May 03, 2013

From Judging to Organizing: My Journey to Camp GLSEN

"Ew! Look at her hair."

"OMG is that guy really wearing those pants?"

"I hate her."

Blah blah blah.

There was always something with me, finding the worst in every little thing, bursting with judgment. But one day, I got a call, a call that changed everything entirely.

I received an invite to a movie screening. Unprecedented to this simple minded arrogant child, I set off for the movie titled BULLY.

Anticipating a possible cheesy film that would leave me indolent and lethargic, I found it was the exact opposite. I was  knocked off my feet and, well let’s just say, bewildering. "Purely galvanized" and "so good" couldn't begin to describe the experience; I hesitate to even use the word "inspired!" After the show, people were talking about all kinds of different organizations that fight against these terrible injustices. I noticed an enormous weakness our species as a whole obtained: hate. Something I had been so negligent towards.

You know what they say; if you're not working up, you're working down. I was ready to start working up. Luckily I introduced myself to the right lady, Madelaine Adelman, the co-chair of GLSEN Phoenix. She's amazing. Before I knew it, I was contemplating on going to the Students of Color Organizing (SOCO) Summit, a program of GLSEN. It was only a matter of time before I was racing to my bunk at the Holiday Inn and meeting other students from the southwest region.

Though my journey to end bullying and create change in my community started with BULLY, I am so fortunate of where it has taken me. Anthony Salazar, a board member of GLSEN Phoenix, called me to offer me another great opportunity,  attending Camp GLSEN. I was jazzed! I very much look forward to gaining knowledge, experience, and friendships. As Gandhi once said “Be the change you want to see in the world,"I am looking to do this every day in my life and most certainly ecstatic to be around others doing the same.

Cerena is a JumpStart Student Coordinator for GLSEN Phoenix.


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