We’ve wrapped up another fantastic year at Next Up Winnipeg- our first official full 7-month program. We had 13 wonderful participants survive- I mean flourish- through the program and I don’t know where the time has gone! Graduation was lovely, with almost 60 guests in attendance, including alumni, presenters, funders, supporting agencies and most importantly- participants’ parents, partners and kids! Start the youth engagement young, I say! We don’t do anything by halves in Winnipeg.
Our graduates have been making waves across the province. Next Up alumni, Kevin Settee was elected as the first Indigenous president of the University of Winnipeg Students Association and has been working hard, along with his dream team to advocate for indigenous rights on campus and across Canada.
Next Up graduate, Kirk Carr who is heavily active in the Manitoba Government Employees Union was recently voted as Co-Chair of the Manitoba Federation of Labour Young Members Convention. Kirk will also be running for fourth vice president of the MGEU- the youngest ever member to run for this position.
Some of our participants from this year’s co-hort have been heavily involved in an on going community engagement and dialogue initiative “13 Fires”. 13 Fires is a conversation series on building a more racially inclusive Winnipeg. Every month, the members from diverse communities gather in various community organisation to discuss and share ideas for how to address a wide variety of issues related to racial inclusion. Next Upper, Anny Chen have been heavily involved in organising and promoting 13 Fires- a perfect example of how a grassroots, community-led movement to foster a “safer, healthier and more inclusive community.” Check out this CBC article about 13 Fires and an interview with Anny.