Address: Room 442, Robson Hall, 224 Dysart Rd., University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2. Fax: 204-474-7580
Prof. Karen Busby‘s research interests include laws connected to sex, sexuality, violence and the human right to safe drinking water. Her current research is on human rights laws affecting lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-identified (LGBT) people; sexual violence; surrogacy; religious freedom; and child protection. She was the principal investigator on a $200,000 partnership development grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada on the right to clean water in First Nations. Busby writes a regular column about human rights for Canadian Lawyer.
She was an active participant in litigation and law reform efforts on sexual assault, recognition of same-sex relationships, bawdy houses/indecency, age of consent and gender identity. Prof. Busby appeared as counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada in the Little Sisters case about the discriminatory treatment of LGBT bookstores by Canada Customs. She teaches constitutional law, administrative law, gender and the law, and a multi-disciplinary graduate-level seminar course on a current human rights topic.
Busby was a member the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) national legal committee from 1992-1997. She also served on the board of Egale Canada (2003-08), a national organization representing LGBT folks. Prof. Busby was on the review panel established under Manitoba’s Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act from 2001-12. She served on the board of governors of the Winnipeg Art Gallery from 2000-2009. Busby delivers seminars to new administrative board members on fair procedures and is a member of Research Manitoba’s research advisory committee.
Prof. Busby has received numerous awards recognizing her human rights work, including a YWCA Women of Distinction award, and awards from the Manitoba and Canadian bar associations. She was inducted into the Q (Queer) Hall of Fame in 2011, was awarded the University of Manitoba’s top teaching award in 2015 and received a Senate 150th Anniversary Medal in 2017.
She can be reached at 204-474-6155, 440 Robson Hall.
Helen Fallding helped bring Canada’s first interdisciplinary Master of Human Rights degree program and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to the University of Manitoba. A lifelong human rights activist, she ran women’s centres at the University of Toronto and in Victoria, B.C., helped the Carcross-Tagish First Nation negotiate a land claim, co-founded Yukon’s first gay organization and is helping support refugees.
Her first job as a reporter was with Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon — the Beat of a Different Drummer. She worked from 1998 to 2011 for the Winnipeg Free Press, where she was Western Manitoba regional reporter, legislature bureau chief and then science reporter before becoming assistant city editor.
Fallding has won awards for feminist activism and for journalism, including for a series of stories about lack of running water on Manitoba First Nations, published shortly before she joined the University of Manitoba in 2011.
She can be reached at 204-474-6156, 442 Robson Hall.
Denise McInnes helped set up the Manitoba Institute for Materials before joining the Centre for Human Rights Research in 2016 in a part-time position. She previously worked as an office assistant for the chemistry department for 9 years and for Standard Aero for 11 years as a customer service specialist and export compliance officer. Denise is a certified geological technician, an active grandmother and community volunteer. Her usual office hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday mornings.
Denise can be reached at 204-474-6453, 438 Robson Hall.
Human rights speakers bureau co-ordinator Iman Kanji is a law student at the University of Manitoba. During his first year of law school, Iman served the Winnipeg community through Pro Bono Students Canada’s lawyer phone-in referral program at the Community Legal Education Association. Before law school, Iman studied business management and organizational studies at the University of Western Ontario. He is also a licensed paralegal in Ontario. Having previously served as a special events intern with Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group at Wilfrid Laurier University, Iman has experience organizing community outreach programs and educational events.
Rebecca Akong is a law student at the University of Manitoba. She earned a degree in classical music performance from l’Université de Montréal prior to undertaking legal studies. Akong is assisting Professor Busby with research on university policies related to sexual violence complaints. She is vice-chair of the Robson Hall Human Rights Collective and co-Coordinator of CanU Law, a charitable initiative that fosters youth mentorship and legal knowledge. Akong also serves on the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties policy and legislative affairs committee and has volunteered as a French translator with the Community Legal Education Association.
Menal Al Fekih is a law student at the University of Manitoba. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history and a minor in sociology from the U of Manitoba. She is doing research for consultant Celeste McKay on Indigenous land rights under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She is also the secretary for the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers student chapter at Robson Hall and works for a refugee-serving organization, supporting and advocating for refugee youth within the education system.
Victoria Davies is a law student at the University of Manitoba. She completed an honours BA in sociology and religious studies before attending law school. She is conducting research for Prof. Busby’s project on how post-secondary institutions should respond to formal sexual violence complaints. Davies facilitates weekly workshops at Elmwood High School with a group of Grade 8 girls on topics such as female empowerment, kindness, and self-esteem. She also volunteers at William Whyte School with the Indigenous Youth Outreach Program to teach young people about criminal law and help them conduct a mock trial at their school.
Zara Kadhim is a law student at the University of Manitoba. Prior to beginning law school, she completed a bachelor’s degree at the University of Manitoba, majoring in psychology and minoring in Judaic studies. Kadhim is assisting professors Karen Busby and David Ireland in a project called “impervious to change,” which studies sexual assault cases that have been dismissed. Kadhim holds executive positions on student committees such as the Arab Students’ Association, Jam 4 Justice and Give30. She also volunteers for an after-school program mentoring/tutoring immigrant and refugee youth to empower the next generation in pursing professional careers.
Corey Petsnik is a PhD student in social psychology at the University of Manitoba. He maintains the Centre for Human Rights Research Twitter feed and Facebook page and assists with the centre’s website. His master’s research evaluated how witnessing ostracism affects observers’ views of human nature and their antisocial inclinations.
Rebecca Sinclair is a proud Cree mother of three, originally from Brochet, Manitoba, and a member of Little Saskatchewan First Nation. She is completing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. Sinclair is passionate about collaborating on Indigenous inclusion, sustainable development and preservation and access to the true history of Indigenous people. As an inter-generational residential schools survivor, she is passionate about Indigenous economic development, Indigenous recruitment and retention, and the well-being of Indigenous peoples. She looks for every opportunity to engage Indigenous knowledge and languages personally and with her children. She is a student assistant for the H2O program.
Sarah Warrack is a master’s student in the Department of Environment after working as a school teacher for five years and then completing her honour’s degree in biology in May 2017. She co-authored a paper on microplastic contamination in Lake Winnipeg that was featured on CBC. Her current research is on microplastics within freshwater systems such as the Assiniboine and Red Rivers and Manitoba wetlands, including possible ingestion by fish and settling rates of different types of microplastics. Sarah is audio recording and writing plain-language summaries of seminars in our Right to Water series for online posting.
Christine Williams is a second-year law student at the University of Manitoba who is Prof. Busby’s research assistant. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Women & Gender Studies and Human Rights. She is treasurer of the Feminist Legal Forum, a student committee that works to support women’s equality and women’s rights as they relate to law school and the legal field. Christine also sits on the board of the Institute for International Women’s Rights – Manitoba, a local women’s human rights organization that advocates for human rights education, awareness and action both locally and globally.