Seeds of Tolerance

Current TV Seeds of Tolerance Contest

In particular, check out “We Belong”

We Belong
Producer: Joe Wilson

This is the story of two rural teens who had the courage to stand up to bigotry and intolerance in their schools – and the determination to tell their stories to the world.

Homophobia is one of the last “permissible” forms of prejudice. Its effects are especially acute for youth, who often suffer alone and in silence. Two thirds of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth experience harassment or violence in school, and the suicide rate for this group is four times the average.

When C.J. Bills is gay bashed in the school locker room, then arrested for disorderly conduct because he protests to an administrator about the harassment he has experienced, he decides to fight back by making a documentary about discrimination. With his family’s help, he also initiates an investigation by the state human rights commission and shames the school district into developing an anti-bullying and diversity training program.

C.J.’s documentary project also leads him to Tim Dahle, a former high school student who challenged the years of anti-gay harassment he suffered in a neighboring town. In Tim’s case, the school district that failed to protect him agreed to one of the largest sexual harassment settlements in history, sending a signal to school districts around the country that such behavior can be costly.

We Belong demonstrates that young people have the power to change their communities and the world, and that helping youth to tell their stories, in their own way and on camera, is enlightening, empowering, and effective.

Vote for the video that makes a difference! From now until 12:01am on December 2, 2006, you have the chance to help pick our top video. The grand prize winner will receive $100,000 in cash and an additional $15,000 to donate to the charity of his or her choice. Two finalists will also receive $10,000 apiece. The awards will be presented at a screening event in Los Angeles in December. ”

And a special note from PageOneQ. If 1,000 people head over to Current TV and vote for “We Belong” the producers will donate the entire $100,000 prize to programs reducing homophobia in American schools.