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Rebecca MacDonald

Marion Bridge, NS

Rebecca MacDonald wants to live in a world where everyone’s rights are respected, no matter who they are, and from her home base in Marion Bridge, Nova Scotia, she’s fighting for that equality – at home and abroad. In particular, Rebecca has a passion for human rights issues in Latin America. While studying at Cape Breton University in 2007, two professors noticed her passion for the region and asked her to join the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network (ARSN) – a network of individuals and organizations who work in solidarity with people in Latin America and the Caribbean. Through this connection, Rebecca traveled to Guatemala in 2008 with a Breaking the Silence (BTS) delegation to spend time and learn with Mayan community groups working for peace, justice, reconciliation and human rights. Since returning, Rebecca has been highly committed to BTS and even  served as a BTS Intern in 2010-2011 with the Highland Committee of Small Farmers, the organization that provides the coffee beans for the Breaking the Silence label of Just US! Fair Trade coffee. Rebecca’s commitment is an active one: she writes articles and human rights Urgent Actions (declarations calling for attention to and action on human rights abuses), she raises funds for BTS and is now a committed organizer for the 2012 ARSN conference.

On the local front, Rebecca is an active member of the Steelworkers Union and Cape Breton District Labour Council Executive, where she works consistently to educate members regarding human rights concerns. In July 2011, Rebecca was invited to join a Steelworkers Humanity Fund Delegation to investigate human rights violations relating to mining in Mexico. While a CBU student, she and friends started a “Students for Social Justice” group and organized a social justice week. She has worked at the Whitney Pier youth club, engaging the group in developing its own plans including local fundraising and environmental activities in the community.

How can she sustain this level of participation in the global community and her commitment to global social justice? Rebecca says “That millions are denied the basic necessities of life in a world with ample resources inspires me to work on combating the sources of inequality. I am inspired by individuals who spend their lives making grassroots change by creating relationships within their communities, and working with others to realize change.”

She believes that “one story can start a chain reaction of action”, and hopes through sharing her story and those of others – with this campaign and in everything else that she does – you’ll be a part of that change.