UN Free and Equal Campaign Joins GLAAD for Spirit Day!

the voice and vision of a new generation

UN Free and Equal Campaign Joins GLAAD for Spirit Day!

October 17, 2019

This year, United Nations Free & Equal campaign joined GLAAD for Spirit Day; the largest and most visible LGBTQ+ anti-bullying campaign. The UN Free & Equal campaign (UNFE) aims to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ violence and discrimination, as well as encourage greater respect for the rights of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. However, LGBTQ+ youth around the world are not able to freely and fully express their true selves because they fear bullying, harassment and prosecution. 

LGBTQ+ children - and all children perceived to be defying gender stereotypes - are at a higher risk of being bullied at school, at home and in their community. This is why the United Nations “went purple” for Spirit Day this year, encouraging everyone – students, parents, teachers and governments – to protect the fundamental right of children to live free from discrimination.

As part of the partnership, the UN Free & Equal campaign has created an emotive campaign video, titled “Purple the World,” calling for action against anti-LGBTIQ bullying. The video is available in 7 languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, English, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish). 

The video calls to action peers, educators and international governments by imagining an inclusive future “where we are all treated as equals and no-one drops [of school] for being who they are.” By approaching each other with love, kindness and empathy, we can start making this world more inclusive and safe for everyone today! 

UN Free & Equal has also created a landing page for Spirit Day, where visitors can educate themselves about the human rights concerns facing LGBTIQ youth and find information about how allies, teachers, and governments can support LGBTIQ children who are being bullied. To access the unique Spirit Day landing page, visit https://www.unfe.org/spiritday/. If you would like to know how you can take action to end bullying click here.

About Spirit Day

Each year, millions go purple for GLAAD’s Spirit Day to support LGBTQ youth in a united stand against bullying. Started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan in response to numerous young LGBTQ lives lost to suicide, Spirit Day now draws the participation of celebrities, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, and advocates around the world, all joining together to stand against bullying and support LGBTQ youth.

Presenting partners Pantene and Target, official partners Kellogg’s and the NBA and WNBA, and community partners Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Kirkland & Ellis, and Wells Fargo will all participate in the anti-bullying campaign. 

As anti-LGBTQ policies, hate crimes, and harassment are on the rise, it is now especially important to let all marginalized youth know they are supported.

This year, Spirit Day is on October 17, 2019. Take the Spirit Day pledge to show LGBTQ youth you've got their backs at glaad.org/spiritday. Follow @GLAAD on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up to date with #SpiritDay news.


Kleio Kartalis is the Youth Engagement Coordinator at GLAAD. She graduated from New York University in 2019 with a degree in Global Liberal Studies; Politics, Rights and Development, and is an alumna of the GLAAD Campus Ambassador Program.

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