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At Ben & Jerry’s, we’re all about positive change, that’s why we’re raising a tub to BeLonG To for its amazing Stand Up! Campaign. While many LGBT young people develop their sexual and gender identities within supportive families and communities, some experience homophobia, transphobia and exclusion on an ongoing basis.
BeLonG To’s Stand Up! campaign calls on young people across Ireland to support their LGBT friends, and has been identified as one of the key actions schools can take under the Government’s National Action Plan on Bullying. This year’s Stand Up! Week takes place from 14-18th November.
During Stand Up! Week teachers and youth workers will offer all young people who participate in their centre/school the opportunity to participate in fun and educational activities. These will increase awareness, build supportive links among young people and reduce the incidence of bullying and name-calling. Fun events will be organised to publicise Stand Up! Week and encourage young people to participate.
According to Dr Carol-Anne O'Brien, BeLonG To's Director of Advocacy, “Stand Up! tackles bullying by bringing a positive message of friendship to all students. It also tells LGBT young people that they are not alone, and they do not have to suffer or witness homophobic or transphobic bullying in their schools.”
This year, nationwide training sessions for teachers and youth workers will offer:
- A chance for teachers and youth workers to increase their confidence in tackling and preventing homophobic and transphobic bullying
- A chance to equip themselves with skills to better support LGBT young people
- Insights into the challenges faced by LGBT young people
- Suggestions to make sure schools and youth services are friendly, safe, inclusive environments for LGBT youth
- Ideas for ways to implement Stand Up! in local schools and communities
- Small group discussions
- Opportunities to ask questions
- Copies of useful print and DVD resources
Previous Stand Up! campaigns have seen BeLonG To create videos spreading their message of support for LGBT young people. This year, BeLonG To is commissioning a 3-4 minute ‘fly-on-the-wall’ video which will include footage of the activities in selected schools from Stand Up! Week 2016. The production will document the success and overall impact of Stand Up!
For more information on Stand Up! Week, including details of how your school can get involved, visit their website here.
Love comes in all flavours. Stand up together and support LGBT young people!
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