Film gains notice
RALEIGH — An upcoming graduate of North Carolina State University, Will Lamb embarked on creating a documentary that highlights the school’s LGBT and ally communities. Although this might not seem too remarkable, it is so for him since he is an ROTC scholar. Following his graduation in May, he’ll head to the U.S. Army Signal Corps as a commissioned officer.
His piece, “It Gets Better,” shares the story of how acceptance and change is blooming across the campus.
Lamb is a communications media major. He also serves as president of the university’s Union Activities Board. He grew up hopping around with his father who was in the Army. This lead to a real diverse set of friends for him over the years. He has no problem with having gay friends.
Justine Hollingshead approached him last fall during the launch of the national It Gets Better campaign to see if he would help share the NCSU story. She said he was a valuable ally and brought a perfect set of skills to bring this project to completion.
The campaign pledge states: “Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that ‘It Gets Better.’”
After spending time around campus interviewing a number of subjects, the result was a 14-minute film packed full of comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni. In fact, the piece has had over 10,000 hits on YouTube.
To see the piece, visit youtube.com/watch?v=xuSNuPM5BsI.
SONG holds day of action
RALEIGH — Southerners on New Ground (SONG) is spearheading a National Day of Action on April 4 at 16 W. Jones St. at 11:30 a.m.
The silent picket and rally will help to raise awareness of and defend human rights, public jobs and public services.
SONG wants LGBT people to be engaged in this initiative to call attention to the need for safety and accessibility to healthcare. And, they chose this particular day as it was the day that Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.
Can’t make it to Raleigh? Then organize a rally or educational event in your area or wear a black armband to work.
For more information, call 919-539-2051, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit southernersonnewground.org or call the NC AFL-CIO at 919-833-6678.
Parents launch anti-bullying initiative
CARRBORO — Melissa and Meredith Weiss have co-founded Be a Friend, a clothing line created in response to a growing national concern about adolescent bullying. It was designed to generate dialogue about the importance of being a friend and standing up for anyone who is bullied or mistreated.
Items feature graphics of animated, diverse friendships. Clothing is available online, through school and non-profit fundraisers, at festivals and in retail stores. A percentage of each sale is donated to organizations that work on bullying prevention or those that help children with special needs.
It can be used by parents, educators and organizations to engage dialogue about the importance of being a friend.
The founders have seen the effects that bullying can have on children and communities and wanted to help increase awareness of the issue and help children and families find fun, comfortable ways to talk about these serious issues.
For more information, call 919-200-9684, email email@example.com or visit beafriendclothing.com.
Diversity tackled head on
RALEIGH — North Carolina State University’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, in its ongoing effort to thwart prejudice and bullying, welcomed Jacqueline Barnett, director of institutional equity at Tulane University, on March 24 for a lecture about hate crimes.
The event was held in conjunction with the office’s bi-annual Dialogue on Diversity. It was also held as a response to hate speech was smeared on the walls of the Free Expression Tunnel last year.
She discussed current legislation such as the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, as well as statutes.
Additionally, the school’s Multicultural Student Affairs produced an interactive event called Tunnel of Oppression as part of its First Annual NCSU Diversity Week (Howel for Diversity) observance from March 21-26.
The Technician reported that the “program also aims to inspire social change by creating awareness of the effects of oppression within society and the campus community.”
“People may have never been placed in these types of situations, and they obtain a sense of what it actually feels like to be oppressed or discriminated through the sights and sounds they experience,” said Ray. “While the Tunnel may be disturbing and upsetting, it is an effective tool used to teach people about how it really feels to be in the situation the images present.”
Once participants have experienced the presentation, they are asked to share their own experiences or observances. It is hard-hitting and some find it difficult to complete the process. Exit strategies were built into the display to allow those who were too shaken by it to leave before the end.
The Tunnel presentation began in 1993 at Western Illinois University. It has since spread to campuses across the country.