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Torch of Dignity relay event sheds light on continued importance of human rights, education in Manitoba | CBC News

Torch of Dignity relay event sheds light on continued importance of human rights, education in Manitoba | CBC News

Winnipeggers passed a torch around Central Park for an annual event this weekend, casting a spotlight on the continued importance of human rights.

Manitobans for Human Rights, an organization created eight years ago with the goal of educating Manitobans about the importance of human rights, held their seventh annual Torch of Dignity relay on Sunday.

The event featured human rights speakers and live entertainment as well as artisan, career and resource booths.

Zara Kadhim, the logistics coordinator for the organization, said although the event was downsized this year, the hope was to bring the community together.

“Education is the first step,” she told Radio-Canada in an interview, adding that the province still has a long way to go.

Event organizer Zara Kadhim says people are becoming desensitized to human rights violations in Manitoba. (Radio-Canada)

Friendly Manitoba is doing a lot better than many places in the world when it comes to human rights, Kadhim said, but issues like homelessness, MMIWG2S and immigrant and refugee struggles are becoming more normalized in the province.

“We’re almost desensitized to human rights violations,” she said.

The aim of the relay was to bring awareness to those issues and focus on peoples’ similarities instead of their differences, said Kadhim.

Vienna Code, public education and communications coordinator at the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba, says everyone deserves the right to mental health services. (Radio-Canada)

The peer support organization Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba, where all staff have lived experience with anxiety, had their own resource booth at the event.

“Mental health is a human right,” said Vienna Code, the public education and communications coordinator for ADAM. “We need to promote it a bit more and understand that all humans deserve the right to mental health services.”

With the pandemic seemingly winding down, Code said more people are having difficulties with addressing their nerves.

“People think they shouldn’t be anxious anymore or have those thoughts,” she said.

Anxiety and mental health concerns are common, she said, and ADAM acts as a stepping stone for people to see what next steps they have to take to address their mental health issues.

Code said it’s important for younger people to have earlier interventions when it comes to mental health issues.

“I think there still continues to be a stigma around mental health and I think that’s the hardest hurdle for people, to step and reach out for help.”

Sarah Parker, executive assistant of the Islamic Social Services Association, said the association took part in the event to encourage people to be open to learning about Islam and Muslims.

“In a way, if they know about Islam and Muslims, then we can fight the stereotypes,” she said.

“We believe that at the heart of human rights is human dignity.”

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Indian Railways launches events to highlight historical importance of trains and stations

Indian Railways launches events to highlight historical importance of trains and stations

Showcasing the role and importance of railways in the freedom struggle, Indian Railways will organise cultural shows, programmes, photo exhibitions and several other events at various stations across the country.

As many as 75 stations have been identified for the week-long programme, which is also a part of the 75th year of Independence celebrations.

According to an official release, “Nukkad Natak” (street plays), movie shows, photo exhibitions, and light and sound shows among other events, will be organised at the stations and on the last day, family members of freedom fighters will share freedom stories.

Also, under the programme, a total of 27 trains will be flagged off by the freedom fighter’s families from the originating stations. These trains will be decorated and also display information about their role in the freedom movement.

“We aim to spread values and glories of freedom struggle among the youth, who will be India’s future,” the chairman and CEO of Railway Board, Vinay Kumar Tripathi said on Monday at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi while inaugurating the event named  ‘Azadi Ki Rail Gadi aur Stations’.

Several programmes, shows and events have been organised by various governments, organisation, bodies and others, throughout the year, to celebrate the diamond jubilee of India’s Independence.

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WWE NXT stars Grayson Waller and Xyon Quinn explain the importance of returning to live events

WWE NXT stars Grayson Waller and Xyon Quinn explain the importance of returning to live events

NXT stars Grayson Waller and Xyon Quinn have explained the importance of returning to live events, with the COVID area officially in the rear-view mirror for WWE’s developmental territory.

The third brand of the pro wrestling juggernaut has seen a myriad of changes in recent times, with the new-look NXT 2.0 focusing more on preparing talent for the bright lights of the main roster, as opposed to being it’s own entity. 

Waller has become one of the shining lights for the brand since the changes were made, with the Aussie loudmouth cementing himself as one of the top heels in NXT.

