Human Rights Support

Spotlight on Human Rights

New initiative supports human rights awareness at MHC
Medicine Hat College’s Human Rights Advisory and Working Committee (HRAWC) is increasing awareness of issues and providing opportunities for engagement with a new online platform.

Thanks to the efforts of committee members, college employees and students now have access to a collection of resources in Blackboard to support learning and discussion.

Dr. Diane Gall, an instructor of humanities and social sciences, launched the initiative last month in recognition of the International Day of Tolerance. Resources include information about the United Nations commitment to the promotion of tolerance around the world. Visitors to the page can also find books and movies that explore tolerance and a discussion board to share ideas. New to the Blackboard site this week are opportunities to learn about the crime of genocide.

With the United Nations’ International Day of Commemoration of Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide on Wednesday, Dec. 9, MHC instructors Dr. Navneet Kumar and Shalla Shaharyar have shared presentations and links on Blackboard to support awareness and encourage conversation.

"It continues to remain important to both talk about genocide and to create awareness about the dignity of the victims of genocides from the past. It’s only when we uphold the dignity of the victims of genocide that we can reinstate the humanity which had been taken away through the process of dehumanization and the attendant violence," explains Kumar, who teaches in the School of Arts, Science, & Education.

Click here to login to Blackboard and select Human Rights Advisory Committee from 'My Organizations' to access the above resources.

MHC’s human rights committee is an advisory and working group whose purpose is to promote human rights within the college community, develop and implement initiatives that provide awareness, education, and information about human rights to the college community. With representation from college faculty, staff and students, the HRAWC meets four times annually from September to April and coordinates events and learning opportunities throughout the year.

Helpful Resources:

1. Reject stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination

  • Treat people equally
  • Learn about others and explore differences
  • Avoid labelling others as different

2. Speak out for a respectful environment

  • Make people feel valued and avoid a culture of blame
  • Understand other people’s point of view
  • Do not tolerate bullying, derogatory or inappropriate behaviour or language

3. Use humour appropriately

  • Use humour to relieve stress and build relationships
  • Don’t use humour at the expense of others

4. Avoid gossip and ignore rumours

  • Minimize social exclusion, stress and concern by avoiding gossip
  • Don’t talk about others behind their backs

5. Handle conflicts productively

  • Explain your thoughts and feelings openly and be willing to talk with others
  • Avoid passive behaviour

 If you are being harassed or discriminated against:

  1. Speak to the person directly and request the behaviour stop.
  2. If this is difficult or uncomfortable, ask for some assistance from an advisor, counsellor, student association representative, peer support, faculty association, union representative, instructor, supervisor, manager, dean or director.
  3. Speak to the human rights advisor, who can assist you with how to proceed with the issue or complaint.
  4. Remember, you don’t have to tolerate harassment or discrimination in any form. There are people at Medicine Hat College who are trained to help and support you.
  5. If you are told your behaviour is harassing, bullying or discriminatory evaluate what you are doing and ask for some help and support to change it.


Let's talk about discrimination.
The Alberta Human Rights Act helps to protect you against discrimination. The Act protects in five areas. For example: employment, goods and services, tenancy and membership in trade unions.

The Act also has 13 grounds in which people cannot discriminate against you. Learn what they are by reading this fact sheet by the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

What is an inclusive washroom?

Inclusive washrooms include single-stalls that are lockable and available to all genders regardless of gender identity or expression. They provide a safe and private facility for everyone, including the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities who require an attendant, and parents of children of the opposite gender.

View the location of the inclusive washrooms.

What is the definition of gender identity and gender expression?
The Government of Alberta has amended the Alberta Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the Act as expressly prohibited grounds of discrimination, effective December 11, 2015.

The Alberta Human Rights Act does not define these two protected grounds. The Alberta Human Rights Commission describes each ground as follows. Please note that these are not legal definitions.
  • Gender identity refers to a person’s internal, individual experience of gender, which may not coincide with the sex assigned to them at birth. A person may have a sense of being a woman, a man, both, or neither. Gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation, which is also protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act.
  • Gender expression refers to the varied ways in which a person expresses their gender, which can include a combination of dress, grooming, demeanour, social behaviour and other factors.

Download the fact sheet provided by the Commission.

Contact Us

For more information contact the Human Rights Advisor: