If we achieve nothing more, but we are determined to do more, knowing that our humble yet loving family have helped just one person has been enough. Campaigns (families) like ours reach out and embrace those who are often fragile and lost in understandable despair. For those people, we exist…we are “those people” – because we have been there and believe that sharing our own stories and listening to yours is often all that is needed to light a pathway towards hope.
David E Watters
“David Watters and The Give ‘em Hope Campaign gave me back hope when I felt like there was none. My 14 year old niece and her best friend committed suicide together as a result of being bullied and being tormented about their sexual orientation. I’m not clear on how I came across this campaign during that horrible time of my life but I am absolutely clear on knowing that I was welcomed in with open and loving arms. It’s not a campaign solely about being gay or straight; it’s a campaign of love and acceptance and of making every individual understand that it’s okay to be who you are; it’s okay to be you, to be unique, to be different, to embrace yourself and others no matter what. The Give ‘em Hope Campaign knows no boundaries; whether gay, straight, black, white, yellow, male female, transgender, old, young or whatever place in the world you come from, the Give ‘em Hope Campaign is a common place of acceptance and unconditional love. I have seen many many stories come through this campaign; many of them heart-breaking and many of them so very inspirational. I see a place where anyone and everyone can come together and share and be supported and feel safe and feel worth and love and feel okay again. I have watched this campaign flourish and reach every corner of the globe, bringing people that felt hopeless and unheard and outcast together as a family. David Waters has been the ‘father’ of this campaign, encouraging and loving and holding it together in every way possible. I am an advocate against bullying in any form and I know the work and dedication it takes to keep such a beautiful thing together. David Waters has gone above and beyond to make that and so much more happen for so many people. He is a special soul with an amazing purpose and that has overflowed into this campaign and all of the people ‘family’ that are a part of it. I know that I don’t stand alone when I say that the Give ‘em Hope Campaign and David Waters have made the World a more beautiful place to be and that I know it’s only just beginning. If more people in this World could just see humanity through the eyes of this one man and what this Give ‘em Hope Campaign and its members stand for, fight for and believe in… what a beautiful place it would be! “
Give ‘em Hope Campaign shortlisted for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards
The Give ‘em Hope Campaign, from the UK but operating worldwide, has been nominated for and have made the shortlist for the Community Organisation Award for Multi-Strand at The National Diversity Awards. This campaign is unique in that it is an initiative which supports and encourages all who feel limited by labels. It is an initiative which uses all forms of social media to enhance the lives of those who feel marginalised.
Headline sponsors Microsoft are just one of the brands supporting a sky fall of diversity talent – positive role models, community organisations and businesses from the LGBT, ethnic minority, age, gender, religion and disability communities.
Over 21,000 nominations were received this year paying tribute to inspirational individuals and groups nationwide that have dedicated their lives to enhancing the equality agenda.
WHAT IS THE GIVE ‘EM HOPE CAMPAIGN?
Stage One – The Give ‘em Hope Campaign is an inclusive and inspirational celebration of diversity; an online initiative to encourage and uplift those who feel marginalised, isolated or limited by labels. We exist to bring hope to those who need it most and do so by sharing our stories.
The campaign was founded by Music Teacher and Diversity Practitioner, David E Watters, in early 2011 and has grown, with the support of numerous international cheerleaders and proactive participants.
The Give ‘em Hope Campaign aims to eradicate limiting labels in society by acknowledging our similarities, whilst celebrating our differences.
Unlike other diversity campaigns, The Give ‘em Hope Campaign is an international fully-inclusive initiative, not focussed solely on one “community”, for that in itself can be limiting and perhaps divisive. This has meant that we have a range of video and written testimonies which explore living with HIV/ AIDS, coping with “coming out” as LGBTQ, learning to understand life on the autistic spectrum, ageism, racism, surviving serious life-threatening illnesses, coping with family rejection and so many more. The website best illustrates the diverse range of contributions: http://www.nbiassociates.co.uk/Give–em-Hope-Campaign.html
Further to this, we have many creative contributors who are musicians and have chosen to musically participate. Inspiring is the range of genres that effortlessly work as tools for social and political commentary; this has been important because music takes us beyond the ordinary and communicates on a level which resonates far deeper than words alone can.
GIVE ‘EM HOPE CAMPAIGN – MUSIC VIDEO COMPILATION: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqc9hfgPd1E
Our aim, to develop a cohesive society, utilises all available online social networks and video-sharing websites to assist anyone who may feel isolated, marginalised or limited by labels, to develop a better sense of living with personal authenticity, so that they can achieve their full potential. The greatest gift that a person can give is their true self. The individual can flourish and their family, community and the wider world can benefit from the immeasurable positivity that comes with living a free and limitless life.
The campaign was established in 2011, by David E Watters, a teacher and Diversity Specialist who saw an opportunity to harness the positive power of the internet and use it as a tool to speak to a worldwide audience.
As with any organisation, promoting diversity and supporting those who are in need of support and encouragement requires a diverse family network of volunteers. With this in mind, David began to reach out to members of the Give ‘em Hope facebook group and select the most active contributors who had the life-experience and skillset required to mentor those who were brave enough to recognise that the altruistic compassion and support that was readily offered was exactly what they needed. There are now over 20 administrators across the globe, meaning that there is an online presence at any time of the day or night.
The campaign began with a single video, inviting individuals, couples and groups to participate and make their own video about surviving the stereotypes and developing a sense of self-worth, having been limited by others, themselves or both, by the labels that had boxed them in and had defined and trapped them; many to the point of self-harm and suicide ideation.
These powerful videos were made, and continue to be made by people from a range of backgrounds; so in terms of diversity and the Equality Act 2010, one might refer to these as individuals who identify with one or more of the Protected Characteristics of Age, Disability, Gender reassignment, Marriage and civil partnership, Pregnancy and maternity, Race, Religion and belief, Sex and Sexual orientation.
For those who were unable to create a video, a second option arose, and many more contributors began emailing their written stories or directly uploading them to our social networks.
Stage Two, has included written stories of HOPE from those who have freed themselves from limiting labels and who can now celebrate their individuality.
Stage Three, is the living family support network which flourishes on facebook. Both the group and sister page are staffed by an international team of compassionate administrators, of diverse backgrounds, who provide unrivalled support and guidance.
Friendships have been formed and as clichéd as it may sound, there is a genuine sense of being part of an international family, in which people from all age-groups, cultures, genders and sexual orientations thrive and nurture each other.
OUR BACKGROUND, AS EXPLAINED BY SOME OF OUR INTERNATIONAL FAMILY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A28skAO0AQ8
ENDORSEMENT FOR THE NDA AWARDS 2014:
GIVE ‘EM HOPE LINKS:
EMAIL: David E Watters DavidWatters@nbiassociates.co.uk
THE “Give ‘em Hope” GROUP ON FACEBOOK:
SISTER PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/GIVEemHOPE
Write your story or make and send your video to: DavidWatters@nbiassociates.co.uk