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The power of theatre was used to evoke every-day, workplace human rights issues on the opening night of CUPE’s first National Human Rights Conference. CUPE members were front and centre as creators and actors presenting the painful images of racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, harassment, fear, ignorance and more.

The theatrical pieces were used as a tool to quickly immerse the four hundred and seventy participants into the theme of the conference—Our Voices Rising!.

The evening’s events were opened by Musqueam Elder Larry Grant and Dharam Boodhoo CUPE National diversity vice-president. CUPE National President Paul Moist delivered the keynote address of the evening. Over the course of the conference, CUPE members and guests will discuss the history, the present and the future of human rights in Canada.

Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC president and Fred Muzin, HEU president welcomed delegates to a opening night social hosted by their respected unions. Burnaby-based local jazz/blues ensemble, Jayne’s Gang, played a lively range of music in celebration of the evening.