As Everyone Matters leads up to its inaugural global “Everyone Matters Day” on April 2, Hugh Jackman kicked off its “I Am!” campaign to own and affirm WHO WE ARE, AS WE ARE.
Ever the romantic, Hugh hand-wrote “I am in love” and took a selfie which he posted on Twitter and Instagram, writing #everyonematters. Hugh is one of the Honorary Ambassadors of the exploding global campaign.
On April 2, 2014, people from around the world will upload their selfies on social media to affirm anything about themselves that they want to proclaim – from a personality trait, to what they like, where they live, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion. Anything that says who they are, as they are.
Among the cities and states joining the first global “Everyone Matters Day” with official proclamations and resolutions commemorating “Everyone Matters Day” and affirming everyone’s right to be who they are, without judgment, are: London, Dublin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Washington, DC, Portland, Phoenix, Denver, and the State of Maine. More will be added in the coming weeks.
In addition to Hugh Jackman, the global leaders who support the humanitarian message of Everyone Matters, and have penned personal statements for the campaign, are: Sir Paul McCartney, Ellen DeGeneres, George Clooney, General Colin Powell, Kevin Spacey, Tom Brokaw, HH the Dalai Lama, Nick Clooney and Nina Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, London Mayor Boris Johnson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Natalie Portman, New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Jeff Skoll, Debra Messing, Mary Tyler Moore, Bernadette Peters, Christina Aguilera, Deepak Chopra, Dame Judi Dench, Betty White, Fran Drescher and Chris Kluwe.
Everyone Matters was launched in 2012 as a big-tent campaign joining together global figures, leading organizations, local governments and the public under a banner message advocating for everyone’s right to dignity and respect, and to be allowed to be who they are – without judgment, shame or attack – including ourselves. The tagline of the global dignity movement is “It’s time to stop judging others – and ourselves!”
A cultural phenomenon, Everyone Matters is mushrooming both online via social media and in local communities, with a total reach of 55 million on Facebook and 165,000 followers around the globe. An estimated 75 to 100 schools in the U.S. and beyond will have organized “Everyone Matters Day” for 2013-2014, with such activities as the “I Am!” pride-in-identity PhotoBooth and VideoWall, where students hold up hand-written signs proclaiming anything about themselves they want to affirm; the “24-Hour Challenge” to not judge in thought or action for the entire day; and the “Letting Go of Judgment Tree” or “Act of Kindness Tree,” in which students collectively share names they’ve been called, or called others, and then “let it go,” or record moments of kindness to others.
The power – and success – of Everyone Matters is its humanistic, universal yet personal approach. The campaign advocates on behalf of everyone’s right to be who they are, regardless of gender, age, weight, skin color, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical limitations – combined with the intertwined message that affirms pride in identity.
Leading organizations supporting Everyone Matters include The Special Olympics, The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, Association of American Colleges and Universities, NAACP, National Association of Secondary School Principals, The Museum of Tolerance, Association of American People with Disabilities, National Organization of Women, UN Women National Committee United States, GLAAD, The Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, USC Shoah Foundation Institute, Student Affairs Administrators, Equality Now, National Hispanic Media Coalition, MTV’s A THIN LINE Campaign, National Partnership for Women & Families, Asian American Justice Center, Network National Catholic Social Justice Lobby.
The Everyone Matters campaign was founded by social entrepreneur and journalist HeathCliff Rothman, whose previous social media civic engagement campaign was Film Your Issue (FYI). FYI was an issue -driven short film competition with a stellar roster of media partners and jurists that included then-Senator Barack Obama, Walter Cronkite, George Clooney, Anderson Cooper, Tom Brokaw, Philip Seymour Hoffman, as well as YouTube, Microsoft, Yahoo!, MSNBC, MySpace, AOL, MTV and others.