Changemakers

Ryan Singh, Harmony Movement facilitator and community development specialist, leads a group of Lakehead Public Schools elementary student senate members through a Changemakers Leadership Program on Wednesday.

A group of elementary student senate members with Lakehead Public Schools are learning how to be leaders of positive change in their schools.

The student senate members were participating in a two-day Social Changemakers Leadership Program lead by Harmony Movement to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We are seeing a lot of different changes around the province, we are seeing students starting to rise and think differently about discrimination,” said Ryan Singh, Harmony Movement facilitator and community development specialist.

Pointing to the United States election of Donald Trump and the “rhetoric that he uses,” Singh said it is an important time to challenge that and have conversation with young people about what is going on in the U.S., as well as issues facing Canadians.

“I think the country has a lot of work to do as far as reconciling ourselves with our first peoples and thinking through what that discrimination has meant for how the country has grown and how we want to take ourselves forward,” he said.

Singh said that elementary students already get the issues and are bringing in their own connections.

The senate is led by student trustee Lahama Naeem.

“The idea behind the elementary senate is to start building leadership skills and to exercise those leadership skills in their current schools and prepare them to be leaders in high school,” said Leslie Hynnes, education officer for the Lakehead District School Board and equity lead.

Harmony Movement breaks down the concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion, said Hynnes.

Students were developing action plans to take back to their schools. They will have to learn to work with teachers and their peers to put the plan into place.

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