American cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead once said,
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
No other quote better summarizes the efforts of Youth Parliament of Manitoba. Since 1922, YPM has been dedicated to encouraging thoughtful, and at times radical, debate among young Manitobans. Our youth parliamentarians go on to become political leaders, laywers, doctors, journalists, teachers and more. Our mock debates go on to become Manitoban and Canadian policies and laws. Youth parliamentarians were calling for graduated drivers’ licensing, a gun registry, the abolition of capital punishment and the legalization of abortion as well as same-sex marriage long before these issues officially came to pass.
Within Youth Parliament of Manitoba, we believe in change. We believe in the power of some of our province’s youngest citizens to inspire that change. What we believe in, is each other.
Tell anyone who is unfamiliar with the workings of YPM that an 89-year-old Manitoban institution is run exclusively by a group of 25 young adults, and they’ll likely remark with some air of disbelief. And yet here we are; thanks to an ever-changing group of extremely dedicated volunteers, as well as the loyalty of hundreds of alumni, sponors, political leaders, educators and other friends.
YPM has continued to foster a knowledge of and respect for the Canadian democratic parliamentary process in its members over the course nine decades; through wars, recessions, technological innovations, climate change and more. In almost 90 years, our political, cultural and physical landscape has changed greatly – as has the Youth Parliament of Manitoba. At one time, women were not considered full members of the Older Boys’ Parliament. At one time, the organization was part of the TUXIS movement. At one time, there were no formal ties between the four Western Canadian youth parliaments.
But some things have remained the same; namely our presence in the Manitoba Legislative Building every December 26 to 30 since 1922. With that presence, generations of Manitobans have built upon a legacy of change through education and fellowship.
In a few days, YPM will host its 89th Winter Session.
What sort of legacy our members will leave then?
Join us at the Manitoba Legislative Building Dec. 26-30 to see for yourself!