From working an angle with the departing Johnny Gargano, to wrestling former world champion AJ Styles and challenging for a number of titles within NXT, the 32-year-old is primed for big things in the squared circle.

Waller is one of many NXT stars who will now get the experience to go back out on the road post-COVID, with the brand only working out of their Performance Center in Orlando, Florida since the pandemic began. 

Prior to the pandemic, NXT was a touring brand that would do ‘loops’ around parts of the US, and even travelled to the UK and Australia at the height of its popularity. 

And while the goalposts may have been moved in regards to the product, getting the opportunity as a developmental talent to perform solely for the live crowd, as opposed to a massive television audience, will only be beneficial in the long run.

Despite years of experience working the independents in Australia, Waller knows how important it is for the NXT roster and himself personally to get out in front of a different audience and further hone their craft. 

“It’s super important, I can’t put it over enough,” he told The Sporting News. 

“Luckily for me, I have about four or five years on the independent scene in Australia and working in front of live crowds twice every week.

“There’s a lot of people in NXT who this is their first time either working in front of a crowd at all, which is wild, or working in front of a crowd that isn’t at the Performance Center.

“That Performance Center crowd, they are there every week and they know everyone and they know what to expect. These live event crowds, some of these people have never seen wrestling before, so it’s a different environment.

“Regardless of how talented I am, when the camera comes on I perform, but the stress is there before you go out. There’s hundreds of thousands of people watching (on TV) and most of them want you to fail.

“Being able to go on these live events and have a little bit more fun and enjoy yourself more and interact with the live crowd, we’re not working for the people at home – we are working for the people who bought a ticket to come and watch us and we put on a show for them.

“I think it’s the most important thing and now that we are back doing that, I think you are going to see people improve even more rapidly than they are already are.”

With pro wrestling experience prior to signing with WWE, the likes of Waller, Carmelo Hayes and Cameron Grimes could be considered ‘main-roster ready’ in 2022, and those men likely aren’t far away from receiving a call to move up to Raw or SmackDown.

But for a talent like Xyon Quinn, who has come from a professional rugby league background just three years ago, the return to live events is even more important.

Up until the return to touring, the 32-year-old had only ever wrestled in front of the tight-knit Orlando crowd for the brand’s weekly TV program – but his world is about to change.

Quinn explained the ‘trial and error’ aspect of working live events without the pressure of TV. 

“You go out there, you have fun and try things – some things don’t work and you change them,” he told The Sporting News.

“As you know from school, when you make some drafts and send them in, the teacher has a look and they give it back to you – you send the next one in and get a much better mark.

“That’s kind of the same thing, you’ve just got to make sure you are ready and learn what things work and what things don’t and learn to try things.

“That’s the whole fun of it.”

Quinn and Waller are just two of a long list of Australian stars to make the jump to WWE, and while they come from different backgrounds, their end goal is the same.

And with WWE’s past reliance on part-time stars such as The Undertaker, Triple H and John Cena now leaving a huge hole at the top of the main roster, the hunger for NXT stars to make the jump and succeed is higher than ever. 

WWE NXT airs each Wednesday from 10am AEST on FOX8 and 8pm ET on USA Network. 

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St. Thomas Pride Month Events Stress Importance of Inclusion

St. Thomas Pride Month Events Stress Importance of Inclusion

Mirroring Pride Month events nationwide, celebrations on St. Thomas this weekend took on a more serious tone as both speakers and participants stressed the importance of inclusion in the wake of Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which granted federal protections for abortion.

Members of the territory’s LBTQIA+ community and allies celebrated Pride Month with a walk down the Waterfront Saturday. (photo by Ananta Pancham)

“What is happening in the Supreme Court is nothing less than terrifying, and it reminds all of us that we must exercise our right to vote. We must exercise our vote in talking about what is wrong – we cannot take anything for granted,” Gov. Albert Bryan, Jr. said during Saturday’s Pride Walk rally in Emancipation Garden. “We have to take a minute and concentrate to make sure that the rights of individuals, of families, and all of our civil rights are protected.”

