The focal point of Stand Up Speak Out has traditionally been putting an end to bullying. However, last year, we took things a step further via the theme of “What’s Your Story,” as it relates to the pillars of social justice (gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation). Adults, and youth in particular, seldom feel comfortable and confident enough to share their stories. The ability to do so would enable one to help another, but at present, due to stigma and fear, those stories often remain hidden. We want to empower and allow all to feel comfortable enough to share their story, and celebrate one another’s differences.
This year we will still be concentrating on the theme of #whatsyourstory, while adding in a new element of #wordsmatter. We all have a story and stories are created with words, but not everyone realizes the effects their words have on others. We aim to shed some light on some of these specific words and raise awareness that we need to be more cognisant of the language we use.