Monday, July 6, 2015

Non-Profit Spotlight: The Tyler Clementi Foundation

In the face of tragedy, the Clementi family has found the strength, faith and steadfastness to triumph over tragedy. Nearly 5 years ago a young Tyler Clementi went off to college to start the next phase of his life. Tyler was a smart and talented musician with a promising musical career ahead of him. For many, college is a place that they look forward to as find their way and navigate being on their own. Tyler was cyber-bullied and humiliated online by his roommate, who live streamed private moments in Tyler’s life for sport. Tyler Found out his roommate planned another invasion of privacy via twitter and shortly thereafter ended his life when he jumped off the George Washington Bridge.

The Clementi family was thrust into the spotlight. They faced out pouring of support and criticism and in a sense were put in a similar situation as their son and brother. Their family's private pain was made public on a global scale.

In the wake of their family's mourning the Clementi's have found the courage and the strength to take a stance against bullying across the board. The Tyler Clementi Foundation was founded as a catalyst for change. The foundation recognizes that bullying is a long standing cycle that has to be broken and they are doing everything within their power to be part of the culture change.

"In 2010, Tyler's death was one of many suicides amongst LGBT youth reflecting a growing and desperate need to focus on the issue of bullying in schools and its victims. Amongst vulnerable youth, the LGBT populations are known to be the most vulnerable. Studies cite LGBT youth are three to seven times more likely to attempt suicide than other youth. More studies have also shown that the greatest determinant of LGBT suicide is a hostile social environment, be it home, school or work. The Tyler Clementi Foundation was born out of the urgent need to address the needs of vulnerable populations, especially LGBT and other victims of hostile social environments.

The family of Tyler Clementi is focused on creating a new story of inclusion, dignity and acceptance for other youth and their families as way to honor the memory of their son, brother and friend."

The Tyler Clementi Foundation (TCF) started the Upstander Pledge where individuals pledge to stand up against bullying behaviors. The Upstander Pledge lists specific visible behaviors of what bullying looks like and what actions may be taken to help eradicate bullying and by taking action to help some who is being bullied. Take the Upstander Pledge here.

The Tyler Clementi Foundation has recently launched The DAY 1 Capaign.

The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about bullying, harassment and humiliation or shaming. As well as how the environment participants are entering does not and will not tolerate any form of teasing or cruelty. 

To learn more about TCF and their work against bullying, call to actions toward a more inclusive society in every place imaginable, schools k-12, after school programs, sports programs, colleges and universities as well as the work place visit

The foundation has evolved to bring to light the devastation bullying creates in every area of our society and how we can all together work towards eradicating it and creating a safe environment for all. 

The Tyler Clementi Center for Law & Policy at New York Law School

“The Tyler Clementi Center for Law & Policy at New York Law School will educate students, lawyers, judges, and the public to raise awareness about the problem of cyberbullying and provide research, analysis, and direct services to help families, policymakers, and schools reduce the frequency and ameliorate the effects of cyberbullying of at-risk youth. The TCCLP will include a first-of-its-kind direct service litigation clinic to help victims of harassment obtain justice and provide needed perspective in impact litigation. Research generated by TCCLP will help with litigation, legal defense and legal training around the country. TCCLP will also hold conferences, workshops, and symposia focused on education and research, and host a hotline where victims of harassment can learn about their rights and seek justice. Public Opinion Research: Data should inform decision-making and we need public opinion research to help inform anti-bullying goals. TCF will produce a tracking poll three times a year (during school year transitions) to raise awareness of key topics and trends. TCF will conduct a robust round of public opinion research to uncover what messages and messengers are the most effective in combating bullying. This research should be shared publicly so it can inform the entire sector. 

TCF will work for the passage of the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment act.“ 

To further support the work at the Tyler Clementi Foundation make a gift today. Donations go to directly support Day 1 Campaign and the Tyler Clementi Center for Law and Policy.

Like TCF on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, email or Chat up members of the Tyler Clementi Foundation team at our next M3.

Written by Ingrid Galvez,
Diversity Inclusion & Outreach Chair


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