(New York, NY – June 26) -- Celebrating today's Supreme Court decision, Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, issued the following statement:
"Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is a victory for love. It will no doubt lead to greater tolerance, acceptance, respect, and full equality. Despite the joy and excitement of today’s decision, we must be reminded that our country is not free from bullying, cruelty, or hate. I, for one, will never have the opportunity to see my beloved son Tyler marry the man he loves, because his life was cut short due to bullying, shame, and public humiliation.
Today, The Tyler Clementi Foundation proudly joins the chorus of voices calling for an end to state-sanctioned bullying, bigotry, and violence. Specifically, we are calling on all government entities and private companies to end the use of the Confederate Flag for profit or for 'pride.' Symbols and rhetoric rooted in group supremacy demean others and creates a culture that makes violence and discrimination justifiable for some.
We are shocked and saddened by the reports of police abuse and overreaction across the nation, as well as senseless hate crimes like the recent Church shooting in South Carolina. But we must not stop there. Flags are symbols, and only represent a minor change. What we need now are genuine acts of policy and practice that will end racist, sexist, and homophobic attitudes, including true workplace discrimination protections and an end to gun violence in this country.
Today’s victory at the Supreme Court should propel us forward. Let’s heal old wounds, love our neighbors, and build an America that values everyone."
The Tyler Clementi Foundation was honored by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, when they presented us with the Inspiration Award at the 2015 GMCLA Voice Awards. Stars George Takei (Star Trek) and Michelle Clunie (Queer as Folk) presented the award, and our friends Steven Guy (board member of TCF) and Sierra Down and Justin Haulbrook (founders of "Be More Heroic") spoke graciously about our work. This was a magical night that we never imagined could happen. Share the experience with us and hear our acceptance speech in the video above. Many, many thanks to the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, whose beautiful rendition of Tyler's Suite was enough of an award. Thank you for giving us a voice and platform on the west coast to share Tyler's story and help heal the pain of bullying known by too many. Thank you so much to George, Michelle, Steven, Justin and Sierra for your friendship and support. We are so grateful and humbled.
The Tyler Clementi Foundation Launches Major National #Day1 Campaign, Urging “Upstander Pledges” to Prevent Bullying Nationwide
National Education Association & Actress Megan Mullally Join Major Thought Leaders & Corporations in Supporting #Day1, Marking the Five-Year Anniversary of Tyler Clementi’s Tragic Death
New York, NY (June 8) – The National Education Association (NEA), CBS Sunday Morning and Actress Megan Mullally have joined The Tyler Clementi Foundation (TCF) in launching #Day1, a major national initiative to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces and sports programs. TCF was founded in 2010 in memory of the family’s son/brother after he took his own life following a cyber-bullying episode at Rutgers University that sparked a national conversation. #Day1 is the foundation’s next phase of action and emphasizes bullying prevention.
More than 3.2 million students identify as victims of bullying each year, and bullying is linked to truancy, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide. Clear, early leadership on bullying can reduce a host of negative educational, professional and psychological outcomes. #Day1 is an innovative, research-based intervention program, based on the principle that prevention is better than remediation. #Day1 is not just about awareness;
it’s about taking action.
Through #Day1, TCF renews its vigor in urging students, educators, youth-serving professionals, sports teams, social institutions (such as fraternities and sororities), workplaces and other groups to prevent bullying, harassment and humiliation by completing the Upstander Pledge. This pledge is a commitment to taking a personal stand to intervene or report cruelty whenever and wherever it is witnessed.
“We are proud to launch #Day1, kicking off another chapter in our ongoing and tireless efforts to prevent other young adults and their families from suffering the tragedy that befell our family,” said Jane Clementi.
“Turning bystanders into Upstanders will reassure youth suffering in silence that they are not alone. Instead of waiting for a law to pass or the perfect curriculum, we want to provide this tool to empower teachers, bosses and coaches to take action now.”
The success of #Day1 is dependent upon a person in authority making a clear verbal statement early in the tenure of students or workers, expressing what is expected of them – and what behavior will not be tolerated. Subsequently, students or workers must confirm that the statement has been understood.
"The Tyler Clementi Center (TCC) at Rutgers University and all of us who support the efforts of
The Tyler Clementi Foundation to prevent bullying – both on and off line across the country,” said
Richard Edwards, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and Chancellor Rutgers--New Brunswick. “We are committed to explore ways in which the #Day1 campaign can be part of an overall strategy in higher education settings to build inclusive and safe community, promote positive campus climate and ensure the well-being of students."
“The Tyler Clementi Foundation #Day1 campaign is exactly what every school should do to get all of the school members to commit to promoting a positive school climate that is respectful and free from negative interactions and behaviors,” said Dr. Dorothy Espelage, national bullying expert and scholar at University of Illinois, Champaign. “If every school in the U.S. would commit to participate fully in #Day1, then I would consider this a major accomplishment and I would feel that I could retire!”
“I support #Day1 because it protects people who are attacked for looking, acting, feeling or believing differently than others,” said Todd Stiefel, president of Stiefel Freethought Foundation. “We should celebrate our differences and put kindness first.”
Prominent national sponsors in addition to the NEA -- the nation's largest professional employee organization with 3 million members working at every level of education – include the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, Barilla America, Workplace Options, and Replacements, Ltd.
A full list of sponsors and campaign partners that support #Day1 will be available at www.Day1campaign.com. As part of their endorsement for this important campaign, “#Day1Employers” will read the #Day1 script to employees and distribute the pledge in late August. The official #Day1 script is also available at the site and encourages registration, allowing TCF to track participation around the country.
About The Tyler Clementi Foundation: The Tyler Clementi Foundation (TCF), guided by the life and story of Tyler Clementi, promotes safe, inclusive and respectful social environments in homes, schools, campuses, churches and the digital world for vulnerable youth, LGBT youth and their allies. Through educational partnerships, research, public dialogues and awareness programs, TCF fosters empathetic, constructive discussions of respect and dignity for youth and families, at all levels of society. We envision a world that embraces all members of society with human dignity and unconditional love regardless of sexual orientation or differences, real or perceived. For more information, visit http://www.tylerclementi.org.
Contacts: The Tyler Clementi Foundation SKDKnickerbocker
Sean M. Kosofsky, Executive Director Jon Reinish – Jreinish@skdknick.com
Twitter: @TylerClementi #Day1
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