School is a place of multiple social models and attitudes, and discriminatory acts as well. Research shows that 63% of pupils have experienced verbal abuse, and 33% – physical abuse, while 7% have experienced physical abuse with a dangerous object causing bodily harm (Research and Documentation Bureau, Information and Statistics Team, Senate Chancellery, April 2012).
The project is intended to promote acceptance of diversity and improve opportunities for young persons who are vulnerable due to sexual orientation and gender identity, autism spectrum, or ethnic origin.
Experienced self-advocates will conduct discrimination prevention measures in line with the concept of nothing decided about us without us in two primary schools, two secondary schools, and two institutions of higher education. The measures will comprise two workshops for young people, training or a webinar for teachers, and a debate with pupils/students and teachers, aimed at stressing pupils’/students’ rights and improving equal opportunities in schools.
There are also plans for development workshops and consultations for young self-advocates (four people in each group) overseen by a mentor-self-advocate in the group in question, culminating in webinars open to all. We will also conduct a public campaign to promote acceptance of pluralism, and a national conference to show the project results.
The direct activities will encompass 300 people, and 12 self-advocates and 30 teachers will be given training. The project will increase awareness of the need for acceptance of pluralism among young people and school and academic personnel.
The partners in the project specialize in discrimination prevention measures and providing aid to non-heterosexual persons (Synergia Psychology Centre), and in measures to counter xenophobia, prejudice, and racism (African Origin Poles Association). The members are self-advocates who share their know-how.