(Left to right) - Stand Together campaigners Aleksandra Sliwa, Lauren Worthington, Urszula Kwasniewska, Paula Marmolejo Morazo and Martina Vancova
Five advertising, media and PR students from Middlesex University have been urging staff and students to “Stand Together” against anti-LGBT prejudice with a colourful multimedia campaign.
The Middlesex students’ campaign features an emoticon-like “Blob” mascot and a complementary alphabet of cartoon letters to define key terms such as ally, demisexual, and the Kinsey scale. The designs carry a message of empathy towards people of every identity and orientation, and of the importance of educating ourselves about the broad spectrum of gender and sexuality as it is now understood. Erasmus student Paula Marmolejo Morazo, (who created the imagery although she has never studied graphic design formally) states that the idea behind the Blob, with an endearing range of facial expressions, was to create “something that looks cute and nice to people,” and demonstrate “a very open campaign” which doesn’t exclude non-LGBTQ+ people, she says.
Middlesex is among three UK universities to enter this term’s Peer to Peer: Facebook Global Digital Challenge - a global competition for tertiary level students, managed by EdVentures Partners and sponsored by Facebook, to create campaigns against hate speech online that feel authentic and credible. The best-performing teams fly to Washington DC for a final round. Students in the top three teams are recognised with scholarship awards worth $1000-$5000.
The campaign uses animation and social media, and a face-to-face engagement element as the students handed out stickers and wristbands at a stall in the Grove atrium on Tuesday 17th April, 2018.