Tag Archives: youth voices

Why YES! Matters – A Video Series

6 Dec

Many of us have seen the It Gets Better videos that have inspired and given hope to countless people, young and old, that things get better and they do not need to take drastic measures to deal with the trauma of bullying and harassment.  I loved watching many of these videos, and quietly wished that I had seen some of these when I was in high school.  Though hope for a brighter future is an important factor in making life-altering decisions, it simply isn’t enough.  I had a young leader in 9th grade say to me, “I don’t know if I can wait three more years for it to get better.”  That hit a nerve in me.

I thought again about my experience in high school getting teased, pushed, and avoided consistently.  Then I heard a bunch of the young leaders around me talk about all the things they’re doing in their school as part of their GSA’s, Diversity Clubs, ANYTOWN clubs, etc. and it was clear to them that they weren’t telling any one to wait.  They were taking the initiative to make it better.  They were organizing after-school meetings with school faculty to educate them on LGBT terminology, they were leading dialogues on what bullying looks like in their school at their advisories, they were creating poster campaigns to educate people about the cycle of oppression, they were going up to people sitting by themselves at lunch, they were asking their school cafeteria to have a “diversity lunch,” and they were being true role models by celebrating the unique qualities that make them just them.

They were doing all this because they wanted that “hope” to come earlier, to come now.  And, these are the youth who envisioned, planned, and launched The YES! Campaign in October.  Why do they believe in the POWER of YES!?  Watch the Videos to find out and share your comments and feelings in the comments below!

(Muneer Panjwani)

WE ALSO DID A PRETTY COOL FLASHMOB AT NCCJ’S ANNUAL HUMAN RELATIONS AWARD BANQUET!

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NCCJ Presents at the 3rd Annual Conference on Bullying & Safe Schools

6 Jun

Last week, the staff and youth of NCCJ were asked to present about their anti-bullying work in schools, and the new YES! Campaign, at the 3rd annual New Hampshire Conference on Bullying & Safe Schools. This year’s conference focused on new research and practice strategies to improve teaching about issues of safe space and inclusion within public schools. Among the many presenters at the conference, the NCCJ youth stood out as brillant, strong, and empowered. They captivated their audience with skits, fishbowls, and open discussion about the values of the YES! Campaign. Check out this video of their presentation!