This month, we are learning more about the organization Tyler Clementi Foundation and how it works to support the LGBTQ+ community. This organization is one of the four nonprofits that will receive a grant from the Mama Bears Giving Circle in September 2022. We had the pleasure of speaking directly with their team to gain additional insight about what they do. Here is the information they wanted to share with the Mama Bears!
Tyler Clementi Foundation
The Tyler Clementi Foundation was founded by the Clementi family to prevent bullying through inclusion and the assertion of dignity and acceptance as a way to honor the memory of Tyler: a son, a brother, and a friend.
In 2010, Tyler’s death became a global news story, highlighting the impact and consequences of bullying behavior, while sparking dialogue amongst parents, teachers, and students across the country. His story also linked broader issues impacting youth and families, such as LGBT inequality, safety in schools, youth in crisis, higher education support systems, and cyberbullying.
The Tyler Clementi Foundation was born out of the urgent need to address the bullying challenges facing vulnerable and marginalized populations, especially the LGBTQ+ community, which are often targeted in hostile social environments for being unique and different, just as Tyler was. This is why we are so passionate to raise awareness and to teach about the importance of embracing diversity.
We believe everyone should be treated, online and offline, with the respect and dignity they deserve……. Not despite their differences but rather because our differences make us uniquely special and precious, and we believe those differences must be embraced and celebrated.
Through innovative research-based programing like our #Day1 toolkits we work to prevent the devastating effects of bullying behavior. Our downloadable #Day1 scripts are customized for various communities, assisting leaders to create safe spaces, and where individuals are empowered to move from being passive bystanders to active Upstanders with the confidence to stand up and speak out against bullying
behavior, safely and effectively.
Our message of standing up to bullying behavior speaks universally across all cultures and identities. We have reached over a million people with our Upstander Pledge to date, with plans to grow an army of Upstanders that will foster a culture shift to a societal norm of kindness, respect and compassion.
We expand our reach into individual communities through our Youth Ambassador Program. Youth Ambassadors are High School aged youth who are given the tools and resources, through monthly group and one-on-one zoom meetings, to end bullying in their local community. We help empower youth to create change within their social environments by facilitating meaningful conversations and encouraging Upstander behaviors with their peers, as well as the adults in their life.
While we might not have control of all the circumstances in our lives, we do have control of our responses. It is not enough to just sit back and passively hope for change to happen, we need to take action and actively work to make our environment and spaces around us safe, inclusive and respectful for everyone. Join with us and become an Upstander!