Representing Delegate Stacey Plaskett, LuAnne Hodge spoke about support in the U.S. House for the Equality Act – which ultimately failed to pass in the Senate – and the John Lewis Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would prohibit federally-funded child welfare service providers from discriminating against children, families, and individuals because of their religion, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex traits), and marital status. While these efforts are a step in the right direction, the fight continues, Hodge said, especially in light “of the recent attacks on civil rights.”

Pride events each year are both a reminder of how far the nation – and world – has come in terms of advancing LGBTQIA+ rights and freedoms but also a reminder of where the fight started, added Pride Walk organizer Muria Nisbett. Marches across the nation each year commemorate protests that broke out after police raided a gay bar at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969.

“Pride is a celebration, but its a time of remembrance for those in our community who have lost, whose lives have been taken, and who have taken their lives because of hate, violence, and not being accepted,” Nisbett said as she led the crowd at Emancipation Garden in a moment of silence.

The walk to Yacht Haven Grande started moments later, with Nisbett adding a few words of inspiration for the LGBTQIA+ participants who lined up with flags and signs.

“We want you to know that you are seen, you are loved, and you are not alone,” she said. “We want to let members of the LGBTQ community that we can walk in solidarity with other members of the community – we can coexist in peace, in love, and in harmony.”

Saturday’s Pride Walk was also sponsored by AARP Virgin Islands, while a Coming Out Brunch afterward was hosted at Barefoot Buddha, where St. Thomas Pride Committee organizers Michele Weichman and Chuniqua George shared their own journeys in life and love. For those struggling with their identities, it’s important to be able to reach out to someone who can not only empathize but offer a hand in support, they said.

“We throw these events because of representation,” George said. “If I had more representation when I was a child, it would have been something I could have discovered and embraced sooner.”

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BLMNL Hosts “Redefining Our Standards of Beauty” Events to Educate on Black Hair and the Importance of Shifting Beauty Standards – The Muse

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February, Black History Month, is a month to celebrate Black lives and bring further awareness to Black history and culture. As a Black person, this month is very impactful as I learn more about my history. Last Saturday, Black Lives Matter Newfoundland and Labrador held their first event during their “Redefining Our Standards of Beauty” series. The online events will discuss Black beauty and how we redefine our standards of beauty. The first event focused on challenging the idea that “white is right” and developing our own ideas of right and wrong. 

After a warm welcome from the Co-Chair, Raven Khadeja, the event’s Keynote speaker Tanya Turton spoke on redefining our beauty standards to start matching with the identities that we carry. What stuck with me was her focus on the relationship between beauty and wellness; how that relationship can help us redefine our beauty. Furthermore, she discussed how redefining our beauty attaches us to another relationship central to the conversation: one between the body, mind and soul.

My takeaway from her impressive presentation is to practice beauty: you can start with defining beauty and integrating that definition into your authentic self. It left me to ponder on what beauty is to me and how I can showcase that through my unique character and identity.

“Beauty is reflective of your authentic self”

Tanya Turton

Afterwards, we dove into a Roundtable featuring: Muna Ahmed, an organizer and writer for BLM Nogojiwanong; Tanya Turton, Founder of NiaZamar; Thyzaria Nowels, Biology teacher and Lab Tech; Grace Phiri, Creative content creator; Laughter Afolabi, a co-founder of We-defined and Rachel Gilbert, an Interdisciplinary Artist. This Roundtable featured people from different professions and backgrounds discussing their experiences in situations of anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and racism, and how these experiences affected their lives. Thyzaria talks about her experience as a Black worker in the Netherlands, and how she faced direct racism whilst working.

“You can’t say Black lives matter without caring for Black workers”

Muna Ahmed

After the round table, we had quick fashion tips from Laughter Afolabi, a co-founder of We-defined. She showed us three ways to dress that would maintain a part of Black culture, using prints and textures. To finish the event we had a special hair tutorial for hair types ranging from 3A to 4C with Ashley Baptiste, a natural hair specialist and the owner of Casa de Capelli Beauty Salon. She gave tips on how to deal with Black hair and the need for protective hairstyles. She ventured into a conversation about appropriation and the importance of giving Black women credit for protective hairstyles.

All in all the event was a good learning experience and I would suggest that more people check out BLMNL’s future events. You can sign up for events, or stay tuned, on their Instagram page bio (@black_lives_matternl).