Montreal, May 2019 - May 17th will be the 17th edition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Fondation Émergence, the instigator of this day, which was launched in 2003, will unveil its action plan on May 1, 2019 at the FASKEN law firm in front of media and political figures. This year, the campaign will focus on cyberhomophobia and cybertransphobia.
These forms of bullying are unfortunately becoming more and more prevalent in recent years due to the advent of social media across the the globe, amongst other things. The feeling of impunity, as well as the speed with which social media messages can propagate, feeds this tendency that is essential to put an end to.
In view of this situation, the Fondation Émergence is deploying a whole awareness-raising device for the general public to download and order for free. It also aims to raise the authorities’ awareness of this ongoing challenge, mainly in schools, as young people are often the first to be involved in online violence, whether as a victim or as an aggressor.
Several areas of awareness are put forward, for example to encourage young people to think about the content they publish online, and to encourage them to systematically report and block the hateful or violent content they are confronted with on the Internet. Fondation Émergence also invites the public to warn the authorities when it considers the situation necessary and to seek help from available resources.
According to Patrick Desmarais, President of Fondation Émergence: “It is through education that we will one day succeed in overcoming cyberbullying. This is an issue that particularly affects LGBTQ + people, but it is a challenge that we all face together as a society. ”
According to a study published by the Cyberbullying Research Center, the percentage of people having experienced some form of cyber-harassment almost doubled between 2007 and 2016 from 18% to 34%. As reported by mpvMentor, 73% of LGBTQ + people have already been attacked or harassed online, which often leads to anxiety, depression or even suicidal thoughts.
Last year's campaign : The Pride Shield
In 2018, the Fondation Émergence attained an international reach with its campaign “It’s a crime to show my colors” in collaboration with the ReThink agency. A video depicting a shield consisting of 193 rainbow flags (one for each country), weighing nearly 250 pounds and capable of stopping a gun shot, had become viral. This symbol of unity was then intended to demonstrate that together, we can stop the violence against the LGBTQ + community around the world. A strong message and still relevant in this year’s campaign.
“National Bank is pleased to be joining forces with Fondation Émergence as part of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Proud partner of the Fondation since 2006, the Bank wants to raise awareness among its employees and the population about the realities of the LBGTQ+ community, especially the issue of online violence. We are delighted to be working with the Fondation to take up this challenge and help build a proud and inclusive community,” said Thi Be Nguyen, Manager – Office of the President and Philanthropy at National Bank.
About the Fondation Émergence
The Fondation Émergence works to fight against homophobia and transphobia as well as for the rights and inclusion of LGBTQ + people in society through awareness campaigns, projects, surveys and an award winning ceremony organized in the framework of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
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