GlobalFest Human Rights Forum A Success

UFCW Local 401 is a proud sponsor of this year’s GlobalFest, an annual festival celebrating our cultural and artistic diversity as a community.

In addition to the incredible cultural and fireworks displays, GlobalFest Calgary is also home to a Human Rights Forum where new ideas are shared and where discussions take place about the most pressing human rights issues we face today.

This year, the theme of the Human Rights Forum sponsored by UFCW Local 401 and Local 1118 was, “The Refugee Experience: Settlement and Integration”. The reason we decided on this theme is because our members have come to live and work in Alberta from countries all over the world and so we are concerned with the issues that impact them, their families, and communities the most.

UFCW Local 401 Senior Labour Relations Officer Ricardo deMenezes energized the audience of the Forum with his stirring introductory remarks to the panel discussion. “At UFCW Local 401, we have a global union membership,” said Mr. deMenezes. “It is our mission as a labour organization to represent our members both in the workplace and in their communities.”

“Human rights are our priority and within this we fight for the fair treatment of all workers, this includes women, First Nations, LGBTQ, differently abled, and racialized peoples,” Mr. deMenezes said. “We seek to build an inclusive union, which strives to reflect the great diversity of this province and part of this means recognizing the important role of human rights and dignity in the workplace.”

Hosted at the Calgary Public Library on August 18th, the forum was filled with passionate discussion about the refugee experience in Alberta. Panelists shared their personal and professional experiences with the audience and demonstrated the ways in which they have contributed to allow refugees to settle well into our local communities. The panelists also shared the struggles refugees face as they search for work and a place to call home in a new country.

A big thanks to the forum’s moderator and panelists who made the forum a success:

Moderator:
Robert A. Philp, Queen’s Counsel, Alberta Human Rights Commission, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals

Panelists:
Roda Siad, Documentary Filmmaker and Community Developer
• Marjorie MacRae, Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, Team Lead, Settlement Services
• Aileen Astudillo, Cargill Foods High River, Senior HR Generalist
Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism

GlobalFest is on in Calgary until August 27, 2016, learn more here.