Everyone Matters officially announced the launch of its "big-tent" inclusiveness and equality online and in-school campaign, bringing together global celebrities and organizations under a joint banner to "Open your heart to everyone's differences."
Leaders and celebrities supporting the campaign include Sir Paul McCartney, Nicole Kidman, Ellen Degeneres, Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench, Natalie Portman and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who have penned slogans of inclusiveness, tolerance and pride in identity to be featured as part of the global campaign to Dial Down the Judgment.
The official campaign message is, "It begins with each of us. Let's not stand outside other people's lives, passing judgment. Everyone has the right to be exactly who they are."
Everyone Matters is targeting 100,000+ online sign-ups for its "24-hour Challenge to Not Judge or Call Names," and is inviting the public to post video shares of their experiences being judged and judging others - whether it's for what they're wearing, the cellphone they use, body image, skin color, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age. Everyone Matters is also inviting the public to upload "I Am!" photos expressing pride in identity at www.everyonematters2012.com and www.facebook.com/everyonematters.
The in-school part of the campaign will include schools organizing "Letting Go of Judgment Trees," in which students privately write words they've been called, or called others, on paper leaves, which are then collected, and pasted on a giant paper tree in a public place. It will also include the "American Ideals" competition, which will invite students to reference America's founding documents, forefathers' words of inclusiveness and equality, milestones in American history, and relate it to themselves and today.
Partners in the campaign include: Special Olympics, The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, Association of American Colleges and Universities, NAACP, National Organization for Women, American Association of People with Disabilities, National Association of Secondary School Principals, GLAAD, Asian American Justice Center, USC Shoah Foundation Institute, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Equality Now, National Partnership for Women & Families, Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project, NASPA/ Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, ACPA/ College Student Educators International, the MTV Thin Line campaign.
Everyone Matters is an initiative from the What's Your Issue Foundation, founded by social entrepreneur and journalist HeathCliff Rothman, which for the past six years produced Film Your Issue, a youth civic engagement initiative whose partners included YouTube, Microsoft, Sony, Best Buy, Yahoo, MySpace, USA TODAY, and VIP Jurists Senator Barack Obama, George Clooney, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Jack Black and others.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.