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Diversity

A huge Soviet era is gone now. It was an era when homogeneousness was propagated, when there was designed similar culture for all brotherly republics. The same way politics was formed, which naturally was affecting the social sphere. After the collapse of USSR – boom! The state has taken the path leading towards democracy, freedom, liberty, equality (some of those concepts and ideas were already presented to (former) USSR by Gorbachev). Individualism, assurance of human rights, protection of one’s privacy and freedom of expression emerged as new values for our country. Of course ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, so is not so far built democracy and rule of law in Armenia and there is still a lot to be done. Positive changes, unfortunately, do not come overnight usually; it’s rather a long way to build and to pass and the very civil society has to input efforts and attempts in its turn to make the country more prosperous.

“Public Information and Need of Knowledge” NGO (PINK Armenia) is launching this project, willing to reach a high level of acceptance of diversity, mutual respect and cultural sensitivity by promoting the ideas of tolerance, respect, and understanding. Nowadays, sadly, the rise of neo-Nazi movements and ultranationalists is registered. It’s a pity, but often activists of these movements take ultranationalist or neo-Nazi ideas for and represent them as nationalism, even worse – as patriotism. Gender based Human Rights violations, xenophobia, homophobia, neo-Nazism, ignorance and illiteracy will do nothing but flourish, if no serious actions are taken, if these issues remain unaddressed or silenced, or ignored, and the marginalized and discriminated groups will be defamed as ‘good’ as nowadays.

Addressing and fighting the issues of stereotypes, intolerance, xenophobia, homophobia, discrimination based on gender, including LGBT- related issues[1] are highly important for this project, as well as generally are the issues of any kind of discrimination based on age, sex, gender, sexual orientation. Moreover, a list of must-dos includes spread of knowledge on the issues mentioned above, inspiration, youth empowerment, preparation of human rights activists, cooperation with other NGOs, inclusion of wider public, marginalized and discriminated groups into the actions and events presented above. We especially stress the idea of youth empowerment all across the nation.

Main activities and events within the framework of this project will include – organization of seminars, round tables, flash mobs, exhibitions and other various types of cultural, social and public events, writing articles, creation of an e-magazine, building a relevant library and e-library, creation, translation and spread of various relevant materials with regard to the issues, challenges and to the scope of activities mentioned above.

Women Resource Center non-governmental organization will support us in the frame of this project.

The activities and events organized during “Diversity” project shall lead to the promotion and to better understanding of human rights both as a theory and as a practical tool to use in daily life, realities and situations, as well as in case of abuses, abuse reporting, etc.

There will be trainings, seminars and other types of activities organized for the active and promising youth willing to become human rights advocates, activists and peer-to-peer educators. Also, there will be supervision provided from our organization to other civil society organizations that will make steps towards organizing similar activities and events. It is through this kind of activities that there will be shaped a chosen core of active volunteers, activists, educators and peer educators especially in the regions of Armenia for whom we will organize annual trainings/workshops on the topics of human rights, tolerance, diversity and other important topics and issues.

Another sphere where we will extend our activities and will try to enhance cooperation is Mass Media. In Armenia, Mass Media is trying to follow the example of the state by leading its development toward the creation of a mass media system that informs and empowers all the members of the society, also enhances democratic values. Slowly, topics such are gender equality, gender based violence, LGBT issues, tolerance, human rights are being more discussed. Changes are visible. Nonetheless, there is still a lot to be done in that field either. Thus, PINK Armenia will cooperate with various types of mass media in order to promote and raise the issues of human rights, gender, LGBT, challenges that exist in those spheres, as well as means to overcome them.

As a mean of possible cooperation with wider media, to help overcome difficulties concerning the lack of knowledge and information, we plan to create an e-newsletter with other activists and civil society representatives, which will be published once in three months. The newsletter will include articles about the projects, activities, events planned and carried by PINK Armenia and partner organizations. Also, there will be a room for recent domestic and international news concerning the topics of human rights, civil society, gender issues, LGBT community, sexual healthh, culture, etc.

In the framework of this project we will implement round table discussions on matters that are relevant for marginalized and vulnerable groups in Armenia. The discussions are framed responsive to gender and LGBT issues. This kind of activities are a very good source to both gather and share proper, actual information and knowledge on problems these groups face today, also to find constructive solutions, to empower them and contribute to their consolidation.

To sum up, we’d like to mention that this project aims to bring positive changes, nurture and spread the ideas of equality, civil society, as well as to fight the negative taboos, stereotypes and to eliminate discriminative attitudes of the society.

We encourage any kind of support that you’d like to offer us.

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[1] LGBT – Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders. We also consider and accept Queers, Intersexuals and individuals without any determined gender.