Calgary Area Human Rights Committee Meeting Minutes (December 14, 2021)


Lindsey Sparks- PSAC Staff

Kathy Ajram- Chair UTE (30022)

James Huang- Treasurer CEIU (30856)

Mayfred Gyamfi- Secretary UTE (30022)

Ade Fayemiwo- AGR (30048)

Jon Moscoso – (30318) Transport Canada

Jennifer Chieh Ho- PSAC Prairie Region Representative for Racialized Members 

Tim Hubick – PSAC Prairie Region Representative for individuals with disabilities 

1.      Call to order @ 18:14 upon meeting quorum 

2.      Land acknowledgement 

3.      Review and adoption of agenda

a.      Unanimously agreed

4.      Approval of last meeting minutes 

a.      Unanimously agreed 

5. Report from the chair: December 10, 2021 was International Human Rights Day which we talked about in our last meeting. It is an important day for every single one of us here because it symbolizes equality, human rights, anti- discrimination, anti- harassment which are all things that each of us value. The committee is making great efforts to get messaging out there in hopes of getting more participation.

6. Report from treasurer: James advised that we were charged $1.99 for the monthly bank fee for the month of November. This month we will also be issuing cheques for previous outstanding payments to reimburse members expenses. The cheques that we were previously informed were missing by the bank were located at the bank when the committee members went to the bank on December 2, 2021. The bank informed the committee that the cheques were mailed to the Beddington TD Branch instead of the Regional office for some reason. Kathy advised that 2 cheques were issued in total, one amounted to $7.35 and the other was for $25.00. One cheque was to cover outstanding parking fees and some art work (signs of solidarity event 2020) that the committee had paid to an indigenous artist. There was no bank statement issued as of the day of the meeting and the last statement balance was $237.41, as we received a cheque from Marianne’s office for $200.00 to help offset the cost of fees and expenses we may have to pay.

7. Old/New business: Last month we talked about the HRC brochure and what we wanted to have information we wanted include in the brochure, Kathy sent an email to everyone that was in attendance in our last meeting asking if there were any amendments or additions to be made before sending out the final version of the brochure to Lindsey so we could begin distributing them at out at the AGM; there were no changes or additions suggested by the group. We had also broadcasted  an email through the Regional Office for the International Human Rights Day asking our members what equality meant to them and what they would like to see from our committee and to send their responses by December 12, Unfortunately, we did not receive any responses.  A suggestion was made to have an event throughout locals for a week where committees such as the HRC could be featured same way we hold events for BLM, Health & Safety etc. The committee discussed collaborating with the Regional Reps as they are both chairs of their respective Human Rights Committees also, to create more awareness of our committees and the work we do. Another suggestion included getting information out to the membership specifically outlining how members can get support from the HRC and their locals as both provide assistance in various capacities, for example sending information on what to do if a member’s rights in the workplace are not being respected. Although a great suggestion due to the nature of how the committee conducts business, it is generally the local’s responsibility to provide education on members rights in the workplace as well as recourse. Lindsey added that getting members more involved has been difficult for all committees as people are experiencing zoom fatigue and virtual participation is on the decline, Lindsey advised that we should not allow that to discourage our efforts but continue to think of different ways to engage the members. Jennifer & Tim also added encouraging members to complete the self-identification card on the website so that members can be connected to the equity reps of the prairie region counsel and receive invites to special events which would allow for a more personal connection. In reference to Black History Month, last month there were some links with short videos commemorating black history that we had discussed sharing with the members, the plan was to do a postcard for BLM with the links to the family friendly videos and a webinar presentation from Lindsey if he was available to present. There were no additional suggestions or modifications and all participants were in agreement with the current suggestions. The committee also suggested sharing with Jennifer and Tim depending on their plans for BLM.

8. Round Table: Tim shared the victory against conversion therapy and the significant impact it had on him and the LGBTQ community. May suggested creating a very short video with members of the HRC executive sharing what equality means to them to commemorate International Human Rights Day, in order to get our message out there and give the members the opportunity to get to know the members of the executive. The committee shared some words of encouragement asking that we continue to persevere with our mandate and vision. The round table ended with discussion on how to proceed with the creation of the video of the HRC executive members and how to implement the idea across the various committees, and agreed to bring this forward to the office of the REVP as a suggestion. 

Next meeting: February 22, 2022

Meeting adjourned at 19:35 MST