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ONE FOR ALL: Some Thoughts From Aaron Welcher

Posted on 11/15/2011 @ 02:43 PM

Good Afternoon All, Hi, I am Aaron Welcher from Indy Brae Sheath #246 and as you may know I am currently attending a summit on Equality through BBYO Panim Institute. At the summit we have been talking about different types of people so as youth we can learn how to bring acceptance into our communities and the world. To kick off Panim yesterday we talked about how we view the things and they may not always be right. We watched a video about a lady who already had prejudices and how she assumed her salad had been taken by an Africa American man.

From here we had a program over gender and sexuality. With this we were taught about different terms that helped explain different views on gender and sexuality, but more importantly we learned about how gender is put into two boxes; Boy and Girl. These boxes are supposed to be the perfect girl and boy but that when you don't fit into this box and when we keep theses boxes around then people aren't going to be able to be themselves 100% because they will are afraid of being judged. Here we also learned that there are people with gender identity issues and that it isn't just as simple as male and female. Many people feel as though they are neither, or genderqueer. With the terms we were informed that queer isn't a bad term, but a term used to describe someone who doesn't define themselves as just "gay". I think the greatest point of this program is that we need to become better informed on gender and sexuality and the boxes of stereotypes we are creating in our communities.

The last big program for the night was put on by Robert Lewis, Vice President of The Boston Foundation. He wanted to help inspire us as teens and the next generation to start creating a just community with equal opportunity. He also told us that we all have the potential to be the kids who will change the world, but to do that we need to inspire others too, because no one can change the world alone. This concluded our first day. The spirits here are high and the leadership is strong. All communities should be looking at the teens coming back on the summit because we are going to be ready to make a difference. Aaron Welcher Indianapolis, IN

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