I just nominated us, THE GIVE ‘EM HOPE CAMPAIGN, for this, Community Group of the Year – Recognising the LGBTI Community Group which has excelled in the past year, based upon the fact that I’m Scottish so we are all of Scottish descent! If you’d like to do the same, here’s the link. http://www.equality-network.org/nominate/
As far as I can tell the nominations close tomorrow!
What I said was:
THE GIVE ‘EM HOPE CAMPAIGN: Founded and coordinated by Scottish teacher, writer and speaker, David E Watters, 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 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:
THE NBI ASSOCIATES/ GIVE ‘EM HOPE WEBSITE:
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
It is not an overstatement to say that the impact of this quiet campaign has been significant. Young men and women have spoken of overcoming their isolation and feelings of worthlessness; their improved self-image and new-found ability to recognise self-destructive behaviours and prevent these from continuing.
It sometimes has only taken one video or a written testimony to reassure someone that they are not alone, not the only one and that there is HOPE that their situation will improve and that this will begin with self-acceptance.
We open our door and open our hearts to anyone, of any background, who feels isolated and marginalised as a result of a real or perceived label that has been assigned to them and which has defined, and more importantly which has confined them to a limited palate of life choices.
The impact is subtle but significant. Our “Local Community” is not just Scotland, England, Great Britain but the world. That is what makes us different to other community organisations; we have not just changed lives but we have quite literally saved lives.
If you’d also or rather nominate me personally then the most suitable award category is Diversity Award – Recognising diversity in the LGBTI community and initiatives which have sought to involve diverse identities.
Why you may nominate me for this:
David E. Watters, is a proud Scottish Equality Advocate who has worked internationally to further diversity awareness through his writing, public speaking and within educational roles.
He is a teacher, motivational speaker and writer; a passionate equality advocate, committed to enhancing the lives of young people and adults who may feel marginalised or limited by labels.
As a teacher, he is committed to developing the whole person through creatively challenging students to embrace their unique value, and that of others, to encourage them to fulfil their full potential. He was nominated for an Excellence in Diversity Award 2015, for his contribution to enhancing the diversity agenda within education.
Since graduating from The Institute of Education, University of London, David has gone on to train as a mediator, and is a qualified facilitator for The Pacific Institute.
As Director of NBI Associates, David devises and delivers engaging, enjoyable and interactive Diversity and Cultural Enhancement workshops utilizing Cognitive Behavioural and Performing Arts strategies for individual, corporate and academic clients.
Watters is also the founder and coordinator of the inclusive, inspirational and international Give ’em Hope Campaign; an online initiative which utilises all available social networks to encourage and uplift those who doubt their validity, feel isolated or limited by labels, through the sharing of written and video testimonies. The campaign was honoured at the National Diversity Awards 2014 when it won the Community Organisation Award (Multi-Strand).
Watters was a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK; taking the British Government to the European Court of Human Rights and successfully achieving Marriage Equality for same-sex couples in the United Kingdom.
His passion and growing expertise have brought many opportunities to write and speak on social change and his book, NEVER BLEND IN, brings together this wealth of experience and the voices of those whom he has met along the way.
AN OVERVIEW OF DAVID’S ADVOCACY WORK CAN BE SEEN HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzC0QgOLXnk
BARRIERS OVERCOME CAN BE BEST EXPLAINED IN THESE TWO VIDEOS:
Here’s that link again: http://www.equality-network.org/nominate/
THE NBI ASSOCIATES YOUTUBE PAGE: NBIassociates
THE NBI ASSOCIATES/ GIVE ‘EM HOPE WEBSITE:
JOIN THE “Give ‘em Hope” GROUP ON FACEBOOK:
COME AND VISIT OUR SISTER PAGE:
Winning this award would greatly enhance my credibility as a voice for disenfranchised LGBTQI people and enable me to reach out further; to utilise my diverse skills as a writer, speaker and educator to continue with my goal to validate and encourage others to live full and fulfilling lives, both personally and professionally, despite the social judgements that they may face.