Photo: Isha Khan remarks on her new role as CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
On September 16, 2020, Rick Frost welcomed Isha Khan, new CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, to her new position, at an event held at the CMHR for a small group of supporters and donors.
You can watch the video clip, or read the transcript, of Rick’s remarks below:
We’re very pleased to be here, and have the opportunity to participate this evening, and to help facilitate a meet and greet session because, as you say, it’s hard to get everybody together anymore. It’s very rare to have this kind of an opportunity, so we’re very pleased to do that.
Our relationship with the Human Rights Museum, of course, goes way back to the late 1990s when Izzy Asper asked us to participate in a student trip program that they had organized in Washington. We were involved for two or three years working on that from working with them. And so we were there from from the very beginning when the idea of this museum was first conceived. As you mentioned, our board supported a grant of six million dollars, the largest in our history, which was approved, committed and paid before the doors of this building even opened. So we have a long history.
I only say that because I want you to know and certainly, Isha as the new CEO, to know: that our support will not waver. I was thinking about why that would be in terms of the alignment of our interests of our organization.
Our 100th anniversary happens next year, and I was thinking about our very first grants, which happened in 1922. We made six grants of 1,000 dollars that year, our first grants.
I wrote down the names of the organizations who got those six grants: The Margaret Scott Nursing Home, the Victoria Order of Nurses, the Children’s Hospital, the Home of the Friendless… not familiar with that one myself… the Children’s Aid Society and the Knowles Home.
It’s interesting, of course, to think that social justice was defined in a different way back then. It was about the vulnerable, certainly. And how we define human rights today, how we think about inclusivity, equity, diversity, all those things, have changed over the years.
But I guess that means that we’ve come a long way as a society, something that we can be very proud of. But at the same time, there are still huge challenges in our city when it comes to the issue of social justice.
We can also have bumps along the road, and we’ve experienced some of those. But I think as a community, it’s fair to say that we’re still striving for the stars. And this institution, the Human Rights Museum, is an indication of that aspiration for our city and one that we all have great confidence in.
So I want to say on behalf of the board and staff of The Winnipeg Foundation, Isha, congratulations on your appointment as CEO. We have great confidence that this organization will refocus and flourish under your leadership.
I think it’s fair to say that as you settle into your new responsibilities, you will come across some projects where you’re looking for partners, and I want to volunteer that, when the time is right, we probably will be able to do work together on some of those projects that you want to see move forward.
So with that, I just want to again say congratulations. I wish you all the very best in your new career here at the Human Rights Museum. Thank you.Rick Frost – CEO, The Winnipeg Foundation