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Writing for social justice and human rights forum

Authors in the classroom

March 19, 2014 — 

If newer and older forms of writing are to be mightier than the sword, kids need to learn how to wield these forms effectively. The best writing teachers are those who see themselves as authors.

University of Manitoba language and literacy education professors are hosting a full-day forum for teachers to explore current understandings and practices of writing so they can nurture the potential of children and youth to transform their world. Reporters are welcome to attend two of the morning sessions.

When: Sat. Mar. 22, 2014
9:15 a.m.: Children’s and young adult book authors and literacy scholars Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Campoy will speak about teachers, students and families as authors.
11:25 a.m.: Children as Rights Bearers, with Law Prof. Karen Busby
Where: Moot Court Room, Robson Hall, Fort Garry campus, University of Manitoba

Organizers Michelle Honeyford and Wayne Serebrin were inspired by the National Writing Project, which has 200 sites across the U.S. co-directed by university faculty and K-12 teachers.

“We would like to be the first site in Canada to establish a similar partnership designed to engage young writers in democratic dialogue around social issues,” Honeyford said.

The forum takes place the day after the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and six months before the opening of Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Interactive workshop sessions in the afternoon will include teaching human rights through writing, oral storytelling and digital media and crafting compelling letters to the editor.

Reading instruction has received a lot of attention in recent decades but activist literacy also involves creating opportunities for children and youth to claim their identities and express their visions and experiences through writing in multiple forms, Serebrin said.

The event received financial support from U of M’s Centre for Human Rights Research and the Faculty of Education.

Teachers can register for the forum at

For more information, contact Michelle Honeyford at 204-474-7243 or or Wayne Serebrin at 204-474-9024 or

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