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Ignite Change! Global Gathering for Human Rights


For more information, and to submit an abstract to present at Ignite Change 2017, please visit our event website,


Global Gathering for Human Rights



From August 21-25, 2017, in commemoration of the 150th birthday of Canadian Federation and the 140th anniversary of Treaty 6, the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights is planning Ignite Change 2017: A Global Gathering for Human Rights. This event will bring together people who are, individually or with others, acting to promote or protect human rights. The audience will include beginners, activists, educators and mentors focused on collective dialogue on critical human rights issues facing Canada and the world and building of strategies to affect positive social change.

We have identified four critical issues in the Canadian landscape for human rights defenders to consider and discuss. We will explore four topics during the event:



2. Drugs,
3. Hate and,
4. Human Trafficking.


Our goal is to deepen understanding on these four issues and their intersections from a global perspective; reflect on how they play out in our communities at a local level; and, debate what can be done to address the root causes and support those most marginalized and victimized. These issues hit to the core of many challenges we see in our country at the moment and the need for open, honest conversation is necessary to be able to affect change.

We will look at the gaps in protection, participation, provision and remedy of rights as well as identify opportunities for change to better protect or promote the security, dignity, freedom and justice of all.

Why Human Rights

The International Human Rights System provides people with the tools for accountability and action that ensures all people live a life of well being and achieve their full potential. Starting at the international level, standards are set by the global community that all states and duty bearers should work toward in their countries.

Why Edmonton?

Edmonton was North America’s first Human Rights City. A commitment from civil society in Edmonton to work towards embedding human rights in practise and policy and every day interactions. In 2015, the John Humphrey Centre was proud that the City of Edmonton made the formal commitment towards being a Human Rights City by making it one of the key strategies towards ending poverty in Edmonton within a generation.

The John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, a local human rights education NGO, is a pillar of human rights education in our province and country. We have been working together to bring people together to engage in human rights dialogues. This Ignite Change 2017! Global Gathering for Human Rights is our commitment to continuing the critical global conversations that we must face and setting our sights on where we are going beyond Canada’s 150th Anniversary.


How you can Help?

To make this event a success, it must be accessible to all; not matter their background, ability, or experience. We need help to make this happen. Here is how you can help:

  • Preparation for delegates, speakers, and participants through committee work and in office support;
  • Outreach and sharing among networks to ensure all Human Rights Defenders are aware of the event; and,
  • Donations, sponsorships and other forms of either in-kind or financial support that can enable us to provide stipends and travel to low-income Human Rights Defenders who are a vital part of this conversation.


To help us make Edmonton the heart for Human Rights Defenders in 2017. Please contact:

Tisha Raj

Ignite Change! Coordinator


Phone: (780) 453-2638


Let’s make an impact and let’s shift some things

Later Event: August 23
Justice 4 Reel