MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER

Dec 4, 2013

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“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

tali newAs a society, we have made great strides forward to silence hateful words, but we still have far to travel and much to learn. Despite the efforts of many international organizations and countless past and present world leaders, our world continues to be plagued by discriminatory language, harmful judgments and damaging stereotypes against individuals and groups based on race, color, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, and disability.

I, myself, have been the target of ethnic slurs. After sharing my experiences with friends and family, I learned that they, too, have been affected by damaging and offensive language.  I decided to take action by moving from the sidelines to leading the charge in silencing the hate, and thus, the Discrimination Free Zone movement was born. Our goal is to put an end to these social toxins, once and for all, by preventing discriminatory language before it is even uttered.

To begin with, we wanted to create a forum for people to share their stories and unite in solidarity. To reinforce our message, we designed a series of immediately recognizable products – shirts, wristbands, hats, stickers and posters - with the “Discrimination Free Zone” message on them that clearly state our position. Wherever our message is proudly worn and displayed, we are telling others that we will not participate in any conversations that contain poisonous sentiments. As support grows, our hope is that anyone desiring to spread insensitive and ignorant language will find that a willing audience has disappeared.

By wearing or displaying any of our items, you are establishing your own Discrimination Free Zone everywhere you go. You are pledging not to use discriminatory language shutterstock_157572569against any individual or group based on age, race, color, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Additionally, you are informing others in advance that you will be offended by discriminatory comments. With each new Discrimination Free Zone, we come closer to silencing hate, thereby eliminating the damaging judgments and harmful actions that can follow.

I hope our movement serves as a catalyst to changing the conversation. Together, we can foster an environment consisting of unity, equality and acceptance for everyone.

Sincerely,

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Tali Raphaely
Founder and CEO
Discrimination Free Zone Foundation


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