SEIU Healthcare held its first-ever Human Rights Conference at the Westin Prince Hotel at the end of August 2019. More than 200 SEIU Healthcare members participated in this historic day.
The day started off with an Indigenous land acknowledgment and hoop dance from Theland Kicknosway, a member of Walpole Island -Bkejwanong Territory in Southern Ontario.
Guest speaker Marie Clarke-Walker, Secretary-Treasurer for the Canadian Labour Congress, discussed the importance of the upcoming elections and the urgency to elect a political party who will prioritize equality and social justice.
The conference heard from a distinguished group of panelists including Indigenous relations consultant Michael Etherington, labour and human rights advocate Mohammed Hashim, community organizer Sarah Jama, human rights lawyer Anthony Morgan, SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart, and SEIU Healthcare Director of Internal Organizing Bastian Williams. Brittany Andrew-Amofah, policy professional and media commentator, moderated the panel discussion that focused on challenging oppression and breaking down barriers.
Vice-President of SEIU International, Luisa Blue, gave a passionate speech about the troubling political climate in the U.S. and the critical need for us all to speak out against rising racism and cultural and environmental injustices.
Members also participated in breakout room sessions to create action plans for our equity groups including LGBTQ+, persons with disability, young workers, workers of colour, and Aboriginal/Indigenous peoples.