LISTEN UP. Juniors Corey Ward, Quinten Koroshetz and Jochebed Kim attend the respect workshop in the auditorium. photo/Kristen Collins

In an effort to promote acceptance of individuality, International Business Machines partnered with the Gay Straight Alliance Club. On Oct. 25, IBM leaders conducted an educational workshop in the auditorium.

The Pulse tragedy inspired IBM to launch an activity kit designed for those wanting to take a stand against bullying. IBM and Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network worked together to create the exercises that encourage teenagers to embrace their uniqueness. They hope to spread positivity and acceptance in diverse communities.

”I really want there to be a positive change in how people view differences and accept them,” said Doris B. Gonzalez, IBM director of corporate citizenship and affairs, “Our idea is that any organization can promote acceptance.”

The kit includes a My Mirror activity that lets students draw how they see themselves or how they feel others see them. It focuses on self-reflection and addressing confidence, or negativity. Participants drew pictures, symbols or words that represent them as a person.

After seeing the mirrors that members of the Gay Straight Alliance Club made, attendees of the meeting wrote respect letters. The letters included what they thought the drawing represented, how they related to it and a message to help the person feel good about himself.

“We want to encourage respecting new ideas and valuing what diversity can bring to a project,” Gonzalez said, “It is to open your mind; it is okay to be different.”

These activities target school classrooms, non-for profit organizations, community centers and after-school programs that work with teenagers. Anyone interested in celebrating differences and teaching respect can participate. The IBM website contains the downloadable activity kit and more information about the impact they want to make.

By Myara Perez

Im a first year newspaper staffer. I enjoy taking pictures, writing and making short films.

One thought on “International Business Machines, Gay Straight Alliance Club teaches respect”
  1. I was really looking forward to seeing my interview and Christina’s interview and as I was reading my anitial thought was why we weren’t in the article. I believe that as a writer you should also show the opinion of the students not just these IBM members. if there is an extended version made or something a notification to my email would be greatly appreciated. thank you for reading my personal thoughts!

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