Education students, faculty discuss racism during high school workshop

Brandon University (BU) Education students and faculty led an anti-racism workshop with a group of 50 high school students this month at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.

Led by Dr. Michelle Lam, Director of BU CARES, and Faculty of Education Assistant Professor Dr. Jill Morris, the contingent also included BU students Dylan Burrell, Monique Huberdeau, Kaden Jamil Mirza and Ashley Sadler. Dr. Zahra Kasamali of the Faculty of Education also helped develop the workshop but was not able to attend the event. They built the workshop around research films produced by BU CARES, hosting students from 21 Winnipeg high schools, designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties was also a partner in planning the event.

“Our BU students knocked it out of the park, leading the high school students through brainstorming ideas and transformative theatre,” Dr. Lam marveled. “The students acted out ways they could ‘change the scene’ when they saw racism happening in the film.

They were very bright and engaged.

Dr. Michelle Lam

The high school students also had the opportunity to meet Bisong Taiwo, one of the filmmakers, to discuss his film and experiences with him.

A group of people stand side-by-side.
The session was led by the Brandon University team of Monique Huberdeau (from left to right, Ashley Sadler, Dr. Michelle Lam, Dr. Jill Morris, Dylan Burrell and Kaden Jamil Mirza.

“It was a wonderful and inspiring, with all the students making a great impression on those of us who were there,” Dr. Lam said. Bisong was impressed by the insights and thoughtful questions of the high school students, and a curriculum consultant for Manitoba Education was so impressed by our students that she happily offered to provide a reference if any of them were job-seeking. What a great endorsement of their skills!

Created as part of a two-year research project, the videos feature the real-life stories of Manitobans who have experienced racism. Released in 2022, the videos have received half a million views on social media. The videos can be seen at


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