The BCCLA’s 14th annual Youth and Civil Liberties Conference brings together hundreds of high school students for an all-day conference featuring workshops that tackle issues ranging from anti-oppression, migrant justice, to know your rights and marginalization in the law.

This year’s theme will aim to unpack questions of power, systemic and institutional oppression, and provide students with the knowledge and tools necessary to take action and push for systemic and structural change.

Are you a teacher or student interested in participating in this year’s conference? Email Iman Baobeid to register today at [email protected] or call (604) 630-9750. Please note that registration is first come, first served until sessions are full.

This event is taking place on the traditional, unceded, and occupied territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Keynote Speaker: Ruby Smith Díaz

Photo credit: Andi Icaza-Largaespada

Ruby Smith-Diaz was born to Chilean and Jamaican parents in Edmonton- amiskwacîwâskahikan and graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Education with distinction.  Since graduating, she has found her passion working as a youth facilitator,  multi-disciplinary artist, body positive personal trainer, and by using art and popular education as tools for activism, empowerment, and community building.

Ruby’s experiences of marginalization as a youth has inspired her to dedicated her work to exploring difficult topics around issues of inclusion. Her combination of empathy, creativity and receptivity has made her a meaningful source of support for youth across the country, and has inspired many of her artistic projects around topics of inclusion and identity. Most of all, she is invested in helping individuals develop the sense of self-worth and integrity that will make them agents and animators of change in the world, according to their most passionate, fiery and generationally-poignant imaginings.


Power, Discrimination and Anti-Oppression

with Simran Sarwara (PeerNet)

Want to talk about what we mean by the words we toss around when speaking about diversity? Simran’s workshop will address the big picture topics that structure our relationships to schools, friends and communities and broaden perspectives about accessibility, inclusion, power and privilege.

Power Play: Marginalization and the Law

with Kaymi Yoon-Maxwell (West Coast LEAf)

In this session, we use games and activities to facilitate discussions about power, discrimination and equality. It serves as a brief introduction to equality law in Canada, introducing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and looking at some of the cases where it has been used. If you are interested in social change and how the law can be used to further it, don’t miss this session! Brought to you by the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund.

Know Your Rights

with Dylan Mazur (BCCLA)

Are you interested in activism, and what to learn more about your rights when you attend protests? Have questions about your rights when interacting with the police? This workshop includes information on your rights in police interactions, and provides tips on exercising those rights in a safe and legal way. You will learn what to do when police stop you and ask questions on the streets, your rights when police search you, your car, or your home, and your rights when police want to detain or arrest you in various contexts.

Migrant Justice with Check Your Head

Who is Canadian? Who is an immigrant? Who decides? Explore the history and causes of immigration and challenge anti-migrant racism. Migrant justice breaks down stereotypes and advocates for a world where no one is “illegal”.

with Leave Out Violence (LOVE) BC

We’ll talk about problems within our communities, what our ideal communities look like, and how youth can get involved in order to make their communities better. We’ll ask why it’s important for youth to speak up and get involved, what barriers exist that make this difficult, and how we can overcome those barriers. This workshop incorporates arts-based activities as a tool for talking about these issues.

If you’re interested in volunteering for this event, please send your name and contact information to Iman Baobeid at [email protected]

Please note: there will be a required 2-hour Volunteer Orientation prior to the Youth Conference.