The fight for human rights echoes in Janna Barkman’s DNA. Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, Barkman belongs to Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. As a recent graduate of the prestigious Masters in Development Practice (MDP) — and as one of the first to graduate with the BA majoring in human rights at UWinnipeg — Barkman already has a solid history in creating change one kid at a time. Barkman has been working with UWinnipeg’s Marilou McPhedran, at Global College, to develop teaching modules for the 2015 national education program at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).
“When CMHR first asked me to develop modules on how the UN works and women’s rights, I put together a team of my current and former human rights students, with Janna as a top choice because I knew she would deliver innovative and creative content,” said McPhedran.
In addition to creating the teaching modules, Barkman serves on the National Youth Advisory Committee for the CMHR.
In March of this year, as part of the annual global gathering on women’s rights at the UN in New York, Barkman was featured (with UWinnipeg student Jazmin Papadopoulos) on a panel, chaired by McPhedran, to present their curriculum on girls’ peace leadership that they have been developing with Girl Guides in Winnipeg. That exposure led to a request from the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders to adapt the curriculum to their ‘Girl Ambassadors for Peace’ program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“My passion is in providing opportunities for youth,” shared Barkman. “I want to help inspire them to improve their communities and themselves. I want to harness the strength in each student and make them aware of their potential and the endless possibilities that are available to them.”
Barkman currently works with inner city youth at FortWhyte Alive as a program coordinator providing life skills, job skills and healthy living education while practicing sustainable agriculture.