Growing in Leadership Through Dialogue on Human Rights

WRITTEN BY: Blaise Alleyne, Education Coordinator, UTSFL (University of Toronto Students For Life)

Raising awareness for human rights on campus takes dedication and commitment.

Students have plenty of responsibilities with course work alone — to regularly make a commitment to be a voice for the voiceless on top of that is a truly selfless act. With Students for Life, the stakes are even higher: We raise awareness for pre-born human rights on campus, discussing the controversial issue of abortion. I’ve witnessed many of our members grow as leaders through our education campaigns.

Dealing with such a sensitive issue, we need all our members to be well-formed as ambassadors for the pro-life movement — to have knowledge about the issues, but also wisdom to know how to communicate the message effectively, and a character that embodies the love and respect we call for. Knowledge means understanding the biology, that life begins at fertilization, and the ethics, that all human beings deserve human rights. Wisdom means knowing how to listen attentively, seeking to understand, and to ask timely questions that challenge people to think differently about abortion. Character means always being respectful, always responding with love, even if people are upset or angry or disrespectful towards us. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “whom you would change you must first love, and they must know that you love them.”

If you can have a fruitful conversation about a controversial issue like abortion with attentiveness, understanding, intelligence, patience, sensitivity, love and respect, well, you’re well on your way to living leadership.

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