Our World Through A Humanitarian Lens

by Josh Kerr | Dec 14, 2020
New Annual Award established for students spotlighting human rights.

Barry Lank's passion for human rights and film led his travels worldwide, combining the two to create essential and meaningful pieces that help educate people from all walks of life.   

Barry and his wife, Luanne, travelled the world with their lens, shedding light on meaningful topics, often somewhat unknown to the public. Whether that was filming in war-torn areas like Rwanda, or Sierra-Leone filming a piece on war-affected children, he was always working to highlight stories about social injustices.    

"Barry always had a deep appreciation for history," says Luanne. "He kept abreast of what was going on in the world and felt the importance of not forgetting the past."  
Several years ago, Barry named the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba benificiary of an insurance policy, an act he hoped would convey the message that something so simple can be incredibly beneficial in the long run.   

In the wake of Barry's passing, a new annual award has been created in his memory in hopes of sharing his passions with students. The award will be given out by the  Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada. 

The award is for students in Grades 9-12, who will apply by completing a multi-media project on any Human Rights topic. Both the length and the medium for the project are up to the student's discretion.   

Barry's films always highlighted injustices happening around the world, with the hope that it would motivate people to act differently. Submissions for this award should be no different.   

As the world continues to change, so do the methods with which we tell stories. Social media, smartphones, and the internet have surrounded us with endless content. Students will add to that content, diving into issues that we currently face and those which have marked our history. 
Turning to one another to help learn these stories about important, engaging, and timely topics is an opportunity that can't be overlooked. Everyone has a story to share, everyone has lessons to learn, and everyone has issues that are near and dear to them. 

"We're hoping to target a younger generation and motivate them to be more aware of what goes on around the world," says Luanne. "And to be motivated to do something about it or understand each other a bit better."