themselves in many ways, including loving, curious, energetic, artistic, multilingual, resilient, and unique.

Together with youth-serving partner organizations, we are providing unique, inclusive spaces for diverse youth to participate, express themselves and feel like they belong. The 15 partner organizations of the 2016-2018 Speaking Rights National Project are:

Quebec Native Women, La Maison d’Haïti (Montreal North), Dawson Community Centre (Montreal), City of Toronto, FCJ Refugee Centre(Toronto), Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM), Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Center Inc.(Winnipeg), VOICES (Winnipeg), Graffiti Art Programming Inc. (Winnipeg), YMCA Regina, Vancouver Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS), Vancouver School Board Engaged Immigrant Youth Program (VSB-EIY), Surrey Community Schools Partnership, Multicultural Association of Fredericton Inc. and PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada.

About speakingrights.ca

Speakingrights.ca is an online space created by and for Equitas’ Speaking Rights’ partners from across Canada. The space serves to highlight innovative initiatives youth are taking to respond to community challenges and to foster national conversations on equality, inclusion and diversity issues.Youth-led community action projects (CAPs) are tagged by specific topics (issues such as gender equality, discrimination, and reconciliation) as well as tactics (strategies youth are implementing to drive community changes, such as workshops, arts, and mentorship)

The development of speakingrights.ca was made in collaboration with a youth advisory, comprised of youth involved in the Speaking Rights National Project. The youth advisory took part in choosing the look and feel of speakingrights.ca. The Public Studio led the creative direction of the online space and developed it, in collaboration with the advisory.

The creative of speakingrights.ca, as chosen by the youth advisory, represents the idea of movement. It explores the flexibility and imagination of transformative change. Through a kinetic (animated) logo, the fives steps of community action (explore, motivate, investigate, take action, and evaluate and celebrate) move from plan to action, from process to product, and from idea to impact. The transformation of the logo demonstrates how Speaking Rights offers youth a framework for transformative community change. This framework can be applied to amplify voices, build capacity, engage in creative practices, and inspire change.

Our Funders

We would like to thank Heritage Canada, RBC, TD Bank, the City of Montreal, the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, the Winnipeg Foundation, Telus, Coast Capital Savings, The Inclusion Fund, The George Hogg Family Foundation, The Diamond Family Foundation, The Hamber Foundation, and The Amir and Yasmin Virani Family Foundation for their generous support of the Speaking Rights Program.