The motto of next year’s International Family Equality Day (IFED) will highlight the importance of representing family diversity in school settings. Become part of the IFED family now and help working towards equal rights for all.
On the 3rd of May 2020, LGBTIQ+ people and their friends and families will get together all across the globe and celebrate the 9th edition of the International Family Equality Day (IFED) – a day that highlights and celebrates family diversity and pushes for equality for everyone. While last year’s event – commemorated in 50 countries and 117 cities – emphasized the strength and motivation gained from standing united, this year’s motto focuses on the necessity of integrating the idea of family diversity in the education system.
Broad concept of what families are
With our world being increasingly multifaceted and diverse, the concept of family has changed as well. It no longer consists exclusively of two heterosexual, married parents and their biological children. Be it single parents, same-sex parents, adoptive or foster parents, be it patchwork, extended or elective families – they nowadays come in all shapes and sizes. They are all equally valid and deserve the same rights and respect – a fact that must not only be recognized by the legal systems, but also the school systems all over the world.
It is crucial that family diversity is visible within school settings. For this to happen, the representation of family – both in textbooks as well as in the narrative and language used by teachers, social workers and other professionals in the field – has to go beyond the traditional notion of family. Otherwise, the door is open for misunderstanding, discrimination, exclusion and even violence.
A place where everyone can thrive
“School experiences shape a young person’s identity”, explains IFED board member Bess Hepworth. “For both young LGBTIQ+ people as well as children growing up in rainbow families, seeing diversity being embraced by the educational system can literally be a matter of life or death.“ It is for these reasons that next year’s IFED celebrations aim at raising awareness for the need of safe and inclusive learning environments in which no one feels inferior, singled out or left behind.
Welcoming family diversity in your class will contribute to the students social-emotional well-being, says IFED Board Member Maria von Känel. “It is important that children have reference models and also see other children in films, books, poster who are in the same situation as they. The daily handling of difference and diversity strengthens the social cohesion, promotes awareness of self-efficacy and prepares for later life. “
Help creating such environments by joining the IFED family and celebrating with us!
DOWNLOAD: IFED Leaflet 2020 «Family Diversity in Education»