The Manitoba Human Rights Board of Commissioners
The Manitoba Human Rights Board of Commissioners consists of ten individuals (including a chairperson and a vice chairperson) who represent the geographic, cultural, social and economic profile of Manitoba. Commissioners are appointed by the Government of Manitoba.
The Board can dismiss a complaint, direct the parties to settle the complaint or ask the Minister of Justice to select an adjudicator from a list of those appointed under The Code for a public hearing. The adjudication process is independent of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and the Board of Commissioners.
The Board also assists in the interpretation of The Human Rights Code by approving policies and guidelines for the Commission. It also approves all Commission publications and sets direction and priorities, such as the Commission's youth initiative.
Board meetings are held approximately every other month.
The following people sit on the current Manitoba Human Rights Board of Commissioners:
Jerry Woods Woods is a proud member of the Couchiching First Nation and hosts all the Commission's youth conferences. His background in the labour movement and his expertise as a negotiator serve him well as a strong advocate for Aboriginal employment and human rights issues. He continues to work in the community as an activist and strives for equitable outcomes with a dedication to improving the quality of life for all people. Jerry's passion is golf, and his joy is his family, wife Cathy, their six children, and ten grand children.
Yvonne Peters has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She practices equality rights law in Winnipeg, providing legal consultation and advice to unions, community groups, human rights organizations, the corporate sector and governments. Her community work includes serving on the Council of the Manitoba Bar Association, the Board of Directors of the Canadian Women's Health Network and serving on the Human Rights Committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.
Robin Dwarka the Director of Finance for Legal Aid Manitoba. She is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Manitoba. Robin is a founding member of the Manitoba Pan Handlers, a local steel band. In 2009, a group of young professionals including Robin came together to form Anansi, a school for the performing arts to promote the Caribbean culture through dance, music and drama to youth in Winnipeg. Robin is the Secretary/Treasurer for the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties (MARL).
Elliot Leven is a lawyer by profession and his preferred areas of practice are labor and employment law and Aboriginal law. He is an active member of Winnipeg's gay and Jewish communities. He is the president of the Community Unemployed Help Centre, a member of various Law Society of Manitoba committees, and on the Board of the Manitoba Council of Administrative Tribunals (MCAT).
Sheena Rae Reed was born and raised in Flin Flon and her love of the North resulted in her returning to her hometown after receiving her Arts Degree from the University of Manitoba and studying two years of law. Once she returned to Flin Flon, she began working in social services and today she works with Child and Family Services for the Government of Manitoba. For the last seventeen years Sheena has coached girls' gymnastics and has been involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She is also a Board Member of the Northern Women's Resource Centre in Flin Flon, the Vice-President of the Flin Flon Friendship Centre's Board of Directors and the past President of the Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres.
Ajit Kaur Deol, O.M. Ajit has a BA (Honours) and a MA from the University of Toronto. She was a teacher at Edward Schreyer High School in Beausejour and Maples Collegiate in Winnipeg for many years. Ajit is credited with developing the Caroline McMorland School for the mentally disabled in Ontario, where she was principal for seven years. In 1985-86, Ajit was the first woman president of a Sikh Gurudwara (temple) in North America. She has been on the Board of Directors of countless organizations including the Immigrant Women's Association of Manitoba and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee Punjab Foundation, a member on the Cabinet Committee on Agencies, Boards and Commissions, and a Director on the Board of the Seven Oaks School Education Scholarship Foundation.
Joan Hay has lived in Winnipeg's inner city for over twenty years. She was a Research Assistant/Community Interviewer for two books on community development, In Their Own Voices: Urban Aboriginal Community Development (2006) and Doing Community Development (2007). Joan co-hosts a radio show called "Inner City Voices" on CKUW, the University of Winnipeg's community station, and is the founding member and Past President of the Inner City Aboriginal Neighbours (I-CAN) group. She also is involved with many inner city boards and committees and currently works at the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc. as a Community Helper/Emergency Services Worker. Joan is of Ojibwe/Dakota descent from Waywayseecappo First Nation in Manitoba.
Leo Aniceto started working as a staff lawyer for Somerset Law Office, Family Unit, Legal Aid Manitoba in November of 2007. Prior to this, he practiced on his own for about five years helping clients in the areas of family law, criminal law, child protection and real estate. Leo has three children. He is a member of the Filipino community and enjoys helping fellow Filipinos with their legal problems whenever he can.
Karen Banuga is a Research Officer and Access and Privacy Coordinator for the Assiniboine Community College. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brandon University and is a member of the Islamic Community. Karen is a strong advocate of women's rights and is an active member of the Manitoba Government Employees Union and Chief Steward. She loves to travel and finds it helpful in understanding other cultures and belief systems. Karen is married with four children.