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Breaking Barriers Building Bridges 2018

The 2017-2018 school year has come and gone, and that means we’ve also completed another year of Breaking Barriers Building Bridges (BBBB). The 2017-2018 school year brought three amazing groups of young people together for the Breaking Barriers program: Fort Richmond Collegiate, J. H. Bruns Collegiate, and our CEDA Pathways to Education Peer Helpers. Together, these 60 young people took part in BBBB with the goal of exploring concepts related to oppression, encouraging awareness-building of inequities in our society, and responding directly to a number of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by organizing a series of gatherings that promote:

  • Intergenerational learning and relationships with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, community leaders, and peers;
  • Relationship building between students from suburban and inner-city high schools;
  • Literacy development regarding issues of racism, settler-colonialism, privilege, and oppression;
  • Peer mentorship and youth leadership development; and
  • Social justice reconciliation projects involving students from suburban and inner-city high schools that foster relationship development.

This year’s program was four sessions long and took place at Neeginan Centre, Thunderbird House, Merchants Corner, and Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre. We worked with amazing Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and community leaders who shared their knowledge and stories with us to help us learn about our communities and ourselves: Stan McKay, Barb Nepinak, Clarence Nepinak, Florence Paynter, Allen Sutherland, Mitch Bourbonnière, Michael Champagne, Jackie Hogue, and Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie. Thank you for all you shared with the program!

2018 Breaking Barriers Building Bridgesfrom CEDA Winnipegon Vimeo.

We would like to acknowledge that the original Breaking Barriers Building Bridges program took place in 2012 with the amazing work of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – MBand included students from College Beliveau, Grant Park High School, and CEDA Pathways to Education. We know that this original event had an immense impact on our students at CEDA Pathways and–as it shows in the video– on the students from the suburban high schools. We hope that we have continued to move forward with this initiative in the spirit of the original gathering of shrinking the divide between people who live in the inner city and those who live in the suburbs by engaging in critical dialogue about racism.

The initiative is supported by the generosity of The Winnipeg Foundation. Also supporting this program is The Rotary Club of Winnipeg and dedicated community leader and educator, Strini Reddy.