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Youth Exchange: Disability and Social Justice
The International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) is celebrated annually to promote an understanding of disability issues and to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. But what does that look like? Join members of the Rick Hansen Foundation's Youth Leadership Committee on IDPWD as they discuss topics such as social justice and the social model of disability. Designed for an audience of grade 6 to 12 students.

Dec 2, 2022 10:00 AM in Vancouver

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Mihai Covaser
Mihai Covaser is a student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan pursuing a double major in Political Science/Philosophy/Economics and French in the Bachelor of Arts program. He is also a youth leader living with cerebral palsy affecting his mobility. Mihai found a passion for speech and interpersonal communication early on in his life, which he decided to combine with a desire for supporting the accessibility and inclusion cause in Canada. Shortly after his family immigrated to Canada, he began working with a variety of organizations as an advocate, fundraiser, event organizer, and, most recently, committee chair. Mihai also continues to explore disciplines such as music and debate to further his education towards his ultimate goal of becoming a judge in a court of law.
Alexis Holmgren
Alexis Holmgren (She/They) is a youth changemaker, rare disease patient advocate, and published writer from Red Deer, Alberta. She has been a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion, and accessibility from the age of 12, drawing from her personal experience as a young person living with multiple life-threatening rare genetic disorders to create change for a more inclusive and accessible world.
Élise Doucet
Élise Doucet is a young Deaf adult from Kamloops, BC. She is a passionate Deaf and climate activist who is mainly involved in local organizations. Miss Doucet is an alumnus of the Fraser Basin Council’s Co-Creating a Sustainable BC initiative, was a Youth Observer at the Adaptation Canada conference 2020, and was a Youth Delegate at the Rick Hansen Youth Leadership Summit 2017. Élise has written for her local newspaper, done contract writing on disability, and has collaborated with her local government to put closed captioning on city council meeting videos in addition to her climate activism work. In her free time, Élise enjoys horseback riding and writing, sometimes at the same time.
James Kwinecki
James Kwinecki (28) lives in Victoria B.C. and is studying Sociology and Social Justice Studies at the University of Victoria. Currently, he training as a Paralympic hopeful for 2024 in Para Rowing. James lost his vision at the age of 21 and had to relearn what it means to participate in sports. He is passionate about advocating for accessibility and inclusion.
Maggie Manning
Maggie Manning is an outspoken advocate for accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities stemming from her lived experience as a person living with a physical mobility disability and chronic illness. On top of this, Maggie is a student at Thompson Rivers University pursing a dual-credential Bachelor of Health Science and Diploma in Respiratory Therapy. While in school, Maggie participates in elite para-sports, and helps to raise awareness and increase involvement of youth in adaptive sports. Arising from her work as an advocate for disability rights, Maggie has been recognized with the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award for her efforts. She now serves on the International Disability Alliance Youth Caucus in attempt to initiate global change. Maggie’s ultimate goal is to share her story with others to help create universal understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities.