Friends united for fun, United for good times, United against racism and prejudice.
What is this movement about?
#FriendsUniteNow uses the general awesomeness of diverse friendships to stand up to racism and prejudice. (Oh, and it’s based on 70 years of research into intergroup contact and prejudice reduction. So this is not just a feel-good campaign. This campaign has the potential to change attitudes and behavior worldwide.)
Friends in diverse groups
We all belong to groups – national, ethnic, racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, language, age groups, political parties. The list goes on! Groups can be an important part of our identity, and make up who we are. BUT groups don’t have to stop us having awesome friendships that transcend difference.
Friendships cross group boundaries – that’s one thing that makes them exciting and fun. Cross-group friendship is also the most powerful way to reduce prejudice towards people in other groups.
In the UK, there has been a surge in reports of racist verbal attacks and intimidation following Brexit.
- CNN > 06/28/2016 > Brexit: Racist abuse in UK reported since vote to leave EU
- BBC > 07/06/2016 > Brexit: Children hear racist abuse ‘for first time’
- Huffington Post > 06/27/2016 > Racist Incidents Skyrocket After Brexit Vote
- The Guardian > 07/05/2016 > Dear Nicky Morgan: this is how to deal with post-Brexit racism
Those with underlying, racist attitudes felt emboldened by the result, and could shout their views from the rooftops (and trams, bus stops, graffiti…).
Sadly, this is just shining a light on a worldwide problem. In many countries across the world, racism and prejudice, fear and discrimination are part of everyday life.
Now is the time to act. Let us shout from the rooftops too….. No to racism! No to exclusion! No to intimidation!
And YES to solidarity and fabulous, diverse friends.
Stand Up to Racism Together!
- Grab a friend who belongs to a different group than you (whether it’s nationality, religion, ethnicity, race, language, neighbourhood, school, age – just cross group borders!)
- Take a friendfie together and tag it #friendsunitenow
- Share it widely (on your page, on the FriendsUniteNow FB page, on Twitter, wherever you’d like!) – you’re contributing to a massive extended contact intergroup contact campaign designed to reduce prejudice and encourage positive relations between groups worldwide!
This is just the beginning. Sign up and the #FriendsUniteNow movement will keep you posted on the best* ways we can fight prejudice and racism together. And how you, your friends, your children and your classmates can join our activities this fall!
*When we say “best,” we mean it. This campaign is based on over 70 years of research on intergroup contact and prejudice reduction. It’s the brainchild of Dr. Lindsey Cameron, Researcher and Lecturer on Intergroup Contact and Prejudice at the University of Kent and Anne Glick, co-founder of Globe Smart Kids, a non-profit organization that uses technology to help children grow up feeling safe, happy and excited to interact with diverse people.