P.E.I. students create art for Human Rights Day

Dave Stewart
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Katia Hughes, student at Colonel Gray High School, shows the mural entitled 'Among Those Who Stood Up' she created from a P.E.I. Newcomers Association Anti-Racism Creative Competition entry, which was on display at the Human Rights Commission's celebration of Human Rights Day 2015 held in Charlottetown on Dec. 10, 2015.

A Charlottetown high school student wants people to take a stand against racism.

Katia Hughes is one of the many students who produced creative works in recognition of Human Rights Day on Thursday.

Entitled "Among Those Who Stood Up," it was on display as part of a celebration of cultural diversity, hosted by the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission.

Her material features the faces of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, both well known for their fight against apartheid.

Hughes completed it while she was a student at Queen Charlotte Intermediate School a couple of years ago.

"I thought of all the people who stood up to (racism)'' Hughes said in describing why she decided on faces as her representation.

And, while much of the artwork on display was in colour, Hughes did hers in grey scale.

"You should see people the way they are, not based on the colour of their skin,'' she said.

Charlottetown Rural High School's gender and sexuality alliance had plenty of colour in theirs.

Alice Cheverie, a student at the Rural, said they asked students who are visible minorities to give them a quote on what diversity means to them.

You should see people the way they are, not based on the colour of their skin. Katia Hughes

"It's an example of how important it is to have gender and sexual equality,'' Cheverie said.

Students at Vernon River Consolidated School, Stratford elementary, Colonel Gray High School and Birchwood Intermediate were also involved in the Human Rights Day event.

Brenda Picard, executive director of the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission, started hosting these open houses on Human Rights Day three years ago.

A project officer works on resources for schools to teach children about human rights at all grade levels.

"It was also designed to fit into the curriculum that they already have so it's not an add-on. It's (about) creating an inclusive environment, creating a community of children who understand diversity,'' Picard said.

The open house is an opportunity to showcase the creative works by those students.



Organizations: P.E.I. Human Rights Commission, Queen Charlotte Intermediate School, Rural High School Birchwood

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Vernon River

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