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  • May 29, 2024

    Talia and her commitment to Human Rights

    Talia Mohammed is a Practicum Student at MARL – Summer 2024

    Talia (She/Her) is a First-Generation Canadian with two Caribbean immigrant parents from Trinidad and Tobago and Saint Lucia. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Advanced Sociology, with a minor in History at the University of Manitoba. Currently, she still attends the University of Manitoba in pursuit of procuring her Masters degree in Human Rights (MHR). Much of her research and areas of focus stem from the exploration of decolonization and anti-racism practices, intersectional feminism/victimology, and gender-based violence in the West Indies. Talia remains committed in her pursuit of her education and allyship towards marginalized communities, hoping to take what she has learned back to her family’s countries of origin and make leeway toward progressive realization. 

    Human Rights, to me, reflect the ability we have as a collective to progress. Rights are constantly changing and evolving to ensure the protection of marginalized groups that have been oppressed both historically and presently. Accomplishing and upholding human rights, however, takes cooperation and commitment on a global scale, which is where I think we unfortunately fall short and in turn creates further division on what rights should be implemented versus which rights clash with the objectives of individual Countries/States. 

    My journey concerning my passion for human rights was an unexpected one. When I graduated high school, I had a very different view of where my education would take me. Initially, I had gone to the University of Manitoba to pursue a bachelor’s in Science. However, I found that I did not enjoy it the way I thought I would. It was not until I took a summer sociology class that I fell in love with the subject and ended up pursuing my undergraduate degree. I then debated between law school and a Masters in Human Rights as my second degree. Ultimately, I chose human rights because I felt that law was not as flexible when it came to human rights-based practices, especially when it came to decolonization and exploring themes of intersectionality. 

    Much of my passion for human rights comes from the family that came before me. My parents, for example, both focus their work on helping newcomers and immigrants in Winnipeg. Additionally, my grandma was very involved in women’s rights issues back in Trinidad. She housed several women and their children who were escaping domestic abuse situations at the hands of their partners, which has been and continues to be a problem throughout the Caribbean today. Growing up in such an accepting environment that advocates for the rights and protection of others has greatly influenced me to become the person I am today.  

    MARL is my first taste of consistent community involvement; when I was younger my dad and I had volunteered with Winnipeg Harvest a few times, but I have not done a lot outside of that. This is part of what drew me to MARL. The educational approach they take in addressing human rights seems like a great transition from my primarily academic focus to community work. I also think that the skills I obtain from the organization will be useful in my future as I wish to do a lot of work in various parts of the Caribbean. Gender-based violence, as previously mentioned, is one of the many human rights issues the region struggles with, and I believe that educational approaches to the roots of those issues are the first step to facilitating impactful changes. 

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