This year’s celebrations of the International Family Equality Day (IFED) called for representation of rainbow families in educational systems around the globe.
Taking pride in family diversity and promoting equal rights for everyone, the International Family Equality Day (IFED) always takes place on the first Sunday of May. On Sunday, the 9th and latest edition of this LGBTIQ awareness day was joyfully commemorated across the world and broke yet another record – in a staggering 152 cities in 62 countries, the IFED family celebrated and took to social media to spread its message of and call for inclusion and equality.
Representation and visibility
With its motto “Family Diversity in Education”, this year’s IFED put a special emphasis on the need for representation and visibility of family diversity in educational settings. With school experiences shaping a child’s identity, young LGBTIQ+ people as well as children being raised in rainbow families depend on having reference models and seeing themselves and their families reflected in the school narrative, educational materials and the language being used by professionals in the field. “Family means commitment, love and hope”, says IFED-board member Benny Odongo from Kenya. “The education system should embrace family diversity, allowing our children to be proud of what they are at home when they’re at school, too.“ Using the means provided by social media, the IFED community called on the public to respect and protect each child’s right to non-discrimination and to ensure that schools across the globe become safe and inclusive learning environments.
Zoom, Skype, Instagram and Co.
The IFED community members did not only spread their messages online, they also used modern technology to unite. Since the worldwide Covid-19 crisis made gatherings in person impossible, they took advantage of apps and communication software to meet virtually. In Chile and Brazil, for example, the IFED family came together on Instagram, with friends joining in from Argentina and other Latin American countries. In Russia, a family conference was held in a Zoom meeting, while rainbow families in Switzerland met on Skype.
Creative ways to celebrate
Furthermore, countless families posted pictures of how they spent the special day, using the hashtag #IFED2020. While some baked rainbow cakes or made colorful paintings and drawings, others recommended their favorite LGBTIQ inclusive children’s books. Some drew their family trees, while others shared happy family photos. “We are overwhelmed and moved by how everyone made a virtue of necessity and found such creative ways to participate in IFED while being safe at home”, says IFED Co-President Derricia Castillo-Salazar from Belize. “Mutual support and empowerment, being there for and connecting with one another, no matter what the circumstances are – this is what IFED is all about. We are already looking forward to celebrating IFED 2021! “
Check out the great and diverse collection of #IFED2020 posts and contributions under the following link.
Derricia Jael (IFED Co-President, Belize): WhatsApp +501-623-6062
Benny Odongo (IFED Board-Member, Kenya) +254 711131195