Know Your Neighbor (KYN): Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign

The Know Your Neighbor: Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign for Educators, Parents, and Students ran from September 25th – September 28th, 2018

As students across the country settle in for the school year, we are launching a new campaign to help educators, parents, and students create more inclusive classrooms and schools. As the U.S. Department of Education noted in a recent report, there are roughly 30 religiously-motivated bullying and harassment incidents in our public schools each day. The attitudes and misperceptions behind the biases that drive those incidents are varied and often pernicious, coming from parents and even educators themselves.

While incidents of bullying are not unique to any one race or group, the current climate of xenophobia has led to an escalation of hateful language and actions against religious and ethnic minorities. The impact upon targeted communities, including Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, and LGBTQ students even before this escalation is heartbreaking. For example, in the case of Muslim students, a recent survey by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding found that over 42% of American Muslim parents reported that their child had suffered bullying or harassment from peers or school personnel on the basis of their faith. Additionally, a 2016 report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations – California found an even higher rate of religious-based bullying, with 53% of Muslim students reporting that they are made fun of, verbally insulted, or abused at school for being Muslim.

Bullying impacts students’ mental health, leading to stress and worry that inhibits their ability to learn.

Bullying creates an environment of fear, stress, and worry which inhibits students’ ability to learn and thrive in school. To counter this national problem, and promote classrooms and schools which foster inclusivity, the Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters program, comprising over 100 partner organizations across the nation, has launched a new campaign to share best practices to help educators, students, and parents counter hate and bigotry at school and create more inclusive classrooms.

The Challenge: Win Cash Prizes for Your Classroom

To participate, respond to any of the prompts or questions below by sharing a video, post, or tweet on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) with the hashtag #KnowYourNeighbor. To be considered for the challenge, screenshot your post and email it to [email protected] with your name and category in the subject line.

We will award cash prizes in four categories (students, parents, educators, organizations) based on substance, creativity, and reach. The first place winners in each category will receive a $100 cash prize, second place will receive $50, and third place will receive $25. We encourage you to use the prizes towards fun activities to build inclusive classrooms!

Now let’s get started! Remember when responding to the questions in each section use the #KnowYourNeighbor hashtag.

Working together, we will create more inclusive classrooms and schools!

Social Media Content for Publicizing the Campaign

You can also help publicize the campaign with the social media content below.